Why the many are smarter than the few

Peg Breen: July 10, 201245 Comments

On May 22, 1968, at the height of the Vietnam War, a nuclear submarine named the USS Scorpion disappeared without a trace in the Mediterranean Sea.  The navy launched an immediate search in the 2000 square miles between the Azores islands and Norfolk Virginia but finding the sub in this vast expanse of ocean seemed like an impossible task. 

Ninety-nine families of the lost crewmembers were distraught and demanding an answer.  And losing a piece of equipment that cost around $55 million dollars likely embarrassed the Navy. They were desperate.  That’s when they turned to a Chief Scientist for the Polaris submarine program, named John Craven

He assembled a team that included mathematicians, submarine experts, and salvage operators and asked them to make “educated” guesses about where the ship might have gone down.  He happened to use a sophisticated mathematical formula to do the calculation, but in the end, even though the search area was gigantic, the ship was found within 220 yards of their prediction!

Author James Surowiecki, uses this story, among others, to illustrate what he describes as The Wisdom of Crowds.  He says that groups can be remarkably smart, so the more people we ask, the better the solution is going to be. 

This is exactly why we randomly selected 250 employees across the system from all shifts, and in all different kinds of jobs, to join us on August 7 and 8th for an event named Community’s “Employer of Choice Decision Accelerator”.   We hope to tap the collective wisdom of our employees to get input on what you value most about Community’s culture, compensation and benefits and what we can do to retain you and attract other talented members of our community. 

Fresno Heart & Surgical Hospital's CEO Wanda Holderman (center) talks with employees.

This won’t be just a study.  We’re turning the results into an action plan because we really do believe that the many are smarter than the few.

We’re hoping to gain as much input as possible, so if you weren’t tapped to participate in the Employer of Choice Decision Accelerator, no worries!  Please take a moment to post a note below to answer this question:  “What do you value the most about working here?" Tell me both the tangible stuff (compensation, benefits, Target 100 activities, the Forum, pension, etc.) and the less tangible stuff (your team, our mission, other). Also, let me know what's missing and what we could do better. Any employee who posts -- with your name so I can get back to you -- will receive a $5 gift certificate to Jamba Juice! (No caffeine, but soooo healthy!)

45 responses to Why the many are smarter than the few

Likes and dislkes

The work we do here to save lives is next to none. I work primarily in one unit in which most of the patients, due to their injuries, sre here for very long extended periods of time and we become like fimily. It does me great pleasure to see these patients well enough to go back home with their families. But sometimes we loose the battle and my heart aches for the family. Then we find out that we are getting badly needed raises to compete with other facilities. I was so looking forward to my raise only to get a letter stating that because I am at the top of my payscale, I lose out on the raise. It has been many years that I have not seen a raise, only a little bonus each year on my anniversary date. I would think that top of the scale would be raised too but it is not tought that way. I too think that sick pay should be usable for each day we are sick and not start on the third day. I feel I am being penalized for being sick. Just my thoughts.

What I like best about working here

I have been in the nursing field for sixteen years. This is the best job I have had, all around. (Benefits, work load, and pay). I also enjoy that I can walk through the hallways when at work and everyone has a good attitude. Sure, the bad days are bad. But for the most part, everyone is friendly, respectful, and has a good attitude. Annita Cline, RN

"What do you value the most about working here?"

I am an RN in the NICU, and I have valued that feeling of being a "VIP" when a patient here at Fresno Community. I have had three children here, and I'm expecting my fourth. I fully plan on delivering here, with the support of my friends and co-workers. I feel like there should be some perks when it comes to being a patient, or when a family member is in the hospital. Even though CRMC employs a lot of people, we are still a select few in the commmunity. That being said, I was very unhappy to receive a bill from the hospital for $190.xx for simple prenatal lab work. Our insurance requires that we go to a Community lab provider, which I had no problem with. The reason it was so high, was that it went to my deductible, which didn't really make sense. If services are required, and we are required to do them here at our facility, shouldn't we get a little more "VIP" treatment?

