Healthcare Blog

3 must-do strategies for executive leaders to permanently improve employee engagement

Posted by capcityspeakers on January 17, 2017

by Vicki Hess

Every executive leader in healthcare has a vested interest in improving employee engagement – whether he or she acknowledges it or not.

Unfortunately, many senior leaders think HR should manage engagement or they are looking for a magic formula when it comes to sustained improvement. Of course one doesn’t exist.

First, the problem. Here’s what I typically hear in my conversations with hospitals and health systems across the country. Employee engagement survey results come in and senior leaders talk about how important engagement is with their manager group. They share their desire for front line leaders to create department level action plans to transform engagement.

The action plans are created and quite often recorded in online monitoring systems for “accountability”. Most leaders – at all levels – understand that engagement is a key lever for productivity, creativity, safety and patient satisfaction so these actions make sense. Too often, the actions center around what the organization and leader need to do to impact engagement and they leave off the personal responsibility of the employees – but that’s another article.

For a month or two, there’s a focus on improving engagement. Then a new priority comes along and the front line leader’s attention is drawn to a new concern. The front line leader’s “one-up” manager stops asking about engagement. It moves to the back burner and all of the sudden it’s 9 months later and time for a new survey and whole cycle starts again.

If you want to stop this vicious cycle, try these 3 strategies.

Have an Engagement Champion at the executive level
Ideally, everyone on the senior leadership team would feel completely committed to engagement, but I know that’s not always going to happen. To quote Peter Drucker, “Whenever anything is being accomplished, it is being done, I have learned, by a monomaniac with a mission.” This doesn’t mean that some leaders can let engagement slide off their dashboards; it does mean that you need a champion. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nurses! Get Inspired & Connected on Planet Improv

Posted by capcityspeakers on December 22, 2016

by Beth Boynton, RN, MS

Things are cooking in the Medical Improv world.  Recent workshops at Rutgers Medical School and Bay State College and the first train-the-trainer book,  Medical Improv:  A New Way to Improve Communication Skills & 15 Activities You Can Teach STATis scheduled to be published early in 2017.

If you’d like spice up your holiday party,  try this super fun activity with your team described on Medline post: De-Stress and Improve Communication with Medical Improv!

Also, I’m VERY happy to announce five Medical Improv programs through Capitol City Speakers Bureau!  This one was designed for “Nurses’ Week, but if your team needs a boost sooner, please contact Capitol City at 1-800-397-3193.

Get Inspired and Connected on Planet Improv!

An Out of this untitled-design-40World Experience for Nurses Only! It is no secret that nurses face relentless high-stakes high-stress work with little time to come together for pure fun. On Planet Improv, nurse colleagues are guaranteed to have a great time together while building positive relationships. Join Medical Improv Practitioner Beth Boynton, RN, MS as she facilitates a variety of easy-to-do and playful activities that will leave nurses feeling engaged, connected, and inspired about their work. Whether staff actively participate or watch, this interactive workshop is always a one-of-a-kind and memorable experience!

(P.S. If you want to offer a similar workshop for ALL healthcare professionals I’m pretty sure Capitol City Speakers Bureau will be happy to help and so will I!)

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The Patient Experience is Digital Too

Posted by capcityspeakers on December 12, 2016

by Kristin Baird

When we think of the patient experience, we often think of the many touchpoints during a face-to-face interaction. In today’s world, digital encounters are an important part of the overall experience as well.

This past week, my husband had a battery of tests in follow-up to a physical exam. He was a bit anxious about having the tests, and then having to wait for the results. He was both impressed and relieved to have prompt results delivered to his smartphone through the online portal. He could see the results and where he fell within the normal ranges. But what impressed him the most was that his physician also sent a personal note with a summary of her impressions and next steps – all in layman’s terms. Within 10 minutes of her note, he received a text from Walgreens that his new prescription was ready for pick up.

In this example, the digital experience included imparting information (test results) as well as reassurance and next steps provided through the personal email.

Rewind the clock a few years, and he’d still be waiting for the results that would be delivered via phone call or office visit. The waiting and wondering was stressful for patients and the follow up was often overwhelming for the providers and their staffs.

We are fortunate to be living in a world where we can use our smart phones for everything from ordering pizza to scheduling rides and appointments. In healthcare, smartphones have become the lifeline to information and engagement. My concern is that in some organizations, anything digital is technology that sits within the IT silo, rather than cross pollinating with the patient experience goals and strategies. Let’s make sure we’re talking to each other internally. We have great opportunities to continue making the patient experience more seamless, efficient and enjoyable.

