Recently I had the honor of presenting to the entire staff of an organization I have been working with a Webinar entitled, “Pausing to Recharge”. I was asked to do this because the company, like most in healthcare, are facing enormous challenges, including an uncertain future. These challenges, as expected, were causing many of the staff to be increasing anxious, experiencing a high-stress level, and resulting in increasing work fatigue.
Because of my past educational sessions with them, I was able to remind the team members that we had predicted two or three years ago, like all health care related organizations, that they would be facing significant changes and challenges, due, in part, to a changing political landscape, changing CMS policies and procedures, and declining governmental reimbursements. As I do with all my clients, I reminded them that we said, as a result of their increasing challenges, at times they would feel like they were at the 21st mile of the marathon where numerous runners decide to stop, or at a 1000 feet from the top of the mountain where the oxygen is very low and many climbers give up.
So the staff of this organization, like the many others facing significant change, must ask themselves the question…..
What must we do as a team to be prepared to meet these new challenges, to reduce the anxiety, and to have the energy to reignite our enthusiasm as individuals and teams to finish the marathon and reach the top of the mountain?
The answer I shared with them, which drove the agenda for this webinar, was……..
We need to take some time to pause so we can energize ourselves and each other and “recharge our work-life batteries”
To begin the recharging process, I shared the following important three steps:
- To recognize and embrace the facts that show the present challenges are real and significant, and that they are being driven mainly from sources outside their control
- To recognize that their responses to the challenges are expected and reasonable
- To remember that times of significant change requires new transformational tactics, processes, and procedures
Specifically, these new transformational tactics must include:
- Seeking ways to maximize productivity and efficiencies
- Exploring innovative staffing models
- Consider ways to reduce expenses without effecting quality outcomes
- Identifying new potential partners in the community
- Gathering and analyzing data in real time
- Staying current about the new technologies being introduced in the industry and how these might be best utilized
- Being aware of the new entrants in the market and doing scenario-planning as to how they might affect their current work and services
These important tactics require that each staff member must become a “Change Agent”, leading change with a “glass-half-full” attitude. It is also important to remind ourselves that change, in fact, can exciting in that it provides each of us with the opportunity to…
- Learn new things
- “Garage Sale” those things that are outdated
- Work with new people and new teams which bring new skills and competencies
It is also important to make the team as strong as possible in times of transformation. I particularly reminded the staff to review again the “14 Attributes of Excellence Teams”, which I introduced to the staff on visits 2 years ago, and which are outlined in our book published a year ago entitled, Breaking Out of the Health Care Abyss: Transformational Tips for Agents of Change”.
And I closed the webinar by reminding the staff of the three critical attributes for success I had also shared with them in prior sessions which I encouraged them to re-review and update……
- Being Competent – Are there any new competencies required in their future reality?
- Being Committed – Both to yourself and your team, asking simple questions of each other….
- How are you doing?
- How can I help you?
- Being Passionate – How will you fill your “Passion Bucket”?
There is an entire chapter in our book on these three attributes and it specifically outlines the three ways you can create and enhance passion in you and your team.
It is always my hope for this staff, as well as all the people working in the complex and ever-challenging health care environment, that some of these shared learnings will enable them to complete the marathon and reach the top of the mountain.