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Shifting organisational culture across Queensland

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Mater’s focus on developing a safe and supportive environment for its staff is reaping benefits with the organisation’s South Brisbane campus rated the equal-best place to work in the recent Australian Medical Association Queensland (AMAQ) Resident Hospital Health Check.
The AMAQ represents almost 10 000 doctors and medical students. Each year it surveys Junior Medical Officers to compare hospitals across Queensland. One of the critical areas the survey evaluates is the Wellbeing and Workplace Culture, for which Mater Hospital South Brisbane scored the highest among other major hospitals in Queensland.

Mater Education’s Acting Executive Director, Stephanie Barwick, said the results reflected the success of programs developed to transform the organisation’s culture in recent years. The list includes Speaking with Good Judgement, an evidence-based program designed to provide participants with the skills to not just ‘speak up’ in challenging situations, but to listen effectively.

“We’re building a culture within Mater where our people feel safe and well equipped to have challenging conversations,” Ms Barwick said.

“Every single staff member across Queensland will attend the Speaking with Good Judgement program. That’s a sign of how seriously we take the influence of culture on safety at Mater.

“There is still room for improvement, but the results from the AMAQ Resident Hospital Health Check survey and our own research provide evidence the program is having an impact on the way we work together, alongside a range of other leadership and management programs we offer Mater People.

Given the success of its safety and leadership programs, Mater Education is now looking to work with other health care organisations to improve their organisational culture. A range of communication and engagement courses have recently been launched, including ‘High Value Conversations’, which is designed for workplaces seeking to create a transformational cultural shift through the way conversations are conducted.

Each course has been developed and delivered by Mater’s internal learning and development educators, who facilitate learning for thousands of Mater staff every year,” Ms Barwick said.

“Our educators bring a wealth of experience in coaching large organisations and creating transformational cultural shifts through conversations.

“We’ve seen how improving the way we relate to each other as people, and not just in clinical environments, has a massive effect on fostering a psychologically safe culture within our organisation.”

The practical, evidence-based communication and engagement courses focus on a core set of skills to increase personal efficiency, improve consumer satisfaction, mitigate risk, and increase staff capability and engagement.

As the largest hospital network in Queensland, Mater is passionate about providing workforces across health, community and aged care with a safe and supportive workplace, along with opportunities for personal growth and education.

*AMA Queensland Resident Hospital Health Check 2020