Author: Burl Stamp

Feedback helps improve employee retention

Why catching your team in the act of doing good is so important right now

“It seems like they only notice when we do something wrong!” When talking with frontline staff about improving employee retention, I’ve certainly heard that statement more than once. In many cases, the complaint might be overstated, and employees may even admit that if pressed. But staff usually think that leaders are too critical not because they point out problems too often. Rather, it is because they offer positive feedback too seldom. More positive reinforcement is crucial to improve employee retention. In our T.E.A.M. leadership model, observation is one of the important practices within the “Mentor” module. By spending time in the trenches with staff, leaders have a much more powerful platform to provide feedback – both positive and constructive. Right now, spending time on the

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rethinking the purpose of goal setting graphic from stamp & chase

Rethinking the purpose and power of goal-setting during the pandemic

For health care organizations focused largely on operational survival, hour-to-hour may best describe their planning horizon right now. The immediate challenges of the pandemic have thrown a wrench in most healthcare systems’ disciplined, predictable annual goal-setting processes. But the pandemic shouldn’t cause organizations to completely toss aside goal-setting, especially at the workgroup level. This article is the fifth in our series Leadership in the Time of Coronavirus. Today, we look at how to use adapted goals to support a workforce that is physically exhausted, emotionally drained and, in some cases, disillusioned. Following are three ways to think differently about goal-setting during the pandemic, pulling back on some priorities and leaning into others. Be as clear about what you’re not going to do as you are

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empowering staff in healthcare - video from Burl Stamp

When staff feel they’ve lost control, involving them in decisions is even more critical

All of us have experienced a sense of powerlessness because of COVID-19. For health care professionals, that frustration has been magnified 10-fold. As a result, empowering staff in healthcare is even more important today. While leaders cannot magically reduce the problems caused by the pandemic, they can include staff members in problem-solving and decision-making. Especially now, empowering staff in healthcare by listening to their frustrations and their ideas for addressing them is essential to reduce burnout and turnoer. In this fourth installment in our series, Leadership in the Time of Coronavirus, we talk about the power of empowerment in healthcare in this short video:

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medical doctor holding a gift box

Leadership rounding should be a gift you give your staff … and yourself

It is Christmas Day as I’m writing this blog. This quiet afternoon took me back to a similar Christmas afternoon in 1998. I was the new CEO of Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and that afternoon I made one of the best spur-of-the-moment decisions I’ve ever made as a healthcare leader. It helped me better understand the real power in leadership rounding. Our kids were young at the time. Between the excitement of opening gifts that morning and our traditional holiday dinner, things were very quiet around the house. Out of the blue, I said to my wife Luanne, “I think I’m going to go down to the hospital for a little while.” “To work?!” she said. “It’s Christmas.” “No, just to walk around and tell the

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medical staff in a meeting at stamp & chase

A Forum for Team Conversation — and Venting — is Vital during COVID-19

“Are you crazy?!” That’s the reaction I might get from some leaders when insisting that staff meetings are more important now than ever. Yes, staff meetings take some thought and time to be effective. Leadership during COVID-19 is indeed challenging in many ways. But team meetings are the only place where staff have a chance to have a focused conversation with all their colleagues. That is, when we shut up and let them talk. At no time in recent memory have the demands on leaders been more exhausting and protracted than in 2020. This blog is installment #2 in our series, Leadership in the Time of Coronavirus, which takes a fresh look at our T.E.A.M. leadership model through a COVID-19 lens. With most meetings going

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Medical team reviewing patient vitals graphic from Stamp & Chase

Connecting with your team every day has never been more important

Among the many responsibilities of frontline health care leaders, activities that help the team work as a highly-functioning unit are critically important. Understanding the dynamics of the team as a whole is essential to nurturing the teamwork that improves quality, safety and patient experience. For over three decades, the health care industry has faced rapid change and unique operational, financial and market challenges. But at no time in recent memory have the demands on health care leaders  been more exhausting and protracted than in 2020. This blog is installment #1 in our series, Leadership in the Time of Coronavirus, which takes a fresh look at our T.E.A.M. leadership model through a COVID-19 lens. Each component of the T.E.A.M. leadership model – Teach, Empower, Align and

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improving patient experience through rounding at stamp & chase

Do our actions always match aspirations in improving patient experience?

Is improving patient experience a priority in your organization? Virtually all leaders in health care I talk with answer with a resounding “yes.” But this question also prompts reflection. How much of a priority is improving patient experience? Does our stated philosophy drive our everyday practice, especially in what we reward … and what we penalize? First, we need to acknowledge and celebrate the fact that the vast majority of dedicated healthcare professionals provide exceptional, compassionate experiences for patients and families every minute of every day. Especially in light of the COVID-19 crisis, their dedication and bravery cannot be overstated. Unfortunately, there are a small number of caregivers who fall short, either unknowingly or intentionally. Patients remember these lapses in compassion vividly and they talk

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healthcare leadership strategies to support weary staff

Why staff on the frontlines need more – and different – support from leadership now

Overwhelmed. Exhausted. On-edge. Discouraged. As frontline staff’s emotions and state-of-mind have changed during the pandemic, healthcare leadership strategies to better support staff should change and adapt, too. For staff on the frontlines, the public’s feelings of restlessness, economic uncertainty, frustration, and anger exacerbate their stress. This contributes to burnout. For leaders, acknowledging that your employees are being verbally abused by some of your customers is the first critical step in better supporting them. Because what they are experiencing has changed, healthcare leadership strategies to support them have to change. Following are five healthcare leadership strategies managers can adopt to better support the “heroes” who are, in many ways, becoming the frontline victims of the frustrated public they are trying to serve. Talk openly and frequently

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medical staff on a zoom meeting

Four concrete leadership strategies to engage virtual teams

Nothing in recent memory has turned the world upside down for work teams like the coronavirus pandemic. Issues have varied by industry, but managing remote employees has been one of the most common challenges for bosses. While employees working remotely initially claimed to love the convenience, I’ve heard many admit that they increasingly long for the connection and companionship of colleagues. And for companies – especially those that thrive on creativity, innovation and collaboration – the loss of energy created when people work alongside one another is a growing concern. But is it physical proximity alone that fosters teamwork, collaborative innovation and better results? Hardly. Research has shown us that specific leadership practices foster engagement and empowerment. By adapting these core leader practices in managing

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COVID-19 leadership from stamp & chase

COVID-19’s invisible healthcare heroes – and how to better support them

Sadly – and maybe predictably – the parades, pan-beating, headlight-flashing and banners have all faded as the pandemic has worn on. And what remains? Health care professionals continuing to put their own lives in jeopardy – both physically and emotionally – to care for patients, especially in a handful of states where rapidly rising COVID-19 cases are pushing hospitals to capacity. Throughout this crisis, one group of soldiers has been working behind the scenes to help navigate turbulent waters and to adapt strategies on an almost daily basis: frontline managers. And because organizational recovery will be slow, leadership during COVID-19 will not get easier any time soon. In many ways, the middle manager’s job is a thankless one. As the name accurately describes, they are

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