034 – Building a Mission Employees Follow | Steve Long

Steve Long is the President and CEO of Hancock Regional Hospital, where he has helped develop a unique culture of inspired and engaged employees. Before taking over the reins at Hancock, he served for 20 years in various healthcare leadership roles across the country.

The motto at Hancock Hospital is, “what a blessing it is to work in a place where we love people for a living.” This motto, coupled with their goal to be nationally recognized for kindness, has created a special culture of caring. A culture that is so tangible, you can actually feel the difference as you walk through the doors.

Steve is a strong believer in creating and living by a core mission statement—in your organization and also in your personal life. Ask yourself what your personal mission is by asking what kind of legacy do you want to leave?

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Hire the right people. The key to hiring is to focus on selecting individuals with strong character, attitude, and aptitude. These traits are hard, if not impossible, to teach. Technical skills, on the other hand, can easily be trained.
  2. Track goals and progress. Create accountability by implementing a system to break down objectives into measurable steps. In Steve’s system, every leader has a visible metrics board for their team, and each team has unique goals and a 90-day action plan. This action-plan is broken down further into the KPIs that track for individual and team clarity. Adopt a similar system for your organization to ensure everyone is clear on their role and how it fits into the goals of the company.
  3. Build employee ownership. Take some time in a quiet place to think about ways you can help employees feel like owners in your organization. After individual reflection, block time to brainstorm ideas with the entire leadership team. Then, actually put your ideas into action and measure the impact regularly. The more ownership employees feel, the higher the engagement and the stronger the culture will be.

Nikki’s Book Recommendation:


  • Emplify – Are you still using pulse surveys? How about annual questionnaires? If your organization relies on either of these, it’s time to discover Emplify. Emplify has created a new way to measure employee engagement. It’s where CEOs who want to know what’s really happening within a workforce go… to get honest feedback… and to understand what needs to change for people to love their work using simple and trustworthy data.
  • Purple Ink – Purple Ink’s customized HR services will help you make your workspace JoyPowered. Whether you’re looking for help with recruiting, compliance, or leadership training, they listen to what you need and tailor their solutions to you. And look for The JoyPowered Workspace Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts!

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