Wednesday, February 16, 2011

why are you hiding?

After taking Max to Oakville Trafalgar Memorial ER last week, my first inclination was to call to tell someone there what a great job the nurses, x-ray techs and doctors had done with Max.  It wasn't to write a blog post about it.  The only reason I wrote a blog post about our experience was because when I tried to find someone to give our positive feedback to, the best I could do was an email address for the public relations department.  I called the ombudsman's office and got a voicemail message that clearly suggested the only folks calling the ombudsman are ones who have complaints.  As a last resort, I figured I would email the hospital CEO to let him or her (??) know what a super job his or her team is doing,  but after searching high and low, I could not find a name or email address anywhere on their website.  Which I found odd.

Why wouldn't the head honcho of any organization want to put his or her hand up and say "heck yeah, the buck stops with me - I'm the leader"?  I know that not every company is facebook and not every CEO is Mark Zuckerberg, but it isn't a lot to ask for the names and contact information of the executive team of any company to be made publicly available in an easily accessible forum (like their website).  I don't say this to pick on the hospital - not by a long shot.  I say this because it is not a unique experience. 

ErinoakKids is in the same boat.  I've done the leg work and tried to speak to the person who runs the place, but only got as far as her executive assistant (a lovely woman).  The lack of transparency is very old fashioned and not with the times at all.  In a world where I can order pizza through my iPad, I expect to be able to at the very least, find the name of the leader of an organization within one click off their company homepage. 

Providing your clients, patients, or users with access to information about the people who run your company is a good thing.  Accessibility to decision makers gives credibility to your organization.  Transparency on how you are structured, do business and who works for you is not going to give away the Caramilk secret and be the death of your business - it will do the opposite. 

Social media is rewriting the rulebook on how companies behave.  Those who continue with the game of hide and seek will be forced to get with the program or even worse, be deemed untrustworthy and left behind.  For all you know, someone out there is trying to pay you a complement or tell you how much they like your product! Wouldn't it be nice to find out directly instead of through a google alert, or twitter?


  1. Anonymous2:27 p.m.

    That sounds reasonable, but I have a sneaking suspicion if you found the 'head cheese', 'the one who makes the big bucks', the 'guy/girl in charge' and shared your positive experience, He/She wouldn't give a rats ass. They are too busy looking at their bottom line and how much their next bonus is going to be, to worry or care about the 'little people' that are actually making their company successful.
    It would be fantastic for those nurses and doctors to get some praise from his or her superior, but it probably never happens. And they have likely chosen their career anyway because they get true satisfaction out of just simply helping people. They would probably rather hear it from you anyway.
    Can you tell I work for a bunch of a-holes?

  2. Lol. Well, as it turns out, the CEO of the hospital was given a copy of my blog post and she loved it. My blog was read out loud at the monthly team meeting as well, and the individuals were absolutely told how much they were appreciated and what a difference they made. You would be surprised how badly people need to hear positive feedback - at all levels of an organization.

  3. Same thing goes for our horrid federal government!

  4. Anonymous2:57 p.m.

    That's great to hear. Positive feedback works for our children and it will work for us grown-ups too. In the company I work for, if we don't meet sales they threaten to take things away from us, instead of making incentives for us to want to increase sales. It's totally counter-productive. I want my candy for going potty too. Your positive feedback will only make those individuals want to continue to do a great job. I know how important it is, I just don't see it happen. I'm looking for a new job. No worries. ;)

  5. Anonymous7:30 p.m.

    Anonymous: If you work in sales, it's going to be like that wherever you go. I'm not saying it's right, but that's sales for you. There's no touchy-feely stuff -- it's produce or get out. The reason for this is that the people who tend to excel at sales are complete sociopaths who will screw over whoever they need to in order to achieve their goals. It might make them terrible people, but it also makes them very good at their jobs. If you're uncomfortable with that environment, I advise you to get out of sales and choose a different career path.

  6. Anonymous7:54 p.m.

    When my kids started school I was surprised by the same thing. No email address for teachers or principal. Parents are directed to call the secretary I understand that there may be a floodgates issue, but they are delaying the inevitable. Teachers will need to communicate with parents through email at some point. It's more efficient and its' in line with how other organizations use technology. I don't have the option of choosing to use outdated technology in my profession and neither should teachers.

    Great to hear your feedback was received and the nurses were given the recognition they deserve.