25 Actions to Motivate and Engage That Take Less Than 15 Minutes a Day

employee motivationMotivation isn’t something you do to people. It’s something they experience when the conditions are right. Creating conditions that tap into intrinsic motivation will result in higher levels of performance over a longer period of time.  Research suggests that such efforts don’t have to take a lot of time. In fact motivation and engagement come from the continuous tiny actions, conversations, and reminders managers employ rather than singular grand gestures. To help you create an environment where your people will thrive here are 25 actions to motivate and engage that take less than 15 minutes a day. Continue reading

Healthcare Managers: Your Employees Want to Talk to You

one on oneIn a recent study by Training magazine, employees across multiple industries said they wished they were meeting more frequently with their boss.

One-on-one meetings are the lifeblood of employee engagement. They play a big part in job satisfaction, performance, development and motivation. If you are somebody’s boss, it’s imperative that you set aside regular time to meet with them one-on-one. I would argue there are few responsibilities in your job that are more important. Continue reading

The 6 Things All Healthcare Managers Must Do To Retain Talent

Gold key over whiteA variety of workplace elements are critical to employee engagement which directly impacts retention. Employee engagement is the degree to which an employee is involved in and enthusiastic about their work and thus acts in a way that furthers the interests of their organization, team, and customers. When engagement is high, turnover is low. Many falsely assume that engagement is determined by pay, perks and other monetary rewards. In fact it is the quality of the on-site manager and his or her ability to meet a core set of requirements that largely determines employee retention. You already know this.  Ever work for a bad boss?  Would a raise, a bonus, or some kind of extra “perk” have helped you get over having to work for that person every day? Didn’t think so. And we don’t just know this anecdotally. Research suggests that 75% of the time an employee leaves an organization it’s due to their boss.

Healthcare environments especially are unique and challenging settings. Patients and families that access healthcare services are typically, to some degree, in distress. This means that on an almost daily basis and with most everyone they see, healthcare workers must navigate a myriad of emotions tied to that distress. As such, it’s critical for frontline leaders to create an environment that recognizes this dynamic and provides an appropriate balance of challenge and support. There are a variety of actions I recommend healthcare managers take to impact employee engagement and retention. These include:

Create shared purpose: Employees need to know that the work they do, even medial tasks, has an impact. It’s up to leaders to create line of sight between what workers do and a larger mission.

Focus on employee strengths: When employees are given the chance to do what they do best every day and their job role reflects their unique talents, skills, and interests, they thrive. This also creates a fulfilling work environment.

Recognition: Employees need to see and hear evidence of their contributions from their direct leaders. Whether it’s a simple and sincere “thank you” or a more elaborate form of recognition such as a gift or award, Ongoing recognition is critical for retention. Praise employee contributions at least once every seven days.

Find the fun at work: It’s up to leaders to infuse appropriate joy and humor into a workplace environment. Leaders that laugh alongside their team members create an atmosphere that diffuses the tension, conflict, and strong emotions that are often present in healthcare settings.

Cultivate team relationships: Evidence suggests having strong relationships with colleagues at work and even having a best friend at work is critical for employee engagement and retention. Leaders need to take responsibility for creating opportunities for those relationships to form at work. Even simple acts like celebrating birthdays or other life events (weddings, births, etc) can contribute.

Meet One-on-One: It should be abundantly clear that front-line leaders need to make time to meet with their employees directly. I strongly encourage leaders to set aside at least 20-30 minutes per month (minimum) to meet one-on-one with each employee. This is time for the leader to engage the employee directly beyond the operational tasks of their job and to explore several of the elements outlined here.
Now it’s your turn? What do you think are keys to retaining talent in healthcare? Share your thoughts in the comments box below!

Critical Conversations: 12 Tips for Effective Feedback

Business Discussion --- Image by © Royalty-Free/CorbisI was recently asked to author a guest blog for Renee Thompson of RTConnections who is doing some terrific work in healthcare on a variety of subjects, most notably on nursing culture and nurse bullying.  I highly recommend you check out her website and pay regular visits to her blog.

The article I wrote is Critical Conversations: 12 Tips for Effective Feedback. Please check it out!  And many thanks to Renee for the opportunity to contribute! ~Joe

2 Things Engaged Employees Get From Their Boss (Video Blog!)

Free course clipLet’s face it: People leave when the boss isn’t great. And patients leave when the team isn’t great. The shortest path to patient satisfaction, lower turnover, and maximum effort is a manager on site who knows how to keep their team firing on all cylinders.

My company, Ally Training & Development, provides leadership development and management training to healthcare organizations. We specialize in giving front-line and mid-level managers the skills and tools they need to tackle the people management challenges they face every day.

The 5 minute Course Clip is a sampling of content from larger in-person workshops (1 hour to 2 days) I deliver. For more information visit http://www.allytraining.com

The clip above- 2 Things Every Engaged Employee Gets From Their Boss -helps healthcare managers understand that clear expectations and the right materials and equipment are directly tied to getting the most out of people. Ready for some tips, tricks, and tidbits? Find five minutes, turn your volume up, and enjoy:

I’d love to hear your thoughts? How else do these two things contribute to employee engagement?

The One Thing All Healthcare Organizations Must Do in the Next 12 Months

patient satisfactionThe next 12 months will be more challenging for healthcare organizations than any other period in history. The impending changes brought about by healthcare reform will provide access to care to millions of Americans who previously didn’t have it. This increase in patient volume and demand for services appears poised to strike at the same time that healthcare organizations are struggling with recruiting challenges, staffing shortages, and reduced revenues. It seems unlikely, at most sites, to expect an expansion of support equal to the increased demand. It’s not over-reaching to state that the burden on front line personnel and their managers will be like none they’ve seen before. Now more than ever healthcare leaders need to step-up their efforts to teach their teams how to attend to the single most influential factor in the patient experience: Continue reading