Helping People Focus On What They Do Well

November 09, 2018
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Sergio Buth, Organizational Development Specialist for Memorial Healthcare System, has a refreshing take on work hierarchies. He believes that every role matters when it facilitates a positive outcome.

He imparts this philosophy on all new Memorial employees from day one. Sergio and his team encourage employees to value themselves and the work they do throughout their careers at Memorial.

“I have the pleasure of interacting with our human resource capital and giving opportunities to them to enhance their best skills so that they can contribute in their roles. When they give their best, the end result is automatic,” says Sergio, who was born in Suriname.

Sergio’s first job was in the service industry, washing dishes and cleaning rooms for a hotel. Though he started at the bottom, he knew that his output made a difference. He had a knack, too, for instilling pride in fellow employees who held similar positions.

“I had conversations with people to switch the perception of simply doing dirty work and focus on the outcome. It wasn’t just a job about cleaning. Thanks to them, our customers ate from clean plates. When plates and glasses were clean, our wait staff had fewer dissatisfied customers. It added to our bottom line because we had fewer refunds. The same with my housekeepers. When we took pride in delivering the room to someone who came in after a long trip and didn’t feel grossed out by something we overlooked, then we had contributed to a positive state. That was how I saw the job. Little did I know that after getting my masters in hospitality management, that would become my track. For me, it was part of a growth path,” Sergio says.

After earning his degree, he accepted a job at a consulting firm, where he learned about organizational development. Later he moved to academia and government before transitioning into healthcare.
February 2019 will mark Sergio’s ninth year at Memorial. His commitment to continued education and his unwavering support of mindful human interaction have reinforced Memorial’s mission of excellence.

“Caring is not a given. It’s a commitment. You have to be intentional,” he says.

Consistent with his growth path and general positive outlook, Sergio helps Memorial’s people focus on what they do well. With his team, he facilitates Employee Orientation and arranges professional development classes and programs throughout the year. Organizational Development also oversees the Language of Caring Initiative, “a system-wide approach with consistent modules that bring all employees to a common method of interacting with others, from clinical to nonclinical areas, patient to non-patient interactions, that demonstrate high levels of care.”

Leaders and staff can customize examples learned here for specific departmental or work area situations. One such module addresses the tendency to prioritize completing a task over interacting with a patient on a personal level. With this example and the numerous learning opportunities presented through the year, Sergio reminds staff to take neither their responsibilities nor themselves for granted.

“One thing I am grateful for is the ability to work for a healthcare system that invests in their employees’ growth and development the way Memorial does,” says Sergio. “That makes me proud to be part of the team.”