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BioTissue: Transforming Organizational Culture through Courage, Collaboration, & Communication

   

Fostering a trusted and caring culture of donation is paramount to the work we do at Donate Life America. Read more about how BioTissue, a Donate Life Partner, has embraced the cause of donation as a part of their organizational culture while also working to improve employee engagement and satisfaction.

BioTissue was born of a life-changing need – to help physicians heal wounds and chronic pain in their patients with unprecedented efficacy. By harnessing the power of human birth tissue donated by compassionate mothers, our trusted products, which have anti-inflammation and anti-scarring properties, help patients heal faster and bring the body back to its original state¹-². For most patients, BioTissue is another chance at life; if their goal is to “get better,” we aim for “better than ever.”

In 2023, BioTissue prioritized developing our organizational culture – the set of values, beliefs, attitudes, systems, and rules that outline and influence our employees’ behavior while ensuring our commitment to fostering a trusted and caring culture of donation. Our organizational culture is built on a strong connection to the lifesaving and healing work of donation and striving to understand and provide what our employees need to be successful in the workplace. 

By understanding the needs of our employees, educating ourselves on how to meet their needs, and creating opportunities for employee engagement, we can optimize our organizational culture. Cultivating a strong organizational culture requires the courage to be vulnerable to the thoughts, desires, and opinions of our teammates, which, at times, can be hard to hear. However, we were willing to improve and believed our employees were the best people to collaborate and communicate with to start achieving this goal.

Educate & Understand

Recently, BioTissue participated in the Great Place to Work certification process – a platform to help leaders and organizations create a positive employee experience. Through this work, we identified the need to better understand the needs of our employees and to identify gaps to better unlock our potential as an organization. So, with this feedback in mind, we created a new set of Core Values that spoke to our intention for improvement:

  • We CARE for donors, patients, providers, and our people
  • We Build Trust
  • We Take Ownership
  • We Deliver Excellence
  • We are ONE TEAM

Alongside our core values, BioTissue developed a Culture Statement to define the essence of our culture and planned activities to help us understand our gaps and create collaborative solutions driven by our staff and supported by our leadership.

BioTissue became Great Place to Work certified in 2023 through high and consistent scores on a robust survey that demonstrated the opinions of our employees when it came to engagement and how things are functioning at the company. 

Integrate Donation Culture

From the beginning of our culture journey, it was clear that BioTissue needed to establish a culture of donation that would include all aspects of the organization. This is captured in our first Core Value, We Care for donors, patients, providers, and our people. Foundational characteristics of this Core Value are compassion, appreciation, respect, and empowerment. We needed to create a connection to the gift and an awareness that everything we do starts with the decision of a donor mom to make a generous donation and leave a legacy of hope and healing for those in need of regenerative therapies. This understanding would help us assure that everyone was clear that donated birth tissue is a gift and not merely raw materials utilized for end product production. 

Our next step in advancing the culture of donation was making a conscious investment in a partnership with Donate Life America (DLA). Our partnership has provided opportunities to amplify the message of donation throughout BioTissue and utilize the Donate Life brand, connecting the recognizable symbol and messaging to our websites and outward facing collateral materials. We also embraced and incorporated National Donor Day and National Donate Life Month activities to celebrate the gifts of donation and began supporting local events sponsored by other donation organizations in our communities. Donate Life America has also enabled us to elevate the birth tissue donation conversation nationally by offering a spotlight of BioTissue in their DLA Insider newsletter and a presentation opportunity at their 2023 Annual Conference. 

A few examples of gift culture activities we’ve provided to our staff include:

  • Ice cream social for National Donor Day.
  • Donate Life Flag Raising Ceremony presented by our CEO.
  • Donate Life cupcake decorating.
  • 75 Butterfly Release representing up to 75 lives changed by just one birth tissue donation.
  • Donor Mom Storyboard and Video featuring one of our donor mom champions.
  • Blue & Green Day celebration with an ice cream truck and DLA Promotions prizes for best dressed.
  • Donate Life Rock Painting and Pizza Party.
  • Blue & Green Pet Contest with prizes for best cat, best dog, and best “other” pet. 
  • Healthcare Hero Award nominated by BioTissue employees and presented to a staff member or internal partner who exemplifies the definition of a Healthcare Hero.
  • Team BioTissue participated in a 5K run sponsored by our local Organ Procurement Organization. 
  • Light-Up BioTissue in Blue & Green for National Donate Life Month.

Check out the video of our Living Donor Day Butterfly Release Ceremony: https://vimeo.com/815013883

Create Opportunities for Engagement

BioTissue has prioritized brainstorming and engagement opportunities for all employees to have a voice in developing strong, well-thought-out solutions to improve our company culture. Some of these opportunities include:

  • Creating BioSphere, our company intranet, which includes departmental pages created and edited by departmental page owners with an interactive posting component for collaborative communication throughout our organization. 
  • Forming Mini-Breakthrough Culture Teams in four key areas needing improvement: Welcoming, Developing, Sharing, and Speaking. 
    • Welcoming: First impressions are everything! We wanted to take BioTissue’s onboarding and welcoming process to the next level through working on improvements to new hire orientation, onboarding resources, and creating meaningful connections to our people and our purpose so that our new talent experiences the power of working at BioTissue from day one.
    • Developing: This Mini-Breakthrough team focused on identifying and exploring new initiatives to support employee training and development that aligns with BioTissue’s commitment to delivering excellence. Some examples of initiatives the team worked towards were mentoring, career paths, internal training improvements, and more. 
    • Sharing: For those who had a passion for fostering a fair and transparent work environment, staff had the unique opportunity to contribute their ideas and feedback to the communication planning, content, and design for the rollout of BioTissue’s updated compensation program.
    • Speaking: We needed to be more intentional about communicating transparently to BioTissue employees. While we had already made some improvements in this area, this was an opportunity to contribute ideas to how we could continue upping our game with internal communications, leadership accessibility, and ensuring that all employees were on the same page as we continued to navigate our ever-growing landscape as one team.
  • Changing our Human Resources department name to People and Culture to better align with our organizational commitment to our employees and organizational culture.
  • Continuing to send out trust surveys to our employees as a part of the Great Place to Work platform to ensure we are “getting it right” as we move forward with initiatives. 
  • Engaging the entire company in Spirit Week activities to encourage collaboration and engagement, which also included the directing and producing of departmental videos to share. 
  • Developing an “elevator speech” with our internal birth tissue acquisition program, Sharing Miracles. The purpose of the “elevator speech” is to explain and amplify our dedication to the gifts of birth tissues, and it is displayed on our walls and at our desks as a reminder of the generosity of all who have donated birth tissue and changed the lives of so many through regenerative medicine.

Transform Organizational Culture

Through all these ways and more, BioTissue has developed a collaborative plan for continuous growth of our organizational culture and our culture of donation. As per our Core Values, we are listening to understand and taking ownership of our organizational culture, so we can adapt, innovate, and grow. One Team! 

Learn more about BioTissue and Sharing Miracles at www.biotissue.com and www.sharingmiracles.com

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References:
  1.  Bemenderfer TB, Anderson RB, Odum SM, Davis WH. Effects of Cryopreserved Amniotic Membrane-Umbilical Cord Allograft on Total Ankle Arthroplasty Wound Healing. J Foot Ankle Surg. 2019 Jan;58(1):97-102.
  2.  Tan EK, Cooke M, Mandrycky C, et al. Structural and Biological Comparison of Cryopreserved and Fresh Amniotic Membrane Tissues. Journal of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering. 2014; 4: 379-88.