Co-workers are like family

I agree that it seems we are losing a lot of staff to competing healthcare facilities in the area. The one thing that I usually notice is how hard it is for that person to leave, because when you work with people as closely as we do, you become like a second family. I understand that at any given time, one hospital is going to pay more than another and I don't think that its just $$$ signs that makes people leave. There have been different things that make people look elsewhere such as closing the cafeteria at night, which makes the night shift feel like were not important. When the 7th day premium pay was taken away, it caused a lot of people to get 2nd jobs elsewhere because if they were going to work extra, they wanted it to be worthwhile. This is when staffing became an issue as well. I truly believe that I work at a great place and couldnt imagine working anywhere else. It sounds like CMC is heading in the right direction as far as compensation. I just hope that its not too little, too late.

We need an auditor

I am a security officer here at regional and have noticed we can't seem to keep anybody around for any amount of time. It seems that we lose more people than we are hiring and management doesn't seem to care. I think we need to have an outside auditor like Fresno Police does. I think our managers are out of control and out of touch. I agree with whoever wrote the post called "RE: Recent Ask Peg Topic on The Forum" because I am personally tired of walking around on egg shells myself. I'm scared that even talking about these issues could potentially get me fired and I have a family to provide for. Personally, it seems like our managers enjoy bullying us around and there is nothing we can do about it. I've heard managers say if we don't like it go work for Turner's Security. Don't get me wrong because I really enjoy working here, but things have gotta change. We can't lose anymore of the "good guys" in security.

What Do You Value?

I love that Community has always represented a "family-type" atmosphere amongst employees. Though there has been tremendous growth since I have started working, especially here at CRMC, we are still family (though I do not know as many of the people by name!) I love the relationships with coworkers that have been built through the years. Each person is so unique and special! I love the people with whom I work. I love hearing them tell of how their teamwork saved the day (pretty much every shift)! I know that my staff in Respiratory Care are the best trained and hardest working in this whole region, but sadly they are paid at the lowest rate. The medical, dental, and vision benefits are good. I appreciate that Jack Lazzarini was open to hearing suggestions for improving the vision benefits for this year. I recently learned that we offer Gap Insurance for those who may want to retire early. I would also like to see options for medical insurance even after we retire. While I am glad to see that more Target 100 activities are being planned and offered, I do miss when we had the annual "Company picnics." The Employee Recognition could improve, especially for those with over 20 years of experience. For those of us with lots of sick time, I would love to see if some could be converted to vacation or something similar. Overall, though, I love my job and the people that work here. Many things have been improving in the care offered to our patients. I am proud to work at CRMC! Kathy R

Keep The Best !

I have been an employee of Community for quite a few years now in the Security Services Department and have always worn my uniform with a great sense of pride. I work with many outstanding individuals who endeavor to provide our patients and fellow staff members with the highest standard of service and safety. It is unfortunate that as a corporation we are unable to retain valuable and qualified medical staff members who are the backbone and pride of our hospital. But I do not feel that this exodus is simply limited to medical staff. Other departments have also experienced this exodus of very qualified individuals, my own department being no exception. In the past few months there have been members of my department who have experienced cardiac events due to work related stress and pressure. Managers have been heard saying they are willing to work us into the ground because they have a "reputation" to uphold. I know of more than a handful of officers who have to take medications to help them cope with the rpessure of the job and management. There are others who take medications to even sleep at night due to work related anxiety. We are almost daily fiven inservices which we are forced to sign amending department policies being told we will be written up if we do not comply. It is almost impossible to keep up with all these changes. We are being forced to work overtime with little or no notice with the threat of either being written up or given an SNA if we do not comply due to extremely low staffing levels. Some of us have worked over 140 hours in a single pay period to solve this labor crisis. These low staffing levels coupled with sometimes extremely long shifts are a safety risk in and of themselves. Others have been singled out and repeatedly forced to work mandatory overtime, time and time again. Managers have even openly said that our child care issues are not their problem and we are simply to "deal with it." PTO is rarely approved (unless one is in management) even when the requests have been submitted a month in adavance. For the level of service we provide with risks we daily take to maintain the safety and security of our patients and fellow staff members, we too are underpaid. Many of us are in fear of reprisal by management to even voice our concerns. There are even those who have considered turning to a union to assist us. I know of several officers who are looking for other jobs who are willing to take pay cuts just to escape. I cannot speak for other departments; however, if the hostile conditions which exist in my own home department exist in our sister departments, it is no wonder we are losing and will continue to lose outstanding and qualified individuals to other facilities. Even though these conditions exist, I will still wear my uniform with pride. I can only hope that in the future things will get better not only for our valued medical staff but other departments in the great corporation as well.

