At D&R, we’re always on the lookout for organizations and companies that demonstrate dignity and respect by giving back in some way, shape, or form. Companies that Lead the Way hold to best practices that not only work for the greater good, but serve as models for the next best practice for every workplace.
That brings us to Bombas. Bombas is a sock company, but stating it’s just a sock company doesn’t quite do their cause justice. For every pair of socks they sell, Bombas donates a pair to a homeless shelter or someone in need. However, they do not just donate the same socks that are sold the consumers. They’ve gone a step ahead and, together with their 300-plus giving partners, created a sock that according to their website, “specifically meets the needs of people who don’t have the luxury of a clean pair of socks every day.” This includes design elements such as “anti-microbial treatment, darker colors to reduce the look of stains, and stronger seams for longer lifespan.”
According to the Bombas website, the creators, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, began this journey all because of one quote, that changed their entire perspective: “Socks are the number one most requested clothing item at homeless shelters.” So that’s when they realized they could really make an impact by doing some great: “We initially thought about [just] buying and donating socks, but we felt like that wasn’t enough, the problem was much bigger than that.”
Bombas original goal was to donate 1 million pairs of socks in ten years, but in only two and half years, they were able to reach that goal. Bombas also provided donations towards HIV medication for purchases of their “(Product)Red” socks over the holidays.
These numbers serve as an exciting reminder that helping others is an interest all of us – companies and consumers alike – can get behind. Even the meaning behind their name is cohesive with our Lead the Way Initiative: The word “bombas” derives from the Latin word “bumblebee.” As Bombas website explains, “bees work together to make their hive a better place…they’re small, but their combined efforts have a big impact on the world.”
This is what leading the way is all about. Whether your company’s efforts are big or small, you are making a positive impact on the world, and that is what matters.
At D&R, we believe there are three key ways to Lead The Way:
- Make an effort to make someone feel included.
- Get a new viewpoint before completing a project.
- Do something that benefits someone different from you.
Bombas was able to research, think, and, in turn, get a brand new perspective on people in need of a basic item before starting Bombas. They continue to make an effort every single day to focus their conversation and their product on addressing their basic needs of all people.
How is your business leading the way? If you’re interested in taking your company to the next level, or you know a local organization who is leading the way for others, contact us. We’d love to have a conversation.
Chances are you’ve summoned a ride using Uber by now, or you know someone who has. A regular user or driver is likely to notice frequent updates to the app – in their own words, the transportation network company is “always working to make the Uber experience as hassle-free as possible for our riders and driver-partners.”
Besides setting a fleet of driverless cars out onto the streets of Pittsburgh (we’re growing to trust them!), Uber appears to live up to its statement with the inclusion of accessibility features.
Hard of Hearing? No Problem for Uber.
There’s a feature for that. How does it work? From Uber’s website: “The Uber Partner app includes capabilities for deaf and hard of hearing partners. These features are all completely optional.”
Uber partners who are deaf or hard of hearing need only make the setting active, which prompts their app to:
- Turn off calling and use text-only messaging. “The ability to call a deaf or hard of hearing driver-partner is turned off for the rider – instead, riders are directed to text their driver if they need to communicate with them.”
- Flashing trip request notifications. “The Uber Partner app signals a new trip request with a flashing light in addition to the existing audio notification.”
- Add a prompt for the rider’s destination. “Once a partner with this setting turned on accepts a ride, the rider will see a prominent screen asking for their destination.”
- Show a message to let riders know the driver is deaf or hard of hearing.
Lead The Way
Widely-known companies that provide features like this pave the way for inclusion in our workplaces, our tech, and even our social interactions. Where it could have been easy for Uber to just encourage diverse hiring, they identified an opportunity to actively welcome capable drivers who are hard of hearing by ensuring their experience, and the experience of those drivers’ riders, is the best it can be.
This is what the Dignity & Respect Campaign’s Lead the Way initiative is truly about: recognizing and promoting our companies, institutions, communities – and apps! – who support the potential of ALL and treat others with dignity and respect.
You don’t have to be Uber to make a difference. Dignity and respect can start anywhere, big or small. How can your organization can help to make the world a better place?
Learn more this Uber accessibility feature here.
We have a number of initiatives here at the Dignity & Respect Campaign to Build Cultural Awareness, Stop the Violence, Prevent Bullying, and Lead the Way – but it’s October 2016, and one of our initiatives works singlehandedly to push all the others forward: the one where we encourage you to get out and Vote!
How to Register to Vote
First things first: October 11, 2016 is the last day to register to vote in the November 8th election. That means you can register ON October 11, too, so don’t panic!
