Commitment, support for colleagues and a touch of humor put Matt Phillips in the spotlight
You work harder if you feel appreciated, if you feel like you have ownership.January 16, 2019
Photo by Anne Rayner
Credo Award recipient Matt Phillips makes those he serves his highest priority, and that includes his staff. Phillips, a pharmacist supervisor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Service’s Inpatient Pharmacy, interacts with those in his department and the people they serve to improve efficiency, morale and trust in the pharmacy team.
“Obviously, our job first and foremost is about the patient,” Phillips said. “But you can’t take care of your patients if you don’t trust each other and you don’t have a good team. That’s why I try to instill in the team a sense of ownership, having the right attitude, the right effort.”
Phillips leads the second and third shifts of inpatient pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, but due to a recent vacancy, he filled in for a leadership position on the day shift. Rather than giving half of his attention to each role, he has doubled his efforts to staff both positions, according to his nomination.
“…I really like to spend time focusing, getting to know my team, building that loyalty, making them feel appreciated. You work harder if you feel appreciated, if you feel like you have ownership.”
“His unwavering commitment to superior service and support make the leaderless team feel appreciated and heard while awaiting new management; however, he still checks in with his team members on an individual basis and inquires about their personal lives, work-life balance, and overall job satisfaction,” the nomination says. The vacancy has since been filled.
In the last year, Phillips has overseen a major initiative — expanding decentralized clinic services to after-hours. The move allows expanded patient medication adjustments and lab monitoring after the traditional day shift hours, Phillips said.
Managing overtime has been another big task where Phillips has excelled. He has developed a system where coworkers cover smaller blocks of overtime rather than full shifts, arranging swaps and identifying redundancies. As a result, overtime has dropped by more than half, improving work/life balance for his team members and improving efficiencies in the department.
Through it all, Phillips is recognized for having a personal touch. An avid University of Alabama football fan, he is known to find out his coworker’s favorite teams, and have good-natured talks about sports with each of them.
“I always tell them in our meetings, anyone can make a schedule, anyone can send these emails, do workflow,” he said, “but I really like to spend time focusing, getting to know my team, building that loyalty, making them feel appreciated. You work harder if you feel appreciated, if you feel like you have ownership.”
To place a nomination for an Elevate Credo Award, Five Pillar Leader Award or Team Award, visit the Elevate website to fill out a nomination form. Employees demonstrate credo behaviors when they: make those they serve the highest priority; respect privacy and confidentiality; communicate effectively; conduct themselves professionally; have a sense of ownership; and are committed to their colleagues. Elevate award nominations are accepted year-round. If a nomination is received after the cutoff for quarterly award selection, the nomination will be considered for the next quarter. VUMC Voice will post stories on each of the award winners in the weeks following their announcement.