Our Blog

Fresh, usable ideas to help your team think differently about patient and team engagement

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Diving Into Workplace Conflict

Conflict. Just the word can make even the most confident and assured of us at least a little uncomfortable. So the idea of embracing – sometimes even encouraging – workplace conflict as a strategic leadership practice is one many managers, especially new ones, struggle with. One school of thought professes that workplace conflict is always good, emphasizing that different points of view help a team make better decisions and constructively challenge one another. A recent Harvard Business Review article, “Why We Should Be Disagreeing More at Work,” points out that disagreements are an inevitable, normal, and healthy part of relating to other people. Indeed, there is no conflict-free workplace. But even those who believe that more is better when it comes to conflict will admit

Read More »

3 Tips for Dealing With Politics (or Other Touchy Subjects)

Sometimes, inspiration for my blog post comes from unexpected places – like a quiet, late-evening dinner on the road. After a successful day with a client, I arrived back at my hotel for a later-than-usual dinner. There were only a few people left in the restaurant, and I was seated near a table of three gentlemen. While I wasn’t interested in eavesdropping, it was impossible to not hear their conversation in the quiet room. From their discussion it was clear that they all worked for the same company and were traveling together on business. Two middle-aged men were obviously more senior managers, and they were accompanied by a junior colleague who appeared to be in his 20s. What surprised me was how their discussion turned

Read More »

Why managing remote employees is a major equity and inclusion challenge

No human resources strategy has gotten more attention over the past several years than diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) – and, more recently, belonging. In addition to being the right thing to do, smart companies know that making their workplace more welcoming and equitable to employees of all backgrounds increases the total talent pool they can attract and then retain. This is the third installment in our series Stuck in the Middle, which takes a fresh look at the challenges facing frontline leaders in today’s labor market. In a word, DEI is about differences – valuing them, embracing them, and supporting them. And post-pandemic, one of the most significant emerging differences across workforces is where employees work. Whether you believe remote work is the best way

Read More »
manager talking to staff to improve hospital staff engagement graphic from stamp & chase

Strong organizational culture starts with a strong leadership culture

During a lively discussion at a workshop session on staff burnout in the middle of the pandemic, a brave middle manager in the back of the room shouted out during Q&A, “What about me?! I’m more burned out as a leader than I’ve ever been.” Nearly every head in the room nodded in hearty agreement. Studies by Gallup and other major research organizations document the fact that an employee’s manager is by far the most influential factor in their engagement, loyalty, and retention. The relationship between frontline employees and their boss supersedes every other factor of employment. That includes compensation, benefits, and even elements of the work itself. This is the second installment in our series Stuck in the Middle, which takes a fresh look

Read More »

Why the tough job of the middle manager is getting even harder every day

When you ask senior executives about the toughest job in their organization, many will quickly admit, “It’s our middle managers. They are the glue that holds this whole place together.” Executives’ sense of the importance of frontline leaders is backed up by research and explains growing interest in management development training. Gallup studies tell us that 70 percent of the variance in employee engagement is explained by one thing: the manager an employee reports to. No other factor comes close. For today’s frontline leaders, the challenge is not just that their job is hard; it’s that it’s getting even harder every day. This post is the first in our series “Stuck in the Middle.” Over the next several weeks, we’ll explore ways that organizations can

Read More »
avoid talking politics at work

Too many candidates saying, “No, thanks!”? It’s time to adapt your hiring strategy

Without question, employee turnover is one of the most expensive, vexing problems facing organizations today. But another expensive problem that many companies may not track is candidate turnover – having too many people say “no thanks” after receiving your job offer. Finding good candidates, encouraging them to apply, interviewing them for fit, then having them turn you down takes a toll on the HR budget … and the emotional state of recruiters and operational managers. Multiple issues affect any individual employee’s level of satisfaction in his/her job. But at the heart of the problem of employee turnover within most companies is the extent to which staff feel a meaningful sense of connection to the organization, their manager, and customers. Following are four important connections prospective

Read More »
Healthcare WFH Employees

How WFH strategies can alienate your employees who have to WFW

Among the many workforce transformations prompted by the pandemic, work-from-home (WFH) strategies are among the most hotly debated by managers and frontline staff alike. But by focusing solely on how to make WFH work for the organization and some of its employees, companies may be missing a much more problematic issue: how it affects dedicated, hard-working staff who don’t have an option. In many service industries – especially healthcare, hospitality, and brick-and-mortar retail – individuals who provide the core functions of the business don’t have WFH options. And they often resent those who do. We’ve seen this tension first-hand in focus groups with staff in healthcare organizations. One staff member on the front lines related, “I was at a meeting and overheard an executive thank

Read More »
Healthcare Employee Burnout

Why organizational resilience must start with leadership resilience

Recent statistics on workforce emotional health that impacts organizational resilience are troubling: 15% lower work satisfaction; 40% higher stress and anxiety; 20% worse work-life balance. These stats probably aren’t surprising – until you learn that they represent the feelings of executives, not just rank-and-file employees. They’re from a recent survey by Future Forum, which reveals that senior leaders are suffering increasing levels of emotional stress just like their staff. This burden can be even greater in industries like healthcare, where recent operating losses are mounting due to out-of-control labor and supply costs. Senior leadership anxiety that effects organizational resilience is especially problematic for two reasons. First, executives often are more reluctant to admit to themselves and others that they are struggling. And second, executives’ state-of-mind

Read More »
Healthcare Employee Turnover

Four menacing myths and misperceptions about quiet quitting

COVID-19 and the subsequent healthcare workforce crisis has created a whole new vocabulary of catch phrases and acronyms to describe the new realities of work, including the “great resignation,” WFH and hybrid office. The latest: quiet quitting. The term quiet quitting gives companies, consultants, and columnists another buzz-term to apply to the current workforce turmoil. But like any catchword, it means different things to different people. The causes and consequences of quiet quitting also vary widely, depending on who you ask. Along with wide-ranging opinions, myths and misperceptions have cropped up since a quiet-quitting video started trending on TikTok a few weeks ago. Here are a few of the most common – and most dangerous – for organizations to believe. Myth #1: Quiet quitting is

Read More »
how to improve communication with employees - Stamp & Chase

The 5 best ways to reinvest and reinvent internal communication

Back in the day, Public Relations departments devoted lots of time and resources to communicating with internal, not just external, audiences. Companies cared about how to improve communication with employees because it was viewed as an essential, smart, strategic investment. Unfortunately, tactics sometimes fell short of meeting strategic goals. Maybe that’s why many companies abandoned house organs. (Yes, that’s what we used to call company newsletters.) Plus, writing for internal staff just didn’t seem as glamorous as crafting campaigns directed at the press, consumers, investors, and/or the community-at-large. My, how times have changed. Arguably, employees are a company’s most important audience in today’s labor environment. Given the new challenges of recruitment and retention, how to improve communication with employees again should be a top operational

Read More »