Volume 7 - April 23, 2020
Keeping Your Staff Engaged in a Period of Crisis or Disruption:
By Irv Barnett, MBA, CMPE Founder
V2V Management Solutions, Inc.
It's not easy being a leader. Even at the best of times, we can feel like we are constantly performing a juggling act between the team's needs, the business's needs and the patient's needs. Adding a business disruption like COVID-19 to the mix can quickly stress both you and your team beyond their limits. Your employees represent your most valuable resource, now and in the future. Focusing on their needs at a time when tensions, stress, and workload demands are high are essential for your future success. We have compiled some tips you should consider at a time when workloads and workflows are anything but business as usual.
Recognize Employee Efforts
When resources are scarce and the workflow seems to be anything but normal, it is crucial to not miss every opportunity to recognize the employees that are consistently supporting you, your patients, and the stability of the organization. In most cases, this is also resulting in hardships and new concerns at home. This is a time when protecting their paycheck may not be enough to keep their attention on all of the pressing issues at work. Acknowledgement and appreciation go a long way to team solidarity. Lunch, supplies, or something to contribute to the family at home, cost little but say a lot.
Your office is unlikely experiencing a normal day, everything may be new, and in many cases unexpected. Keep your team involved in the solutions. Ask for input frequently; what’s working? - what’s not? This message of team participation and idea sharing will keep the energy and focus where it needs to be right now. Urgency is a catalyst for change.
Fear is Common
No one knows how a crisis resolves itself, and when. You may not need counseling for all employees, but you likely need to give them time to share their concerns, talk through issues, work and non-work related, and be prepared to make the exceptions necessary for the employees to management all of the issues currently impacting their lives.
Work is a Social Environment
While there may be limited time for extended social interaction, there will be distancing, remote working scenarios, and these need to be acknowledged by distinctly changing and prioritizing the communication within the team. Staff are used to problem solving together, depending on each other, and creating a sense of mutual support for the team.
Trust and communication are powerful. Being transparent through this entire process, will keep the team together. Stay optimistic, but never hide the reality or risks that the organization faces in coming weeks and months. When you feel you have shared everything you know and kept the group informed, stop, verify and have staff share with you what they heard.
Some Things Will Never be the Same
Your team will be the people that will lead your organization out of this crisis period, as well. Start early to discuss the changes that were experienced through this process that may lead to changes in your organization that actually improved communication, care and service to your patients. Why return to normal, when some recent changes may have had a positive impact on the delivery of care.
Don’t Forget About YOUR Self-Care
Self-care is like your fuel. When the tank begins to run on empty so does your ability to successfully lead your team. When we are taking care of ourselves, we show up more vibrant, energized, and productive. Ignoring your own self-care leads to irritability, resentment, frustration, exhaustion, and increased health issues which can even impact your immune system. In the current environment you need to be at the top of your game. Find time to carve out for yourself, your team will support it and you. They depend on you and look to you for setting the example.
- Find time to break away.
- Take a day to recharge.
- Periodically clear personal focused time on your calendar to catch up on things you need to accomplish.
- Take a walk in the sunshine or find a way to exercise.
Never forget, we are all in this together!
Disclaimer: V2V Management Solutions is a healthcare consulting firm. We are not licensed attorney’s or certified public accountants. This guide is not intended to replace legal or financial advice from your trusted resources. Before acting on any information provided check with the appropriate legal or financial team. This situation is a constantly evolving landscape be sure to research for most current information.The following content consists of key takeaways on information published in the above referenced articles, facts sheets, and our personal/professional experiences in financial management throughout a crisis.
V2V is here to help
Please keep in mind you should verify all information you are receiving from outside sources to ensure your interpretation on its implications for your business are accurate and appropriate.
Our V2V team stands by ready to assist you in navigating these turbulent times. We can quickly deploy resources to assist your team.