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Fresh, usable ideas to help your team think differently about patient and team engagement
making work from home work

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

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leadership resilience key to organizational resilience

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

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Employee who is quiet quitting looking at watch

Four menacing myths and misperceptions about quiet quitting

COVID-19 and the subsequent 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 a

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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

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healthcare workers at a staff meeting

Three messages your staff want – and need – to stay engaged

Whether you are a senior executive, middle manager or frontline staff member, healthcare seems to get more stressful and complicated every day. Endless regulations, increasing financial challenges, pressures to improve quality and safety. And now, recovery from the pandemic has created a  healthcare staffing crisis in many organizations. Because of this, how to increase employee engagement is at the top of most healthcare organizations’ priority list. But as the issues become increasingly complex, the communication frontline healthcare professionals need most from managers arguably becomes more straightforward, focused and – perhaps counter intuitively – basic as times get more complicated. Think about frontline  employees’ most fundamental concerns: Do you appreciate my work, especially in light of the stress I’m often under? Have you helped me understand important issues and

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teamwork depends on every individual

Slackers hurt more than productivity. They contribute to burnout.

When we’re conducting an Experience Snapshot to help healthcare organizations better understand ways to improve staff engagement, one of our focus group questions to frontline staff is especially revealing. What happens to lower performers on your team? Answers range from “someone talks to them to help them do better,” to “nothing.” More revealing than their spoken answers are their non-verbals. You can guess which answer is accompanied by eye rolling and a resigned tone. Frontline healthcare leaders wanting to reduce turnover by finding ways to improve staff engagement may be reluctant to have frank conversations with lower performers. “I can’t afford to lose anyone right now,” is an understandable concern. But lack of fairness in the workplace is one of the six root causes of

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Nurse from Stamp & Chase traveling

Many nurses are finding quitting isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

Among challenging workforce issues, how to retain nursing staff and reduce traveler/agency costs is at the top of most provider organizations’ agendas. Recent news may appear to signal welcome relief. While everyone talks about traveler pay, research is revealing there can be major downsides for nurses who chose this path, too. A recent survey conducted by nurse.org found the following key trends: 70% of travel nurses feel unappreciated 73% of travel nurses feel unsafe at work Travel nurses have felt more uncomfortable making decisions outside of their comfort zone/moral code in the past year than other nurses Agency/travel nurses were least likely to say “Nursing is a great career” In addition to these issues, the demand for travelers is falling. In Kaiser Health News, writer

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Nurse talking to patients at Stamp & Chase

To understand why nurses leave, maybe we should focus on why they used to stay

Why do we work? That may seem like a simple question. But for organizations trying to figure out why nurses are leaving their jobs, it may be the question to contemplate. What attracts and retains employees: cash, career or calling? Research conducted by Dr. Amy Wrzesniewski, organizational behavior professor at Yale University’s School of Management, explains that employees think about work as: A job focused on pay to support family, hobbies and life outside of work (“cash”) A path to success and prestige (“career”), or An integral part of their lives and individual identity (“calling”). Dr. Wrzesniewski found that employees in most workplaces are evenly divided among these three categories. She also discovered that individuals who have a strong “calling” orientation report higher satisfaction with

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healthcare leadership development - introspective leader

The one introspective question all leaders should ask themselves

Great leaders recognize early that leadership development in healthcare is not a straight nor smooth path. Like any effective organizational improvement strategy, personal improvement is a lifelong journey. The best leaders are always looking for ways to get better, especially with the organizational recovery challenges that the pandemic has thrown at them. The journey of introspection in healthcare leadership development can be advanced in many ways, but we’ve found that one question is often a great place to start and continually assess progress: Who’s the best person I’ve ever worked for, and what did s/he do differently that I want to emulate? Reading books or attending workshops on healthcare leadership development can be helpful in understanding best practices. But there’s nothing quite like seeing a

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Pizza box with one slice of pizza at Stamp & Chase

Hold the pepperoni; staff are craving something more satisfying than pizza

Several weeks ago during an NBC Nightly News story on the effects of nurse burnout, I heard a tired, dedicated nurse from Little Rock voice in frustration, “… and please don’t order us any more pizza.” In a face-to-face conversation with a health care worker a few weeks ago, I heard a similar sentiment: “If one more person tries to hand me a piece of candy, I’m going to throw it back in their face.” Even before today’s concerns about the effect of nurse burnout, how to best recognize staff has been an issue that I’ve seen leaders grappling with since the beginning of my career. I’ve seen it all, from complicated points-and-prizes systems to “thank you” candy bars with the hospital’s logo. In the

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