Wisdom of Crowds

The August 7th and 8th gathering of CMC employees is a terrific concept. I just wish I could attend myself to learn how I can share both a positive management evaulation and a negative letter regarding another management level individual. Who shall I contact to remain anonymous about a situation that has been talked about among staff for two years with no resolution to this unfair situation? I love working for CMC and will be here until I retire. However, some things just aren't quite right. I have the best manager in my 30 year healthcare career so that isn't my beef.

Hospital of Choice

It would be wonderful if Community offered Health Care benefits for staff who are retiring. We have lost 5 good RN's within the past 2 years and in each instance they went to hospitals that offered that as a benefit. The RN's that we lost all stated that they would have preferred to continue to work for Community if the benefits after retirement would have been similar. The two hospitals that offer this benefit are VA and Kaiser. To have lost that many seasoned RN's for that one reason alone is substantial. I think that if Community offered this one addition to their benefit package it would be a benefit to staff retention. In the long run it may reduce the need for supplemental staffing. This might really impact potential staff who are considering which hospital to apply to work for.

What do you value the most about working here???

I can not pin point one thing that makes the corporation a great place to work because I love it! I just reached my 5 year anniversary and I love the department I am in and my co-workers who help me grow in my job. I have wonderful bosses too! I tell everyone that CRMC is a great place to work and hope they can get hired on. Angie Rosenthal Accounts Payable....Sierra

employer of choice

I've been here for over 10yr. out of the 28yrs. in the medical field.Ive always loved helping peoplebut now i have a place not only do I feel home but my patients feel safe here & say they feel home as well.For all the right reasons I'm grateful & proud to be a part of C.R.M.C.

What do I value the most...

I used to love my job. Not anymore. As I age with the company I see that there have been very little changes in the 23 years I have worked here. I am still underpaid and my area is still understaffed. I work hard and I am the best in what I do but have never been rewarded for that. Management is too busy trying to out do each other and not spending enough time with employees to find out what the true problems are. Sadly nothing will ever change.

RE: Recent Ask Peg Topic on The Forum

I noticed the recent posting regarding RN's in general leaving for higher pay, etc. to other facilities. I believe it is also occurring in other areas such as facility support groups like Security, EVS, etc. I believe pay is a large contributing factor but also obvious lack of advancement in the various departments as well lack of employee appreciation in general to promote employee retention. Speaking specifically in regards to employee retention; being employed in one of the support departments I strongly believe that no department should take any pride in having high turnover rates. Furthermore, to rationalize with the employees in those kind of departments I don’t believe anybody would like to remain in a department where false hopes and empty promises are regularly given in regards to promotions and employees continuously "walk around on egg shells" due to management laying down stern and in some instances excessive disciplinary actions for often petty or not so serious in nature isolated incidents.

Why the many are smarter than the few

Just a thought, with all the excitement of the CCH expansion and all the new jobs it will be creating, has it ever been considered to add a daycare facility for employee children? Providing such a service will not only help us stay competitive with other hospitals already providing this service, but continue to create happier more productive employees knowing there little ones are so near. Just another way for CCH to stand above the rest : )

rely about RN

I don't believe you can do it all onilne for RN, or even LPN/LVN. A good portion possibly, but you will have labs and clinicals that must be hand's on, and you can imagine why! I would think the same for any medical-related field. You should look into local RN programs though as some are very flexible in scheduling clinicals. My program had mostly non-traditional students who worked, and/or had families, etc Good luck!

