Core Leadership Competencies

Healthy Cultures

Develops dynamic faculty cultures that promotes professional wellness, cohesive teams and the retention of faculty talent

Attributes  |  Assessment Questions  |  FAQ  |  Pediatric Leadership Insights  |  Additional Resources


  • A Healthy Culture (HC) builds trusting relationships that realize and foster the potential of everyone.
  • Your organizations character is defined by the health of your culture.
  • A HC enhances relational practices that improve communication and collaboration.
  • Effective leaders instigate and support practices that encourage a HC among faculty and leadership – moving your organization towards positive “C- Change” (Culture-Change).
  • Creating a HC requires investment, persistence, repetition, & intention.
  • The Values and Principles of an organization with a HC help to define the workplace atmosphere and how anyone joining your organization can be expected to be treated.  (Examples – transparency, integrity, compassion, excellence in clinical care, community service, etc.).
  • A HC supports the building of professional skills of faculty and staff.
  • A HC demonstrates concern over faculty personal success and well-being.
  • A HC supports programs that establish on-boarding and mentorship programs.
  • Consistent understanding of the established core values of the culture.
  • A HC allows for adaptability in times of significant external change or challenge (i.e. COVID, environmental disasters…).
  • A HC actively champion and supports a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Assessment Questions

  • Do you currently believe that your program’s culture can be described as healthy?
  • What key words would you use to describe the current culture?
  • What five initiatives could you start that would enhance the culture of your program?
  • What programs have you developed to actively promote diversity, equity and inclusion?
  • Do faculty wellness programs exist? Are they structured, evaluated, etc.? Are your faculty actively involved in these programs?
  • Describe the top retention challenge that your program faces.
  • What initiatives have you led to improve faculty retention?
  • What programs have you either developed or utilized for faculty professional development?
  • What mechanisms do you utilize for provider satisfaction, performance of meaningful exit interviews, process to resolve disputes?
  • What measures have you enacted to ensure your culture continues to be healthy in the face of ongoing COVID and/or other external challenges?



Does your department mission/vision statement(s) demonstrate core values of support for a HC?

Every leader working with the faculty and staff to define the mission and vision for the organization needs to articulate the core values and principles that will ignite and inspire the community. Generally, 5- 7 values are selected to serve this purpose and every initiative, program, hire, action are guided by these values. This can be some of the hardest work for any new leader but the time and effort taken to first assess the health of your organizations culture and then to articulate the goal of making change that will develop a HC are critical skills of a successful leader.

Do you share, honor and celebrate on a regular basis the core cultures of your organization?

Just as every initiative must align to the vision and values it is imperative that the organization reinforces these values by sharing success stories, honoring achievements and celebrating both small and large steps of every new initiative. Faculty and staff need to be recognized for their contributions and how their actions have been critical to any achievement. Communication must be often and open – no one should fear sharing ideas or barriers that are impeding success. Fear of retaliation should never be tolerated nor occur.

Pediatric Leadership Insight

  • Strategies for Building Clinical Research - Pediatric Insight: Passing Leadership Wisdom To The Next Generation Topic: Strategies for Building Clinical Research Our goal as pediatricians is to improve patient care and outcomes. Our panel discusses how and why clinical research is critical to that goal. We also emphasize how clinical research improves interactions among faculty; extends collaboration to other departments; schools, […]
  • Responsibilities of the Chair of a Search Committee - Pediatric Insight: Passing Leadership Wisdom To The Next Generation Topic: Responsibilities of the Chair of a Search Committee Clarity in understanding the responsibilities of the Chair of a Search Committee is important to a successful process. The goal of the process is to identify the best candidate for the position that is to be filled. This […]
  • Fostering Healthy Cultures - Pediatric Insight: Passing Leadership Wisdom To The Next Generation Topic: Fostering Healthy Cultures Every leader working with faculty and staff to define the mission and vision for the organization needs to articulate the core values and principles that will ignite and inspire the community. A #1 priority is providing a positive work and learning environment that […]

Additional Resources


Osseo-Asare A, Balasuriya L, Huot SJ, Keene D, Berg D, Nunez-Smith M, Genao I, Latimore D, Boatright D. Minority Resident Physicians’ Views on the Role of Race/Ethnicity in Their Training Experiences in the Workplace. JAMA Netw Open. 2018 Sep 7;1(5):e182723. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.2723. PMID: 30646179; PMCID: PMC6324489.

Burns KEA, Pattani R, Lorens E, Straus SE, Hawker GA. The impact of organizational culture on professional fulfillment and burnout in an academic department of medicine. PLoS One. 2021 Jun 9;16(6):e0252778. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0252778. PMID: 34106959; PMCID: PMC8189486.

Bunton SA, Corrice AM, Pollart SM, Novielli KD, Williams VN, Morrison LA, Mylona E, Fox S. Predictors of workplace satisfaction for U.S. medical school faculty in an era of change and challenge. Acad Med. 2012 May;87(5):574-81. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31824d2b37. PMID: 22450175.

Pololi L, Kern DE, Carr P, Conrad P, Knight S. The Culture of Academic Medicine: Faculty Preceptions of the Lack of Alignment between Individual and Institutional Values. J Gen Intern Med 2009 Dec;24(12):1289-1295. Doi:10.1007/s11606-009-1131-5

Pololi L, Conrad P, Knight S, Carr P. A Study of the Relational Aspects of the Culture of Academic Medicine. Acad Med. 2009; 84:106-114.

Zimmermann EM, Mramba LK, Gregoire H, Dandar V, Limacher MC, Good ML. Characteristics of Faculty at Risk of Leaving Their Medical Schools: An Analysis of the StandPoint™ Faculty Engagement Survey. J Healthc Leadersh. 2020 Jan 8;12:1-10. doi: 10.2147/JHL.S225291. PMID: 32021533; PMCID: PMC6955602.


Jameson, C. (2016) Creating a Healthy Work Environment. Balboa Press.

Booysen, LAE & Gill, P. (2020) Creating a culture of inclusion through diversity and equity. In Viera, A. J., & Kramer, R. Management and leadership skills for medical faculty: A practical handbook. Springer.

Webinar: Transforming Institutional Culture: Assessment and Intervention NIH’s Dr. Hannah Valantine and the AAMC’s Dr. David Acosta discuss organizational approaches to effect culture change.