For some it’s the alarm, a cup of tea, a seat on the train, or the mortgage and for some it’s simply the thought of going to work that day.
Have I missed anyone?
One morning I got out of bed, never thinking I’d be spending the best part of the week with an elderly relative in hospital – a hospital in special measures at that. The hospital was (as you see on the news) like a war-zone. At one point, sometime between 10pm and midnight, stretching my legs, clearing my head and getting some fresh air, there were 5 ambulances waiting to be received. During the week the screens in A&E hit a wait time of 3hours 20 minutes to see a Triage Nurse and 4hours 57 minutes to see a Doctor, and every corridor I walked, no matter at what time was full of occupied beds.
In those waiting hours and trips to the vending machine I had plenty of time to read the hospital’s mission, value statement and signature behaviours…
- Do what we say.
- No delays, every day.
- We listen, we learn, we lead.
- Work together, celebrate together.
A week earlier I’d heard someone speaking about their job at the same special measures hospital and how demoralising it was getting out of bed every morning knowing that you were going to work in a place that everyone knew was in special measures; where you were widely regarded as part of a failing organisation, in which you felt quite powerless to turn the tide of opinion, judgement or wait times.
Why do people work here?
After the individual time, care and attention my relative received I can testify like so many before me – it’s because they care about what they do, they care about the positive difference they can make in someone’s life, no matter how small or short and that’s important to them whether it’s the patient or the relatives; and they know they wouldn’t be as fulfilled working in any other type of organisation.
Imagine what your business or organisation would be like if you had employees with that same caring attitude and commitment to doing their very best in every situation – now that’s something that would really differentiate you from your competitors.
In my first “proper” job I was privileged to work in a business that taught me the importance of purpose, values and principles. Where I learnt on the job about taking responsibility, clear communication, customer focus, teamwork, respect and doing the right thing.
“Of all the principles that guide us, the two most essential to peace of mind are contribution –making a valuable difference – and conscience – being trustworthy – to oneself and to others”. John Pepper – Former P&G Chairman