Making a difference in Healthcare

What I value the most working for Community Medical Centers is the difference I am making in Healthcare in the Central Valley where I work. I've had three principal jobs/careers in my life: A US Naval Officer, an Engineering Services Manager/Project Engineer for a Medical Device Company and my current role as Project Manager in the Corporate IS Department. Though my two prior careers afforded me to support noble missions unto themselves, the role in healthcare I have today has giving me the blessing of being in *most* alignment with my Passion, my Talent *and* my Community's Needs and by 'Community', I mean the region I live in as much as my employer. I am thankful for the management team here and most of all to God for the chance to give back and make a difference in the lives of so many our hospitals and outpatient care facilities have the calling to serve often independant of their ability to pay for those services. As for a "tangible" thing I like a great deal about CMC, I'd have to say that the ability to use Social Networking to connect my personal, work and family is an important aspect of CMC Corporate Policy given their more recent release of Facebook and other such sites like this for us to share our candid (and respectful) thoughts to one another. Thanks for trusting us employees with this responsibility! Jerry Dickerson, Corporate IS

This is without a doubt the

This is without a doubt the best job I have ever had. Every hospital goes through its cycles of high census/not enough help and low census/flexing off. The same frustrations can be encountered in any hospital, anywhere. So, it boils down to the people factor. The people at CCMC are the BEST to go through hard times with. Our benefits are very good, so no complaints there. The improvements I would like to see...A) bring back C-Fit or open up an on-site fitness center maybe in the medical buidlings out back with some treadmills, ellipticals or some sort of exercise we could do on our lunch or break. B)Healthier food in the cafeteria with calorie counts and nutrition info for those trying to stay within certain dietary guidelines. More grilled food with less oil/fried foods. C)Smaller portions that cost less. D)Maybe Target 100 could organize some local "Points of Interest" day trips or activities so we could get to know even more of our awesome co-workers outside of the workplace.

Sick Time

Overall, I think CMC is a great place to work and I find working for CMC to be very rewarding and exciting! An area that I would like to see changed is our sick time policy. I have worked at other large corporations that allow employees to use their sick pay the first day they get sick not the 3rd day. Some people that do not have the PTO or do not want to use their PTO, may decide to come into work, even though they may not be feeling well and should be at home resting and getting better. Another benefit that I appreciated about the sick time policies that were offered at some of my other employers, was being allowed to use sick time for healthcare appointments (dental, eye or other types of necessary or preventative health appointments) for themselves or their dependents. Thank you for asking our opinions! Jennifer Lawton

What do you value most about working here?

I work with a great group of people in the CRMC Lab who genuinely care about each other. In microbiology, we get to work with the infectious disease fellows which helps with patient care. With the wide variety of patients, there is always something interesting and sometimes challenging to deal with. I really like what I do so there really isn't any reason to go anywhere else.

market adjustment


We're digging deep into the data

I absolutely hear you and we're digging deep into the data as we speak. Stay tuned and stay engaged – good things are on the horizon!

Keep the best people!

I don't like the feeling that some of my great co-workers are leaving just because they are offered better compensation. I wished there is a retention committee so we can keep the best people. I know that their new place of work couldn't be greater than our hospital. It is just the compensation the drives them to leave. Donnah dopelac@communitymedical.org

Thank you for your great idea

Thank you. I really like your idea about an Employee Retention Committee. I've been hearing the same concern about other hospitals trying to lure away our outstanding staff. And yes, we are doing a market study of wages right now, by job class. I anticipate that we'll make pay adjustments in some areas with the new budget year, this fall. In addition, I'm aware that wages are only one piece of the total compensation and rewards picture that's important to staff. Therefore, in August we're holding our first "Employer of Choice Decision Accelerator," where more than 200 randomly selected employees will engage in brainstorming and dialog about how to best tailor available resources to our staff's needs. Thanks again for your great idea. I will personally see to it that it gets discussed in our upcoming Employer of Choice event.

“What do you value the most about working here?"

