WCHOB’s Coffee Talk Percolates Engagement

Released: 11/30/2010
WCHOB employees enjoy treats provided by the Culture Club.

“Thanks for making us feel appreciated!” Ellen Eckhardt, PICU RN at Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, said of the WCHOB’s Culture Club.

According to Lauren Brand, administrative support specialist and Culture Club’s organizer, the Culture Club’s aim is to get staff involved, engaged, and excited about their workplace.  The group focuses on core values and behaviors that will strengthen the environment for patients, families, and staff.  One way in which staff members are engaged is through Coffee Talk.

What is Coffee Talk?  A group of Culture Club members take a cart of refreshments to a different floor of the hospital once a month.  Each month the Kaleida behaviors are promoted on tags that are attached to chocolate covered spoons or on labels placed on candies or snacks.  The casual atmosphere creates a comfortable setting where staff have a chance to share feedback about their experiences in the hospital.

Employees are sometimes skeptical that the coffee and goodies come with no strings attached.  It is true though, and the Culture Club emphasizes that this free service is based on the idea that happy employees translate to happy patients and high satisfaction scores.

Perhaps one of the most unique features of Coffee Talk, however, is that it intentionally includes the night shift.  “We hit the entire night shift quarterly,” Lauren explained.  The rounds are usually done around 9:00 p.m. to midnight.  David Vari, WCHOB human resources generalist and Culture Club member, said that one of the more common comments he hears is, “This snack will help me get through the night!”

Ellen, mentioned above, works nights and eagerly shared her Coffee Talk experience: “I was at work one night, and our supervisor came around to tell us that there were some special treats for us in the lounge.  I have to say right then and there it gave me a happy feeling to look forward to a treat the Culture Club had shared with us.  When I had a free moment, I was able to enjoy the generosity of a group of individuals who are really making a difference.”

For more information on Culture Club or how the Coffee Talk works, give Lauren a call, 878-7406.