Guest post: Sustain and inspire your team over the year
By Barbara Anderson, RN, MSM, CCDS
In my past two Blog posts, we have talked about reflection/planning and adapting/increasing awareness to create your CDI department’s best year ever. How can you sustain the desire, inspiration, and actions needed for improvement through the multiple distractions waiting at bay to move you and your team, off track? These are volatile times in healthcare in this country and in the world. What are key qualities you can stoke to stay in the daily game, and not just survive, but thrive in 2019?
- Be aware, stay aware.
- Self-awareness is key. Know yourself—how you react, what you can do to stay calm in chaos, what feeds your passion, how your actions affect others.
- Stay abreast of what is happening around you, locally and globally. Take action where you can but don’t fret about things out of your control. For example, perhaps last year, staff retention was an issue and you are working to prevent the same from occurring this year. You have created a plan for increasing salaries and providing education reimbursement to better compete with local hospitals. You are closely monitoring and responding to employee satisfaction surveys. You have advocated long and hard with hospital leadership and human resources to advocate for these gains. Don’t let yourself be discouraged when, in spite of your actions, a CDI specialist resigns to moves across the country to a new opportunity. This is out of your control and being happy for her positive change and letting her go with grace may go further in the long run. Employees sometimes come back due to their fond memories of their leaving or they become more likely to refer someone they know. Regardless, when it’s out of your control, no fretting allowed.
- Be agile.
- Be nimble, be quick. Be ready to change course when needed and be able to lead others in new directions.
- Stay positive.
- Look for silver linings. The more you look, the more you find them.
- Provide structure and direction to your team in a supportive and safe environment.
- Implement regular team meetings to discuss difficult cases, either in a morning huddle or weekly team brown-bag lunch-n-learn.
- Explain any facility or system-wide initiatives to the team and how they can help and what the impact to their daily actives might be. Help them understand the reasoning behind initiatives and how you, as their manager, will help them be successful in these new endeavors.
- Eliminate chaos from those areas you can control. Do this by:
- Having written policies in place.
- Keeping policies and procedures updated when needed.
- Communicating policy and procedure changes along with rationale and research behind the need for the changes.
- Holding everyone accountable for their individual and team responsibilities, including yourself.
- Driving with data! Measure, report out, devise action plans to address outliers, repeat.
- Making prompt decisions to avoid floundering or uncertainty.
- Providing the guidance needed to resolve disagreements.
- Avoiding indecision that leads to a rumor mill; provide clarity. Find your voice and use it! Be a role model to others.
- Promoting an environment comfortable to work in and supportive of the sharing of ideas and unanimous contribution.
- Setting up quarterly reflection sessions with your team to answer the questions—where have we been, where are we going, what is in the way and how do we get to the goal anyway, or does the goal have to be adjusted?
Now you are sustaining through thick and thin and against all odds. You and your team can make this new year bright! Success becomes you!
Editor’s note: Anderson is an RN by background, having worked in various roles and settings. She has worked in performance improvement consulting for more than seven years, specializing in CDI, and currently is a Manager at Huron Consulting Group. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Opinions expressed are that of the author and do not necessarily represent HCPro, ACDIS, or any of its subsidiaries.