[VIDEO] Changing culture: Help us choose our new values!

Values are the heart of an organization’s culture. Yet the My VCH survey results showed that 66% of you feel we don’t have meaningful values that we all live by. You also told us that you want a workplace that is caring, encourages learning, and still delivers the results that our patients, clients and residents deserve.

Why do we need new values?

Note: If the video is not working, use Google Chrome as your browser.

Answer a survey about our values!

Where are we today?

We know from the survey results and further feedback that VCH currently emphasizes order through hierarchy and following rules, with a strong focus on achieving financial targets. The culture we want to create is one of supportive leadership that can unlock the creativity that we know exists within all of us at VCH—with a strong focus on our people and innovation—to achieve even better outcomes.

I’m optimistic about our future. This is the beginning of our culture shift. You have my personal commitment to this journey, and to a new way of working that is focused on caring, learning and results. I ask that you join me on this journey by participating in one of the opportunities below.

Mary Ackenhusen
President and CEO

Help choose our new values and win!

What if we started our culture change journey by creating shared values? These values will belong to all of us and will guide our everyday behaviour, from the senior executive team to leaders to frontline staff.

All VCH staff and physicians are invited to vote on our values to help shape a culture of caring, learning and results:

Answer a two-minute online survey by Feb. 28 to enter the prize draw 
You can enter to win a Fitbit, iTunes or Amazon gift card!

Participate in a values huddle with your team by Mar. 15
Ask your manager if a huddle is planned for your team to vote on values together. All teams that participate will have a chance to win a spring pop-up party where food and prizes will be delivered to your unit/department!

Vote on a values poster
Look for a “dot voting” poster in your workspace to vote for your top values.

Lead your own values huddle with your team
Email culture@vch.ca for your DIY values toolkit.

Feel free to print this poster that explains the different ways staff can participate.

Once we’ve selected our top values, we will start the next stage of our journey: bringing our values to life! Watch for My VCH updates and more opportunities to get involved in creating a better VCH for all of us.


  1. Mike Gix says:

    Hi Mary,

    Thanks for the opportunity to add my two cents to the discussion of our VCH values. It is important and is a timely follow-up to the
    My VCH Survey results.

    I completed the Values survey. In the first question It was difficult to choose just two values. I saw three or four that are related and all seem important to creating a caring culture. But I chose two, Partnership and Transparency. I feel these are perhaps the most in need right now.

    When results of the My VCH Survey were announced in December, leadership made a frank admission that the results show a level of disaffection among many employees. Leadership also made what I believe to be a sincere commitment to address this, to begin “acting differently” to foster an atmosphere of greater support and trust, to let staff know they are being listened to. That’s not an easy acknowledgment to make, and I am pleased that leadership is willing to work harder to help keep us all engaged.

    This topic is related to a discussion you initiated in a podcast a few years ago, when you described types of change you hoped to facilitate in the culture at VCH. You gave an example of the excitement we all felt as new-hires, our first day on the job when we were so enthused about our new jobs, our workplace, and our co-workers. Everything seemed wonderful! But, as you mentioned, maybe over time the enthusiasm wanes, the work becomes “just a job”, and we start to wonder whether leadership really “has our backs”. At that time you surmised that this dynamic could be due to past events or practices at VCH which have not always been “people first”.

    I think your observation three years ago was quite accurate Mary, and I believe the dynamic is in the mix currently. Some of the disaffection apparent in the My VCH Survey results may be due to past or ongoing initiatives, wherein despite best intentions, the front-line were not brought along. Now, we all have to work together to fix our internal processes for better results. Change takes time, and we know that important decisions and improvements to VCH services can’t wait until we figure out the perfect way to implement them.

    Still, I believe that leadership at the very top level can make a big difference for the better by setting the tone for future change initiatives. Regarding the My VCH Survey results in December you wrote in an article in the VCH News,

    “Overall, we heard loud and clear that we need to go back to basics, and that you want to be involved in decisions that impact you.”

    That is the heart of it for me. If leadership could only take one conclusion from the complex and fascinating analysis of the My VCH Survey results, I would want it to be what you expressed in that one sentence. Staff should be involved in decisions that impact them.

    So why did I chose Partnership and Transparency? Partnership because it conveys cooperation and shared effort, as well as a sense of equality among us all, even though we’re working at different levels. Transparency because it is a basic of effective communication. Transparency fosters trust, and allows partners equal access to the important information needed to inform decisions and actions.

    I look forward to hearing what values others have identified that will make us a more cohesive and effective bunch.

    Mike Gix

    1. Mary Ackenhusen says:

      hi Mike – thanks for your thoughtful reply and validation that we’re on the right track! A caring, learning, results-driven organization (these are the 3 categories of values) – sounds pretty good to me too!


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