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Paying It Forward

Posted by capcityspeakers on December 1, 2016

by Chad Hymas

soldier

Most of us know what the above title means. And I’m hoping that we have all had the opportunity to do this. It is so simple to do that I think it would happen more often if we just thought about it.

I have a friend that works at a restaurant and he told me that every week, a widower comes in for dinner and, while there, he’ll look around for a family (usually a large family having dinner) and when he goes to pay his bill, he’ll ask the hostess if $75.00 will cover their bill. When she says yes, he leaves her enough to cover the tab and the tip. After he leaves, and has been gone for several minutes, she goes over and tells the family what had happened – that their bill has been taken care of. They are completely surprised!   And so very grateful.

He also left enough money for them to have dessert or take a couple of pies home!! They look around trying to find this person, but she told them he had left quite a while ago. All he asked is that they enjoy their dinner and that if they ever have a chance to help someone (in other words, pay it forward), they do.

I actually see this all the time – I see people at a grocery store tell the cashier as she gives her a hundred bill, to have that go for the groceries for the woman behind her, who has a few kids with her and a lot of groceries.

I see lot of this kind of generosity at the airport; especially people wanting to buy a cup of coffee or dinner for servicemen who have just been deployed. I had the opportunity to do this a few weeks ago and posted it on Facebook:

It never fails. I always run into these selfless people as I travel, especially through Atlanta. And it usually goes something like this:

ME: Sir/Gentlemen, I simply want to thank you for the freedom you grant me. May I shake your hand and buy you lunch/dinner?

SOLDIER: [Before speaking to me, they USUALLY ALWAYS drop to one knee, my level. I never ask them to. They just do it. Talk about respect. I’m not saying I deserve it, nor request it. I’m simply saying it is truly my honor to meet them and show my gratitude; and, as if it is ingrained in their DNA, they passionately demonstrate this type of love by flipping the scenario and treat me as though it is an honor for them to serve, meet and protect me. They don’t even know who I am! Names have not yet been exchanged. But I know who they are. They are heroes! Can you imagine what kind of a country we would have if we were all like this? Had this kind of selflessness towards others? This kind of compassion and unconditional love? This desire to serve and sacrifice?]

“Sir, it is our pleasure to serve you. We are fine. You don’t need to buy us dinner.”

ME: Please, I insist. I would love to break bread with you.

SOLDIER: “Ok sir, but know that this is not necessary.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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The Masterpiece Of A Moment

Posted by capcityspeakers on November 23, 2016

by Kathy Brown

We need to live One day at a time and make it a masterpiece. If you never want to be lonely, build bridges instead of walls. Being lonely takes its toll on your overall health both mentally and physically. Relationships help us multiply our joys and cut our sorrows in half when shared.

Our moments are all we have as we are not promised a tomorrow. Live fully in each moment making something better because you were fully present “in it.” Nobody can help everybody but everybody can help somebody.

Remember that great people are ordinary people with an extraordinary amount of commitment. They persevere when times get tough. Difficulties come not to obstruct but to instruct. Learn the lesson and move on.

Friends are God’s way of taking care of us. Nurture your relationships with those people who encourage, uplift, and inspire you to reach your full potential! Your moments become memories which can last a lifetime and then live on in those left to enjoy them.

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Will You Wear Out? Or Rust Out?

Posted by capcityspeakers on November 9, 2016

by Barbara Bartlein, RN, MSW

After foot surgery last November, I was forced to sit for months while the bones in my left foot healed.  A relatively minor procedure, I was amazed how long it took me to recover and get moving again.  It seemed that everyday I was sitting around, I had new aches, pains and stiffness.  I mentioned this to the Dr. on a recent visit and he said, “You can either wear out or rust out. People that sit all the time rust out.”

I thought about what he said and it is really true.  The longer I sat around, the less I felt like doing. Because my foot would swell up whenever I tried to be active, it was an easy excuse to sit.  But I quickly realized that everything was starting to break down. Now my back and neck hurt, my legs were stiff and I had no energy.  Realizing that I was rusting, I forced myself to get up, get to the pool and start moving.

Now I try to do at least 10,000 steps per day and weight training twice per week.  I can tell that my stamina is coming back and I have dropped the 10 pounds I gained over the winter.  Talking with other folks a lot older than me, all say that the key is to be active.  Keep moving, and fight the rust.