If you’re not registered or you’re not sure if you are, you can visit vote.gov to find out and complete your registration online, if allowed by your state (Pennsylvania, where D&R Campaign is based, does allow online registration). USA.gov provides a list of requirements, instructions for in-person registration, mail application, and other options and information. Each state has its own voting rules and requirements, so be sure you’re correctly informed for your state.
Does it take a long time to register? That’s a common myth. With all the necessary credentials, you can often be approved and officially registered within about a week, and the majority of the work is the government’s, not yours.
Exercise Your Privilege!
While all U.S. citizens (with a few exceptions) are granted the right to vote, it should still be viewed as a privilege. Many minority men, and women of ALL ethnicities are still only one generation removed from having no voice. We must remember the sacrifices of our ancestors and take very seriously this privilege they fought so hard for us to have.
Resources for Citizens and Leaders
In collaboration with Diversity & Inclusion, we’ve created the “I Vote Because…” campaign. Download the flyer here to learn how you can spread the word and get out the vote. The message is this: we all represent different organizations, different parties, and different perspectives, but what we have in common is respect for differences and a commitment to get out the vote. Collectively we have a stronger voice. With ONE VOICE, we encourage you to cast ONE VOTE.
As a leader, no matter where you stand politically, you can make it known that voting is a privilege, a duty, and an action that COUNTS. If anyone needs convincing, Wikipedia has a great page on close election results.
And what can we all do? We can promote dignity and respect by using the facts and standing up and speaking out. Volunteer, attend, or support national and/or local efforts. Tell others how you did your part. Encourage others to join your efforts. And to get that all started – make sure you’re registered to vote on November 8th!
Whatever your thoughts are on Hillary Clinton, her nomination for President of the United States by a major political party is a powerful piece in history. While research shows that women compete equally with men on the political playing field, we’re now watching a female candidate compete for the highest position in the country for the first time.
What makes this so powerful?
Most of us have some personal understanding that positively representing different types of people in our media, politics, and workplaces is a good thing. When we nominate a woman for president, we prove to the ambitious school girl that a future as our country’s leader can be real for her. When Laverne Cox takes a public platform, we tell transgendered people that their conversations are not only valid, but important and valuable to us as a society. And when our companies have strong workers and leaders who come from diverse backgrounds, we send the message that success is not limited to one specific type of person. Not only does representation empower those who have traditionally been denied a voice, it encourages all of us to learn about people we might not understand, or who are different from us.
And in an increasingly global world and economy, learning from and communicating with people who are different from us is by no means logistically difficult. It’s also proven to make us better workers, communicators, and teams.
When we look at the benefits of workplace diversity, it becomes clear how much representation really matters. A 2012 study by Dow Jones compared gender makeup of leadership in successful and unsuccessful companies, finding that a higher percentage of women in senior executive roles was tied to greater financial success. A McKinsey analysis found that companies with greater gender diversity were 15% more likely to outperform more homogenous companies, and those with greater ethnic diversity were 35% more likely to outperform. If we apply these statistics to any one of our organizations, our organizations come out stronger – and smarter.
Different Perspectives Make Innovative Teams
The fact of the matter is, pairing diversity of expertise with social diversity makes for diversity of information: creative thinking, stronger problem solving, nuanced decision-making, and perspectives capable of unearthing opportunities that might never have seen the light of day. If you want an innovative team, you need those perspectives. If you want to continue attracting – and keeping – the best talent, it’s not about filling a quota, although those targets may be in place. It’s about knowing what qualities you need and when you need them, and then considering ALL of your best candidates for both their skills and the valuable perspectives they bring to the table. And it’s about letting those candidates use their voice.
As a leader, you have the unique opportunity to not only build up diverse, qualified teams, but to give your organization the competitive advantage in our increasingly global world. The decisions you make in hiring, promoting, and utilizing your employees’ skillsets and knowledge not only go a long way in promoting dignity and respect, they put you in a position of promoting truly successful business.
These decisions always begin with dignity and respect, which encourage us to seek out and recognize the ability and potential in those you bring into your organization. If you’d like to learn more about the importance of representation and diversity in the workplace and how to Lead the Way, we offer workshops for leaders with these goals. The sharp, innovative organizations of the future are only possible when ALL of our differences are taken into consideration – and when the minds we seek to hire someday can see themselves in the shoes of someone who is already there.
Another day, another news story flashed across the TV screen. The computer screen. The phone screen. Through technology, the world is with us more than ever before.
