By Dr. David Hoffman, Regional Medical Director, MRO
Humanitarianism is the belief in the value of human lives and acting to improve those lives. It starts in the heart (compassion), moves to the head (sorting out the best way to help) and ends up in the hands and feet (actions). It is something we all understand and could communicate. Now, what is company culture? That is a more ethereal concept. It’s harder to define. Let’s look at the Harvard Business Review article of June 20, 2017 entitled, “Changing a Company Culture Requires a Movement not a Mandate.” The authors state: “(Company) culture is like the wind. It is invisible, yet its effect can be clearly seen and felt.” And, “It lives in the collective hearts and habits of the people and their shared perception of how things are done around here.”
I posit that humanitarianism and company culture are connected. Yes, they’re even inextricably linked. When humanitarianism increases, company culture improves. When company culture improves, humanitarianism increases. There is a cycle here, a synergy. Why is this so? Well, they both start as matters of the heart and move in similar directions. Then, they feed off of each other. Compassion for fellow human beings that don’t have enough food, clothing, shelter, medical care, etc. is very similar to compassion for a coworker who is struggling with a new process, or to keep up with the crush of phone calls, or to understand a new boss, or to provide the best medical care to their patient. On the contrary, if someone doesn’t care and take action to help those in need of the basics for survival, they won’t make a caring coworker. And anyone who could watch a coworker struggle to keep up and not offer some help is certainly not likely to reach out to those on the other side of the world whose suffering is not in plain sight.
There must be a movement in the hearts of the people and not a company mandate– true. But company support of the movement is beneficial. Company compassion will inspire more compassion in the hearts of the employees. Compassion breeds compassion. So a company that sees the value in and supports humanitarianism is investing in their own culture. That company should expect that when they develop policies and procedures to promote and financially support humanitarianism that it will come back to them in positive culture change. Also, as has been shown in multiple studies of corporate America in the past few years: Improving the company culture improves employee retention and financial outcomes. Now supporting humanitarianism shouldn’t be done to increase financial outcomes (this would lead to smallness and selfishness overtime and violate the trust of the employees). On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with a win-win-win strategy in today’s needy world. Help the employees to help others then they become better employees themselves!
Thank you, Concentra for your early commitment to support the humanitarian committee! U.S. HealthWorks is better because of it; you are getting better coworkers. Together we will all be better because of it—let’s keep the good going!
U.S. HealthWorks Humanitarians of the Year 2018!
Please read about our three Humanitarians of the Year below. The USHW Medical Group recognized these employees publically, with plaques and donations to their charities. We know you will find their stories inspirational. We hope they inspire you as much as they inspired us—Enjoy!
Humanitarian of the Year: Neelam Patel
$15,000 to “Surge”
First Runner Up: Alex Gutierrez, PT
$10,000 to the “Gawad Kalinga”
Second Runner Up: Dr. Bill King
$5,000 for his work in fostering youth