Patient care may be our core “business”; however, our employees are where we should focus our efforts. Producing high-quality care and optimal outcomes are dependent upon who we have on our team and how we engage them in our overall strategy.
To start with, we need to ensure that our goals and strategic plans are communicated regularly and effectively to our employees, in a way that resonates with them. This means regular conversations with staff, being redundant to get the messages out there and until they are understood. We have heard the evidence that indicates that Rounding and Town Hall Forums are good ways to communicate. Many of you also use tools such as breakfast meetings with new hires or existing employees upon their anniversary dates, as a way to share information and solicit feedback. Be sure to take these opportunities as a time to hear and process what is being shared.
We will know that we have accomplished our goal of effective organisational communication when every employee can tell us in their own words how we are meeting our goals of exceptional care and outcomes.
Listening is an important part of the innovation journey. We need to hear employee feedback, even though it sometimes hard to hear. When we take the time to listen, while we may not always be able to do what our employees suggest, just listening goes a long way. Employee feedback is not only a barometer of innovation but also a good way to get a sense of the readiness and willingness of the organisation to upcoming change, assess the ideas and degree of creativity of the organisation and assess the current level of employee engagement. After all, many of the best innovations start with front line employees. Take the time to harvest these creative ideas.
Health care is a “person” focused industry we can’t get more person-centered than health care. When we, as leaders, listen to the people that are providing the care, it is possible that health care will begin to feel more “person-al” again. Try listening, really listening. It is tough, takes time and can often be hard to listen to. As a leader, I vow to continue to work on improving my listening skills. I think you’ll find that doing so will bring the “person” back to the center of our business. Happy listening.
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