On one hand, this connectedness is crucial. Widespread publication of violent and unjust acts can help show what patterns of violence exist, or how inconsistencies occur in receiving justice. Violence and prejudice that were once brushed under the rug are now being brought to light. On the other hand, technology’s role in displaying this evidence across our news feeds can make bad news feel overwhelming, even inescapable. And it is hard to know what we can do, individually and as organizations, to make a change.
Finding Common Ground
We can start to work towards change by finding common ground. Each of us feels a different level of personal hurt and degree of responsibility to the violent events we see played out across the news. Even though no one processes the world in the same way – we each have unique lenses and filters dictated by our personal experiences – every one of us is still processing. By learning about and understanding the lenses and filters that others process the events through, we can develop a richer understanding of why people feel and act in certain ways. While this may not explain the causes of violence, it can certainly help to explain the varied reactions people take, and help us all find ways to grieve and heal as a community.
As a human resources team member, executive, or business owner, you know that the shock and emotional reactions to community violence don’t always stay at home. The tools we use as individuals to piece through those emotions are hugely valuable in the workplace, where diverse minds have the potential to come together for good. Coming together doesn’t necessarily mean agreeing, but it does mean providing space for discussion, learning, and listening. Not only do these things promote positive change, they promote a safe, caring, and productive work environment for all. So how can you, as a leader, facilitate individual and organizational healing following an episode of community violence?
Help Your Organization:
- Listen. Help others to see listening and gaining awareness of new viewpoints as a crucial learning tool.
- Promote honest sharing. Encourage team members to be honest about how events affect them, or how they don’t.
- Reiterate that it is not one person’s responsibility to question the validity of another person’s experience, particularly if that person feels hurt.
- Stress to your team that recognizing each other’s differences is a strength. It is a way to understand how to work with one another for the good of each person and for the good of the group.
- Designate spaces appropriate for conversation. As a leader, determine how to facilitate, or whether facilitation is necessary.
- As appropriate, provide resources or resource outlets for further education.
From the Workplace to the World
Finding common ground isn’t accomplished without difficulty. But if we can agree that the solution to injustices is to respect one another and find where our values overlap, we are one step closer to achieving dignity and respect for all – in the world, in the home, and in the workplace.
Every news catch-up and Internet search is a reminder that there is work to be done – so much of it.
But each of us is in a position to respond, help ourselves, and help our fellow citizens heal and become stronger. As a leader, you have the unique power to promote these skills and values that benefit more than just your organization. Do your part. Learn from your colleagues and help them to learn from each other. Healing begins with you.
Mattell recently announced they would be introducing a wide variety of new body types to their Barbie line. These include curvy, petite and tall as a well as a variety of new skin tones and hairstyles.
“Barbie reflects the world girls see around them. Her ability to evolve and grow with the times, while staying true to her spirit, is central to why Barbie is the number one fashion doll in the world” -Richard Dickson, President and Chief Operating Officer Mattell
Sam, an Autistic Teen from Toronto thought his movement disorder would prevent him from ever being a barista. After landing a job at Starbucks, Sam’s manager Chris Ali realized his movements could be channeled into playful dancing. This led to a viral video of Sam being taken, an appearance on the Ellen show, and a big self-esteem boost for a wonderful young man.
“Sam has a such a big heart and he’s made me a better person” -Chris Ali, Sam’s manager
Imagine it: you work for an organization that you love and that pays you well. You love the team you work with and even though the work is grueling and difficult, you enjoy it immensely. You dedicate yourself to both the company and your peers. You rise in the morning ready for the day’s challenges and you go to sleep at night feeling fulfilled.
But then you learn that another team in your organization – who does the exact same work as yours – is getting paid more. Significantly more. In fact, you are compensated only a quarter of what the other team is.
What do you do? How do you react? Do you fight for equality?
The Harsh Truth
This scenario might sound outrageous, but it’s a reality for the players who make up the US women’s soccer team. Despite their global success (three World Cup championships and four Olympic championships, for instance), these women are paid less than half of what the members of the men’s team are paid. According to goalkeeper Hope Solo, the men’s players “get paid more to just show up than we get paid to win major championships.”
Some people might attempt to explain this wage gap by making the argument that the men’s US soccer team draws in more dollars than the women’s since typically, more people watch male-dominated sports. But in 1999, when the women played the World Cup in the United States, they set records for both attendance and viewership. Then last year, the final World Cup women’s match between the US and Japan was seen by 25.4 million viewers on Fox, which broke yet another record for a men’s or women’s soccer game. Additionally, just last year alone, the women’s team raised $20 million more in revenue than the men’s team did. So why the difference in wage?
