We live in an age when skepticism about the efficacy of organizations—especially large ones—is rampant. Government, we're told almost every day, is a total failure. And it's true in part. Who doesn't have their own examples of failed government programs close to home?
But the reality is that government, whether at the federal, state or local level, is the one institution that we share in common with our neighbors, friends and fellow citizens. Thinking that shared enterprise is a failure sets the tone for every other institution in society.
For employers, creating a workplace oasis in the middle of that rhetorical desert is no easy task. This is especially true for healthcare institutions, whether provider, payer or supplier, since their business is intimately intertwined with government programs. Each day they are battered by another news account or investigative report alleging the system is plagued by overpriced services, unnecessary and uncoordinated care, poor outcomes, diagnostic mistakes, incompatible medical records, burned-out doctors, overworked nurses and overpaid executives.
And day by day, they make progress. They make the incremental improvements necessary to make the U.S. healthcare system truly what it claims to be—the best in the world.
Institutional leaders in this environment face a second challenge unique to our times. They must meld a diverse workforce into teams that can make progress on multiple fronts. They must be skilled at managing a multigenerational workforce where rapid-texting millennials work next to baby boomers counting the days to retirement, where race, ethnic and gender differences are a given, and the traditional motivators of pay and benefits are under pressure like never before.
So my congratulations to every organization that made this year's list of Best Places to Work. Celebrate your triumph in overcoming these challenging circumstances.
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Merrill Goozner served as Editor of Modern Healthcare from December 2012 to April 2017. As Editor Emeritus, he continues to write a weekly column, participate in Modern Healthcare education, events and awards programs and provide guidance on coverage related to healthcare transformation issues. Over the course of his four decades in journalism, he served as a foreign, national and chief economics correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and professor of journalism at New York University. He is the author of The $800 Million Pill: The Truth Behind the Cost of New Drugs (University of California Press, 2004), and has contributed articles to numerous publications. Goozner earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and a bachelor's in history from the University of Cincinnati, where he received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2008.Follow on Twitter