Archive for October, 2008

Work-Life Blend in Healthcare

October 30, 2008

Work-life balance for women is such a vital issue in healthcare. It impacts the quality of life for the majority of healthcare workers, since 80% are female, and has a direct impact on both clinical quality and operational results. Studer Group conducted the largest study ever on how women in healthcare balance their work and life.  These findings will be released publicly today. I want to bring them to your attention.

Research has proven that lower employee turnover is correlated with shorter lengths of stay and a lower mortality rate.  Dr. Gerald Hickson’s work at Vanderbilt in patient safety and litigation shows that smooth handoffs and good explanations are critical to excellent safety and reducing claims. Staff satisfaction and turnover are the foundation of excellent performance, which is why these study results are so critical.

Here are a few findings based on 7,792 respondents:

  • 75% said they would choose a career in healthcare again.
  • 73% would recommend a career in healthcare to others.
  • 48% are satisfied with their work life, with 23% being very satisfied.
  • 47% are satisfied with their home life, with 28% being very satisfied.
  • 36% are satisfied with their current work life blend with only 9% being very satisfied. A sobering statistic.

The majority of women rarely dedicate time to their own personal and emotional needs. Of note, 46% reported tending to their own needs no more than a few times per year.

45% stated that they experience work-family conflict at least one day or more per week. The following factors were associated with a higher degree of work/family conflict: non-day shift work, mandatory overtime, having children younger than 18 at home, and having caregiving responsibilities for other dependent relatives. Due to the passion and skill of healthcare workers, they are the ones relatives and neighbors turn to in their time of need. Thus, leaders must take extra steps to assist healthcare workers to achieve an improved work-life blend.

The demanding 24-hours-a-day patient care environment, combined with the strong built-in desire to be of service to others, makes being a healthcare leader challenging and demanding.  Leadership is the key component to creating a work place that attracts and retains talent.

Click here to access the full study results as well as recommendations on which tools and techniques will enable you to build and refine a work environment that is a great place to work and therefore a great place to receive care.

Many healthcare organizations are also the largest or second largest employer in the area.  Better places to work means better communities to live in. In these challenging economic times, the organizations that align the human capital best will be those that have the most success both clinically and financially.

Click here to view a complimentary webinar on how to create a culture of work-life blend in your organization.



The Foundations of Healthcare Leadership

October 3, 2008

In today’s blog I want to offer senior leaders a guaranteed solution to one of your biggest frustrations: how to provide new and emerging leaders the skills they need to do their job. To help, we have created a brand new Institute called The Foundations of Healthcare Leadership, which will be held for the first time October 29-30 in Newark, NJ. I invite you to send your new and emerging leaders risk-free. If you don’t see results, we’ll refund the registration.

All leaders need to be able to run effective meetings, efficiently communicate with stakeholders, handle tough questions, hold people accountable and prioritize activities. But how many of us have had formal training in these skills? Based on our research, not many.

In healthcare, the vast majority of our leaders are promoted from line positions one day to leadership positions the next day, with little or no training in between. For years, I’ve asked individuals who attend our institutes to stand up if they received an MHA or MBA and then completed an administrative fellowship prior to holding their first leadership role. Having asked this question to literally tens of thousands of leaders, I can tell you that only about 5% follow this traditional path. This means the employer must provide the training. That’s unfortunate; because these graduate programs provide outstanding educational experiences and deserve more credit then they receive for the many things that are right about our healthcare system.

At these same institutes, we hear from new and emerging leaders that they don’t feel they have enough time to accomplish their goals. However, as we’ve seen literally thousands of times through our coaching sessions, the issue isn’t time. It’s skill.

When these skills aren’t well-honed and consistently deployed in all areas of an organization, we lose time. That’s time that could be spent with family; time that could be spent at an anxious patient’s beside; time that could be laser-focused on achieving our goals.

We built this Institute to fill the gap in leader training, and we are confident that attendees will see clear outcomes such as reduction in employee turnover, improvement in patient and employee satisfaction, and noticeable gains in financial and clinical performance. If you don’t agree that the cost to attend was more than offset by these gains, just let us know what you think the Institute was worth and we’ll refund the difference, up to the full amount of registration.

The one-and-a-half day Institute will focus on the practical skills that separate the best leaders in healthcare from all the rest. We call these the foundations of healthcare leadership:

  • Talent Management
    • Selecting talent
    • Building a successful team
    • Developing and retaining talent
    • De-selection
  • Communicating Like a Leader
    • Answering tough questions
    • Communicating with impact
    • Combining prescriptives with passion
    • Leading change
  • Time and Energy Management
    • Running effective meetings
    • Overcoming “full plate syndrome”
    • Delegating responsibility
  • Mastering Your Professional Development
    • Getting results
    • Holding yourself and others accountable
    • Critical thinking
    • Understanding and communicating the external environment, such as HCAHPS, “Never Events” and other game changing trends
  • Aligning the Behaviors of a Team
    • Aligning individual behavior to organizational goals
    • Rounding for outcomes
    • Using Key Words at Key Times
    • Rewarding and recognizing positive performance

The presenters for this new training institute are a perfect complement to the curriculum. Over his 23 year career, Bob Murphy served in a variety of roles, from nurse to department leader to administrator, learning valuable experiences and insights with each new responsibility. He now contributes to healthcare on the national stage through his work with Studer Group, where he serves as a coach and speaker, teaching leadership skills across the nation.

Bob will be joined by Beth Keane, Studer Group’s expert on communication skills, conflict resolution, and tactics to attract, retain and de-select employees. Beth has become one of our most sought after national speakers because she provides very specific tactics that her audiences can immediately put into place to transform their own results and those of the organizations they serve.

Leadership is the essential ingredient for achieving organizational results. We’re excited to launch this new training forum and hope you consider attending. We know your organization and your leaders will benefit, or the registration fee’s on us.