Ladies Leading the Way
Because of the consistent wage disparity between the women and men soccer players, five women on the team filed a lawsuit on behalf of their entire team. They are charging U.S. Soccer, the sport’s governing body, for wage discrimination; their case has been submitted to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Carli Lloyd, the team’s MVP at the World Cup, stated in an interview: “We have been quite patient over the years with the belief that the federation would do the right thing and compensate us fairly.” Now she and a few of her teammates are bringing the issue to the public’s attention in order to call out the U.S. Soccer federation for allowing the wage gap to persist.
How You Can Lead the Way
By stepping up and filing a complaint, the five players of the US women’s soccer team are serving as champions – not only for their fellow team members and for other professional women athletes, but also for women in general. On average, women in the United States to date still make around 78 cents for every dollar that a man earns. Only by rallying together to talk about these disparities can progress be achieved. One way to participate in this specific issue is to sign this petition to voice your support for the US women’s team.
But aside from wage gaps, what other discrepancies are present in the workplace? What other inequalities are worth confronting – and are you, as an organization, prepared to do it?
This is what the Dignity & Respect Campaign’s Lead the Way initiative is truly about – both challenging and recognizing organizations, institutions, and even communities who treat others with dignity and respect. To join this initiative, be sure to sign up for our newsletters and stay current with our monthly projects and objectives.
Your organization can help to make the world a better place. Start today.
ABOUT THE PRACTITIONERS
Tami Minnier had the responsibility of caring for other living beings for as long as she can remember. Growing up on a 300-acre dairy farm in northwest Pennsylvania, she milked cows and had her first horse by the time she was five years old.
When she was just two months old, her father suffered a heart attack, adding to the degree of responsibility she felt as a young girl on the farm. “We were told, ‘Your dad might not live long,’ and because of that, I was drawn to medicine and drawn to health care,” Tami said.
These transformative experiences influenced Tami’s career at every stage as she now serves as the Chief Quality Officer for UPMC, responsible for the patient experience of individuals who are receiving care at more than 20 hospitals in the region. Drawing from them has allowed her to put authentic care at the forefront of her leadership style and initiatives, which all center on treating patients as the unique individuals they are.
Her passion for patient safety stemmed from her partnership and friendship with Sorrel King, mother of Josie King, a child who tragically died at Hopkins in 2001 as a result of a medical error. Tami listened to the mother speak at a forum and it revolutionized the way she thought of patient care.
“Sitting in the audience, I was so struck by two things. Josie died the same month my son was born. We were talking about rapid response teams and Sorrel sat there and said, ‘Why can’t I call one of those? I am the mom.’ I listened to her say that and I thought, ‘She is right—why can’t she?’” Tami said.
At the time, Tami returned to UPMCand told her staff, “We need to let families call rapid response teams.”
“They thought I had lost my mind and I needed to go back to where I was. It was such a paradigm shift. I picked up the phone, I called Sorrel King, who didn’t know me from Adam, and said, ‘I was one of the 5,000 people you spoke to and I was wondering if you would like to come to Pittsburgh and talk to me about it because I would like to give it a shot.’ It’s all kind of history from there.”
What evolved from that experience and those conversations is now called Condition H, which means: Condition Help, at UPMC hospitals. It allows caregivers to call for emergency help within the hospital without needing to wait for a clinician to make the decision. Between 500-600 hospitals in the United States have adopted Condition Help since Tami first established it at UPMC hospitals.
“It was one of my first very strong labors of love of empowering patients and families, particularly when you think about little ones and older people – they are the most vulnerable and people need to be able to advocate for themselves.”
Amy Ranier lived in Pittsburgh until the age of 7 before her family moved to the state of Indiana. A second generation communications professional, her father oversaw public relations for Purdue University.
Like Tami, Amy loves and cares for animals, specifically raising horses. “I have kids who are 7 and 9 and they ride, too. It’s something I have done my whole life and it’s a good outlet,” Amy said.
As Senior Director of Patient Experience for UPMC, Amy leads enterprise-level initiatives to improve patient engagement through effective education and communication, patient satisfaction improvement and shared decision making. Amy’s team facilitates the incorporation of patient and family input into all health care initiatives to drive change and cultural evolution within the organization. By using quantitative and qualitative data to develop strategy, the team works to improve the experience of UPMC’s patients and their families.
Amy is also the Director of The Beckwith Institute, a grant organization whose primary goal is to fund both immediate and long-term changes that significantly improve health care.
