News Article

Monday, July 23, 2012

TMAGs making their mark across MSHA
The Team Member Advisory Group at Sycamore Shoals has helped bring Chick-fil-A menu items to the hospital so team members don't have to go out to get them. SSH TMAG members Wayne Winchester, left, and Tabatha Guess are big fans of the move. The Chick-fil-A mascot suit is donned by another SSH team member, Lindsey Chesser.

TMAGs making their mark across MSHA

 At Sycamore Shoals Hospital, so many team members liked Chick-fil-A that they wanted to have that restaurant’s sandwiches offered for sale at the hospital so people wouldn’t have to go out for their food. Their wish has come true.

 Team members at Norton Community Hospital were interested in having access to a published menu for the cafeteria. They got it.

 At JCMC, there was concern about the night shift being left out of certain events, celebrations and promotions. That’s been remedied and now anything offered to day shift is also offered to the night shift.

 These are some of the issues being taken on by Team Member Advisory Groups, or TMAGs. All MSHA facilities have a TMAG and they range in size from a handful of people to JCMC’s 130 members, depending on the size of the facility work force. The TMAG goal is to provide a forum for team members to voice concerns or issues that affect them in their workplace and to advise management of their ideas and suggest improvement.

 “At JCMC we’re about six months into it,” said Rachel Hurley, senior director of HR and one of the leaders of the massive hospital’s massive TMAG. “We’ve still got a long way to go but everybody is starting to figure out their role, and we’re doing some very good things.

 “There are a lot of very simple things, sort of the low-hanging fruit, that we’ve done – a whole lot of ‘just-do-its.’ For instance, we needed something to hold up the cords from IV poles, we got Engineering on it and we got it done.”

 That’s the spirit that TMAGs are supposed to bring: See a problem, figure out how to fix it and just do it.

 These groups are made up of team members who volunteer for the role, with at least a third of the committee being clinicians. The hospital CEO and the HR director, or a designee for each, are also on the team.

 Franklin Woods Community Hospital piloted the TMAG program, and Jamie Parsons, MSHA’s senior vice president for Human Resources, says TMAGs are the best source of team member feedback.

 Topics like salaries, benefits and disciplinary actions are not within the scope of the TMAGs. Those go to MSHA Human Resources. And not all issues that TMAGs contend with are solved, but they’re all given consideration. And the success stories are piling up.

 At SSH, the TMAG helped get Chick-fil-A sandwiches and salads brought to the hospital cafeteria for lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Select menu items are offered and SSH orders a set number to be sold at regular prices at the cafeteria, starting at 11 a.m. and going until all the Chick-fil-A goodies are gone. Depending on the demand, SSH will adjust the volume of its orders for the following week.

 Sycamore Shoals’ TMAG is also facilitating a way for the night shift to place Chick-fil-A orders online, then come to the cafeteria at 9 p.m. to pick up the order. 

 “We’re just trying to offer a little more variety for our team members, and some of them wouldn’t be able to go out and get something, particularly on the clinical side, because of their schedule,” said Sharon Sheppard, HR manager. “So this is a nice benefit for them.”

 At Norton, team members expressed through their TMAG that they wanted to see a menu of what the cafeteria was offering, so Chuck Polen, food services director, now provides a weekly menu via email to all facility team members. The TMAG also took submissions for the name of their cafeteria, which is undergoing renovations; the new eatery will be called 15th Street Café.

 Obviously, food is big on the minds of MSHA team members, but TMAGs aren’t just about eating.

 “Our TMAG is also taking a lead role in the rollout of our new recognition and rewards program with O.C. Tanner,” said Valeri Colyer, NCH’s director of HR. “They received the first training at our facility and then they were responsible for going out to each department and presenting how-to sessions to fellow team members.”

 A safety suggestion by the TMAG was for Norton to increase the availability of hand sanitizers in the facility. Infection control and safety conducted an analysis and the outcome was the installation of more than 70 additional hand sanitizer locations.

 At JCMC, the logistical challenges of operating a TMAG are greater than any other MSHA facility.

 “Finding a time to get together 130 team members is like herding cats,” Hurley said with a laugh. “It’s been harder to establish it and get going. But we’ve got about 52 items we’re working through, and we’ve worked through 15 or 20 that we’ve already resolved or changed, all based on input from team members.”

 One issue was that the JCMC night shift team members sometimes felt left out because special things like events and celebrations were offered during the day but not at night. A day-side picnic might be a night-side gift card.

 The resolution: HR has added a night-shift HR team member – Sandra Crain, who is stationed at JCMC but serves all of MSHA at night – and promised that whatever occurs during day shift should also occur during night shift.

 “That’s been a huge satisfier,” Hurley said. “Just having someone from HR available on-site at night has been good.”

 JCMC team members wanted to know more about the recycling program: Could there be recycling containers placed in the cafeteria? More than 40 were added throughout the facility.

 TMAG issues will usually benefit team members but they can also directly impact patients and their families. JCMC team members wondered why the door leading out to the second-floor healing garden wasn’t wide enough for a bariatric wheelchair to pass through, and why it wasn’t a push-button automatic-opener door.

 “Our CEO, David Nicely is very involved with our TMAGs,” Hurley said. “Even though it was a capital expense, he said, ‘We need it so just do it.’ So we got with Engineering and we’re going to put in a wider, push-button door.

 “So that will be huge not only for team members but bariatric patients and their families. That’s the kind of difference a TMAG can make.”
For more information on TMAGs, visit the Team Member Advisory Group site on the MSHA intranet.