Barbara Bartlein, RN, MSW, is the People Pro.  A workplace cutlure expert, she offers keynotes, seminars and consultation to increase teamwork and productivity.  For more information on her programs and services, please contact Capitol City Speakers Bureau.

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I Am, Therefore I Teach

Posted by capcityspeakers on October 26, 2016

By Donna Cardillo, RN

azalea-1294743_1920It is often said that everyone who comes into our lives is sent to teach us something, even the most difficult people. But I believe that people are also sent into our lives so that they might learn from us, be inspired, or gain hope when they had none. Yes, there are times when we are purposefully in that role, but there are many times that we teach, inspire, and restore hope unknowingly by our actions. It could be the way you speak to someone, something you share about yourself, extending a small kindness, or the way you conduct yourself in various situations. If you consider that you have an opportunity to improve, even in some small way, the life of everyone that you encounter, your daily existence will have more meaning and purpose.

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You Are the Epicenter of Generosity

Posted by capcityspeakers on October 13, 2016

by John O’Leary

john-oleary-receiptgenerosity

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ― Leo Buscaglia

As a little boy I frequently attracted attention.

My skin hadn’t yet fully healed after the fire. My body was wrapped in bandages. My core temperature was difficult to control, so my sisters constantly fanned me as I sat in my wheelchair.

And, as one of six kids, when my family arrived, we made quite a boisterous entrance!

I was reminded of those days, those “entrances,” those stares, when I heard about an experience Cynthia Tipton had at dinner with her family at a restaurant in St. Louis recently. (Read the full story here.) Let me share it with you.

Her son, Noland, is 10 and lives with high-functioning autism. It can be difficult to control his emotions; on this day a little teasing from his sister set him off.

Noland started screaming. Cynthia quickly knelt beside him, stroked his back and began whispering in his ear, hoping to calm him before other families’ dinners were interrupted.

It was not working.

The screams intensified.

A few more minutes of soothing her son passed before the crying quieted, Noland relaxed and the other families turned back to their own tables.

Watching their waitress approach, Cynthia was certain there’d been complaints. In the past, she’d been asked to leave and assumed the request was coming again. She readied herself for the awkward exit when the waitress handed the family their bill for dinner.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Measuring Success: Significance or Just Staying Busy?

Posted by capcityspeakers on October 6, 2016

By Ron Culberson

Recently, I spoke at a conference in Indiana. I spent the morning with four hundred attendees and then closed their event with a keynote address. Afterwards, I worked on a writing project at Starbucks. Later, I ate dinner at a local restaurant and then returned to my hotel room where I watched an episode of Boardwalk Empire. I went to bed around 9:00 p.m. which, by the way, is not my typical-old-man bedtime but rather my way of avoiding travel fatigue.

This was a common day for me. And even though it was quite full, there was this nagging voice in my head that said, “You should have done something more significant.”

Do you ever experience this? Do you ever feel like you should have accomplished something more important during your day? Does sitting on the porch or watching an episode of House Hunters feel like you’re not making the most of your time?

This frequently happens to me. For some reason, my Success Meter is not calibrated properly. When I get to the end of my day, I often feel that I have not achieved success unless I accomplished something tangible like writing a new piece of material, booking a presentation, or finding a cure for ebola. I watch other people who appear really busy and seem to be accomplishing many things throughout their day and I don’t feel that I measure up. In fact, when I catch myself staring out the window at a stink bug trying to get in through the screen, I realize that I must be quite a slacker.

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Falling Together: How to Find Balance, Joy, and Meaningful Change When Your Life Seems to be Falling Apart

Posted by capcityspeakers on September 22, 2016

donna-cardillo-bookDonna Cardillo’s Latest Book Now Available!

There are times in life that shake us to our very foundations. We wish for things to get better, fast. But the truth is that moments of “falling apart” are also our most powerful catalysts for growth and change. In Falling Together, Donna Cardillo, a registered nurse, Dr. Oz blogger, and beloved public speaker, reflects on the overwhelming challenges that fall into every life, and the renewal that comes when we are able to meet them with courage.

A funny, big-hearted self-help memoir that takes on issues like divorce, caregiving, and burnout―and many women’s biggest enemies of all, fear, insecurity, and self-doubt―Falling Together shows how to turn the challenges that threaten to knock us to the ground into the building blocks we need to become more successful, more joyful, and ultimately, more alive.

Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or your local bookseller.

For more information about Donna Cardillo, RN, CSP, or to book her for your next event, go to:  Donna Cardillo

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