What’s Amy’s motivation on a daily basis? Both her colleagues and the patients UPMC serves.
Amy is proud of the work they have been able to accomplish as a team, particularly when it comes to transforming UPMC’s culture. “We are very good at a lot of things, but while kindness, compassion, dignity and respect may have been engrained in individual people, it wasn’t a part of the organization-wide conversation. You can’t focus on patient satisfaction unless you look at employees and see how we treat each other,” Amy said. “It is a work in progress and as much as we have seen an enormous amount of change, I can’t believe how quickly it has happened. But that change takes time. You can have most people on board with you, but it takes time to change a culture.”
“We have the right people at the table,” Amy said.
As part of our Leading The Way in Patient Care series featuring UPMC we conducted an interview with Chief Quality Officer Tami Minnier and Senior Director of Patient Experience Amy Ranier. They spoke on the CHRIS model and other ways UPMC is Leading The Way in Patient Care.
Q&A with Tami Minnier and Amy Ranier
Q: How important is process to your approach to patient care?
A: Tami: Every patient care process is designed to deliver the right result. What we know is that there are many processes in healthcare that are broken. My passion to learn about process has been for me to take that knowledge, bring it back into healthcare and patient care situations, and say, “We are not succeeding here because we don’t have the right process.” What is the best process to help that nurse on Saturday night know who to call? Is it to add five minutes to their new employee orientation when they are being barraged by 500 other people with new information? Or is it a simple phone number? All you have to remember is UPMC’s CHRIS Hotline for Patient Needs. What is a more effective design for sustainable, reliable performance?
Sadly, most health care professions have had no training in process. We are critically trained to the high heavens, but when you want to try to help clinicians understand process, some of them are as naive to say, “Well, you just tell people to do it.”
That is the key to our success. You have to have clinical credibility with your audience, but the knowledge of process is critical. If you don’t build a process well in health care, or restaurant management, you are not going to have good outcomes.
Q: What is unique about the way you gather feedback?
A: Amy: We survey at 100 percent of our patients, above and beyond what is required by law, because we want the feedback. We do this because we want to, and we use that feedback as basis for change. Every comment gets read, which includes about 8,000 a month just for physician office visits. We post all of the outpatient physician ratings and comments on UPMC.com.
Q: What is unique about the way employees are held accountable in terms of living these values?
A: Amy: The employees on the frontlines are the ones providing compassionate care, and this shows their work is valid. If someone isn’t living our values, they cannot stay here. We are held to a standard and if you don’t show you live the values, you must change that if you want to stay here
Q: Tami, you are a clinician by background but Amy comes out of marketing. How does Amy’s background in marketing contribute to the success of your efforts?
A: Tami: One of the key things about marketing is that it is fundamentally a communication science. How do you communicate better to convey a feeling and a message? When you think about all of the patient experiences, one of the number one issues is that we need to communicate better. They might say, “People didn’t understand what I was saying.” Amy’s knowledge of that has been amazing because she brings a completely different skillset to the table than our clinicians.
That is probably why our partnership has been so good. I will be talking about something we should do and she plays it back to me through her lens. Before you know it, we have a good clinical concept that has been put through a communications lens to be able to say, “This is how we could use it, this is how it would feel, or maybe we should use this word instead of this one.” She translates it in a way that clinicians can understand, but also in a way that patients can understand.
Q: Who inspires you?
A: Tami: At home, my inspiration has always been my parents or my son. I have a very small family, but my parents were incredible and my mom is still alive and she has my back every day. My son is 15 and he is such a good, good kid. We are very close and I am very blessed to have him.
Q: What keeps you going?
A: Tami: Interacting with patients is what keeps me going—making a difference for patients. I love my team. I would be nothing without the folks who work with me. I have been very blessed to have good colleagues.
Q: What are your passions outside of work?
A: Tami: Today, I still love to read, especially mystery novels. That brings me a lot of joy. I love being outside, so I love to be out walking, digging in the dirt and planting flowers. Anything that is outside and interacting with the environment. Most recently, I have started to bake more, particularly cupcakes. I am working on making the world’s best cupcake.
Q: What is in store for the future?
A: Tami: I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up. I have a passion for patients and for making healthcare better, so I am going to keep doing that. I have a deep rooted passion for making things better and resolving problems.
Q: What is your motivation?
A: Amy: A lot of it is entirely the people I work with and the belief that we are working to make things better for patients, employees and the community we serve. Tami is an inspirational leader and there are so many people like that here. My entire focus is, “How do we make things better for our patients?” That’s what gets me here.