I appreciate my coworkers in the admitting department. They are a great support when the office gets busy and are always willing to lend a hand or answer a question. I also appreciate that my supervisor's door is always open to us. She cares for her team and does her best to make sure our environment is happy and healthy. I am thankful for our benefits package and the little perks that Target 100 brings to our office.

I watch or read the news

I watch or read the news reports about the terrible economy and how much people in our own community go without quality health benefits and little to lack of income. I have that much more grattitude that I work at CRMC. Its not just because im employed but more so that I am employed by CRMC. The variety of patients, community service and comradery are benefits that are not experienced anywhere else. Crystal Bennet

what do you value most about working here.

I must say that of all of my jobs in my lifetime this job at ocmc has been the best expierence i have ever had. I have been here for little over a year now and the staff has been nothing but wonderful. everyone is find, helpful and a pleasure to be around. I look forward to going to work, my managers are helpful and kind. If you need to traid a shift or take a day unexpectedly someone is always there to help. Everyone truely works together as a team and even on a bad day everyone still pulls together to get the job done. I LOVE MY JOB!!!! Ive never ever been able to say that before. Deana Wilson ocmc admitting

What do you value most about working here?

The one that stands out the most is knowing that regardless of what may occur in the day to day operations, good or bad......... I know that at Fresno Heart & Surgical we will do the right thing. That is very important to me as an individual and makes me proud to be a part of FHSH. If it happened to be a negative, we figure out how to do it better next time and move on.

Why CMC is the best place to have a J-O-B

CMC is a great employer because of the variety of people, both patients and employees, one is able to meet. One very noticable trait of CCMC is that everybody is always smiling and greeting each other in their departments or when passing in the halls, something that lacks at a significant number of other employers. When friends speak of their jobs, they bring up problems that would never happen at CMC because of how well we are structured. It sounds cliche to say, "It's like another family," but we really are. Many employees are friends outside of work and it definitely shows by our chemistry, we really do act like a big family. When patients ask me if I like my job, I smile and say, I wouldn't trade it for any other job.
Ryan C.
Clovis Community Medical Center, ED Registration

Ryan C

Hi Ryan - send a quick email to your Site HR or Corporate HR so we can deliver your Jamba Juice gift card! :)

What do you value most about working here?

What I value most about working here at CMC has to be the benefits package. Affordable insurance has made our lives a little less stressful. Maria Jacinto

What do you value the most about working here?

Since being employed by CRMC I have gained another family...I enjoy working with all of my coworkers and do not feel stressed coming to work. We have our stressful hard days but we work together as a team to get the work done. Another thing I enjoy about working here is the benefits that we are entitled to. Being able to insure myself on my own coverage at a great rate is very beneficial because you never know what could happen. Also just those days where you hear feedback from a random patient you've worked with about how much they appreciate what you've helped them with makes all the difference. -Diana Quijada CRMC ED Registration

What do you value the most about working here?

I work in the administration department at FHSH. One of the first things I noticed when I started this job was that everyone was smiling!! Now that might seem so insignificant to some but for me it was a big deal... I thought maybe this is something that they are required to do... but three years later while accompanying guests around the hospital last week they also said to me what I once thought "Are the employees here urged to smile at all times" my response was No, they are just happy to work here and enjoy what they do. I am proud to be part of FHSH because here everyone does know your name. Wanda our CEO and Cynthia our CNO make it their priority to get to know who they are working with and that is something that you don't see in many organizations. Just this morning a former employee (Managment level) came to visit and said "Cynthia was one of the best boss I've worked for"...this shows what an impression our leadership and team has left on some even years after they've departed. That is one of the biggest reasons I love working at FHSH

What do you value the most about working here?

I would have to say that one of the perks of working here at CMC is the benefits package. The fact that we have insurance benefits offered to us and our families is wonderful, let alone that it is not nearly as expensive for us as it is at other employers. It is affordable and knowing that our families have that coverage is a great weight lifted off of our shoulders! The FSA is also an awesome benefit! -Lupe Palacios-Gastelum

Why I like working here --

I love my coworkers. They are very attentive, kind, intelligent, competent people who "have my back" when push comes to shove. They truly care about the work that they do and the care they provide. Let's face it...I'm with them some days more than my own family. They have to be "good" people with strong work ethics. We are like a small family in this department. That is the "fringe benefit" I love the most here. I could be a nurse in many different places and probably make more money. But if I don't like the immediate environment I'm working in, then money, benefits, and gifts alone won't make me happy. I don't want to survive my job. I want to love it enough to want to go to work. And I do. Diane Ray, RN

"What Do You Value Most About Working Here?"

