9 Strategies to Get Employees Talking in One-on-Ones

one word answers“How are things?” you ask.

“Good,” she replies.

“What’s been keeping you busy?”

“Normal stuff, I guess.”

“Like what? What are the kinds of things demanding your attention and effort these  days?”

“Nothing out of the ordinary.” Continue reading

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Worst Boss in 5 Words…

The hashtag #WorstBossIn5Words is trending right now on Twitter. Fueled by the Comedy Central show @Midnight, what started as a vehicle for humor has morphed, in some corners, into a genuine discussion of what it means to be a terrible boss.  Continue reading

Improve Patient Satisfaction Scores by Focusing on Employee Strengths

what are you best at?A high-quality patient experience comes from patients encountering employees who are in the right roles. This is the conclusion drawn by the employee engagement experts over at Gallup.

What are the right roles for employees? According to research, employees perform at their best when they are allowed to deploy their strengths frequently at work. Continue reading

It’s Time to Plan your Spring Retreat

springCould it be?

Mild temperatures. More daylight. Flecks of green appearing across the landscape. Have we finally seen the last gasp of a long, tedious winter?

Shhhhh! Don’t say it too loudly. We don’t want to jinx anything. But we may actually, finally, thankfully be here. Spring. The season of hope, rebirth, and renewal. Take a breath. Drink it in. At long last, it’s time to…

RETREAT!

No, no, no, I don’t mean retreat as in “run away!”  I mean, RETREAT: withdraw, gather, and regroup from what is difficult. A spring retreat may be just what your team needs to overcome challenges and reinvigorate their performance.

Why plan a spring retreat? They can be powerful tools when planned and executed thoughtfully. Retreats are the chance to attend to the care and feeding of your team. They demonstrate your commitment and investment to understanding and meeting team needs. They enhance discourse- often helping focus on purpose, issues, strategy, or growth. Retreats can be what I call “fun with a purpose,” a chance to showcase the unique personalities, talents, skills, and knowledge of the team as a whole.

Retreats can be grand affairs that take teams away from work to unique places or they can take place in the conference room down the hall. They can be a week long, a day or two, or even just a half day. They can be filled with exercises, activities, presentations, teambuilding, and any number of eccentric components, or they can simply be a discussion- of what’s working, what’s not, and how to improve. What your retreat looks like and what happens there is entirely up to you and will likely be based on your budget and what you can logistically pull off.

As we emerge from the grey isolation of an unusually long winter, ask yourself: “Would my team benefit from a retreat?”  If so…then get to planning!  And don’t worry- I’m here to help. Come back to the blog next week for 5 Retreat Activities to Ignite Team Performance. 

Infographic: A Guide to Strengths-Based Management

Strengths-Based Management is a key skill for managers and an important strategy for impacting employee engagement. Yet managers rarely get training in how to take a strengths-based approach day-to-day. This infographic can be printed and hung in the office of any manager looking to improve their supervisory approach. Continue reading

4 Reasons Your Healthcare Team Doesn’t Get Along

team conflictToo often healthcare managers spend their time dealing with conflict in the workplace. Many leaders I work with all tell the same story: their teams are impacted, to one degree or another, by infighting, negative attitudes, cliques, back-biting, gossip, and angst. The highly charged environment that is healthcare means these dynamics come with the territory, but often there are clearer root causes on teams where these issues are pervasive. Here are 4 reasons your healthcare team isn’t getting along: Continue reading

Resolve to Be a Better Leader This Year

new-years-resolutions-comicI’m a big fan of new year’s resolutions. While most of us can relate to the experience of setting them and ultimately forgetting them, every so often they can propel us to greater success. The most effective resolutions aren’t actually end goals but action plans.  I can resolve to lose 20 pounds this year but without a specific set of behaviors to follow, my resolution might remain in the “wish” category. However, resolving to work out 4 days a week all year long is a clear action plan.  With that in mind, here are 5 actions you can take to be a better leader in 2014: Continue reading