How to Improve ANY Part of your Healthcare Team’s Performance

String-around-fingerThink back to your first week at your current job. Did you go through an orientation program? Did your new boss go over information and materials with you? Did you shadow someone who reviewed processes and procedures or do’s and don’ts?

How much of that information can you actively recall? Repeat?

Not much, I’d wager.

Turns out that even the most dedicated, educated, focused among us are limited in our capacity to retain information. Your healthcare team is no different. While dealing with the countless tasks, challenges, and responsibilities of each day, they focus primarily on what is directly in front of them and rely on knowledge and habits that have been ingrained over time. They are, after all, human. This is why leaders who want teams to reach and maintain a high level of performance find creative ways to reinforce new or desired behavior over and over again. These ever-changing refreshers dot the landscape of the workplace and are encountered repeatedly by employees.

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Coaching vs Mentoring vs Feedback: What’s the Difference?

Coaching and MentoringBrowsing Twitter, LinkedIn, or your favorite business blog these days subjects you to a barrage of advice about what you should be doing to lead more effectively. Become a coach to maximize the performance of your team! Nurture a mentoring culture to bring the best out in people! Give constant feedback to engage employees effectively! But which one should you be focusing on? What’s the difference between them? Here’s a quick rundown:  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. 

Are You Sharpening the Saw?

CoveyIn Stephen Covey’s transcendent book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People he says this about “sharpening the saw:”

Sharpening the saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have–you. It means having a balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual. Here are some examples of activities: 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

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