I consider myself blessed to have such a great environment, and great co-workers, all with a good sense of humor! So coming to work each day is something to look forward to. I am glad to be an active participant on the Fresno Heart team!

What do you value the most about working here

What I value the most about working here at CRMC is seeing the care that our patient's receive on a daily basis and knowing that if one of my family members ever needed care they would also receive excellent care here. I love my job and all the compensation that comes with it including working with all my co-workers they are awesome!!! Elida Pacheco/Admitting

What do you value the most about working here?

I am most grateful for the benefits package that I am able to provide for my family. One of the other best parts of working for Community is the wonderful people. We work in an amazing atmosphere where there is never a dull moment :). Being part of a team /department like mine is an honor. Putting the UNITY In commUNITY!!!!

What I like about working here~

I enjoy coming to work everyday knowing I make a difference in the lives of people, even though no one knows my role in keeping the hospital running smoothly. It's great to know I contribute to their well-being. Diane Yrigollen

My team is absolutely the best people to work with

My coworkers are the best. I go to work every day knowing that I am going to have a great day because of them. They are always there to support me, and the level of commitment to our goals and to each other is amazing. Our department leaders have done an outstanding job creating an environment that promotes the team concept, and I would not want to work for anyone else. -Nick Aquino

What Do You Value Most About Working Here?

I value the appreciation I receieve from my director. I am so lucky to be part of such a wonderful team! I can honestly say that I feel at home working at CRMC! I would not trade this job for any other job!
Melissa Mello
Data Specialist
Neuroscience Admin

“What do you value the most about working here?"

The thing i like about my job is that i live in the coarsegold area and i work at oakhurst community medical centers. My drive to work everyday i get to enjoy a beautiful view of the sierras. My co-workers are also a great reason to go to work they really motivate me and i think i do the same to them. My job gives me a great sense of satisfaction to care for people in need even though im a admitting interviewer it still feels good.
Dominic Miller 
Oakhurst community medical center

What do you value the most about working here?

I value the fact that community medical center has a target 100 program and listens to the employees. I think that the compensation packages and benefits that are provided are great. Just the fact that the employees get a choice in which benefit package they can choose is great. I have worked for many companies in the past since my husbands job moves us a lot and no one else has ever offered to let the employee choose the right benefits package for them.
Brandy Bridges
PCA Oakhurst Intermediate Care Center

"What do you value the most about working here?"

I really really value the AWESOME benifits through CMC and think the Target 100 group is just so great! They always have such fun activites that yet still have everyone working as a team or together.I love having GREAT doctors and WONDERFUL staff to work with. I feel so comofortable working with all my co-workers. This is such a GREAT company to work for. Our team here at CMC-O all works together to benifit each and every patient that walks through our doors. I know that I plan on staying with CMC becvause I LOVE the atmosphere working here!
Erica L DenBeste
Admitting Interviewer
Intermediate Care Center Oakhurst

“What do you value the most about working here?"

I really do Value that I can get Benefits for my Family working Part-Time. I realize how Lucky I am upon hearing of other people with part time jobs that do not qualify for benefits. I love my job and I love the fact that I can Provide for my Husband and Three Children with the Exellent benefits we receive here. My Co-workers are Pretty Awsome too =) Anna Kurtley- Oakhurst Community Medical Center

Employer of Choice Decision Accelerator

I feel at home working for CMC. I cannot fathom going to work at a for-profit entity. I LOVE MY JOB!! I think our compensaton package compares to local hospitals although at any one time one probably has a few more plusses than the others. Eventually they even out. Target 100 has been a morale booster, especially around the holidays.

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