1. Aim to be the best!
Ever say, “This year my goal is to be average”? No! Who wants to settle for being average? No one! And yet, when organizations set safe, incremental goals, their leaders may as well be saying, “We aim for average.” Why not set the bar so high that even if you don’t meet the goal, you still find yourself far improved! Eighty percent of a big, bright, shiny goal far exceeds 100% of a mediocre goal.
This year aim to be GREAT by doing one thing. Before each goal, add 3 simple words: how can we. For instance, instead of telling Team Members that we have set a goal of being in the 99th percentile for quietness at night, ask your team, “How can we be in the 99th percentile for quietness at night?”
This simple tweak in the presentation of a goal helps mold a strategic plan.
2. Have a strategic plan.
Successful organizations have a plan. Wishing and hoping are terrible strategies. Team Members lose hope when only unclear paths to too many goals are provided by their leadership. Choose no more than 2 organizational wide goals (one is better) and aim to be the BEST at whatever it is. You will know you’re the best when other hospitals are calling you, wanting to observe and find out what you’re doing that’s made all the difference.
When Team Members don’t know what to concentrate on, they just maintain the status quo or do their own thing. Leaders help team members by developing a clear plan, but leaders need help too.
3. Develop and invest in leadership
Managers maintain but leaders influence. Leadership no longer resides exclusively in the C-suites. Years ago, a nurse manager may have been tasked with simply maintaining the operations of a given unit, but today, these leaders need both the hard and soft skills of leadership to move departments forward.
And many times they are not equipped with these skills.
First and foremost, invest in leadership. The success of an organization is reliant on managers’ ability to motivate Team Members, to model behaviors and skills necessary to be great, and to hold others accountable for those same behaviors and skills.
And when managers are falling short, organizations need to look at themselves and how much investment has been made to ensure the success of each manager and ultimately the department’s success.
4. Celebrate the wins!
Does that mean one party after another? Not at all, but who doesn’t love a good party? Celebrating wins is to validate the good work done by Team Members. I was recently asked what the incentive is to have nursing assistants round hourly on patients. The answer is none. UNLESS you show them, using metrics, what the advantages of their rounding has done for patients.
If at a huddle or unit meeting you can boast that by hourly rounding, this month you have reduced call lights by 30%, reduced pressure ulcers by 100% and patient falls by 100%, who wouldn’t want more of that! We need to connect their hard work and unrelenting efforts to strong measures that help patients.
Then have some cake!