I don’t know if it’s the Christmas Season or what but there’s definitely been a theme to the blog the past two weeks and that theme is centered around creating a positive work environment. Maybe I’m just feeling a little “elfish”.
I’m not sure about all the other folks in hospital administration around the country but I spend a lot of time thinking about how to improve the work environment and how to create an environment in which people enjoy their jobs and want to come to work.
The most recent issue of Healthcare Executive had an article titled “Creating a Positive Workplace” and I thought I’d share and discuss a few of the authors “tips” on creating a positive environment. The author’s comments are in bold print and they are followed by my response.
Recognize you co-worker for their commitment and caring. The No. 1 motivator of people is recognition. Seems easy enough for all of us to pat each other on the back and say “good job” but we probably don’t do it as often as we should. I know I can do a better job saying “good job” and “thank you”. Saying thank you for a job well done is part of my job and it’s expected of me but how meaningful would it be to your coworker for them to hear “thank you, nice work” from a peer. I’m sure it would mean a lot so I’d encourage you to give it a try. Take a moment this week to tell a coworker they’re doing a good job and see how they react. My guess is the gesture will make both of you feel good.
Be accountable for your commitments. When you make a promise, keep it. Not remaining faithful to your word erodes the trust necessary for a working relationship to not just stay alive but to thrive. I’m a firm believer that trust is a lot easier to lose than to gain. The quickest way to lose trust is to not do what you say you will do.
Be responsible for your actions. If you make a mistake, immediately own up to it. This statement goes hand in glove with the one above. It’s hard for most of us to admit fault but we all make mistakes and our coworkers will respect us more if and when we admit our mistakes. It’s also important that we learn from our mistakes, grow from them and prevent them from happening in the future.
Share in creating a positive and emotionally comfortable working environment. This point was the topic of yesterday’s blog. We all share responsibility in creating a positive environment because we control our own attitudes. If you have a negative attitude you not only affect your ability to enjoy your job you also affect, or infect, everyone you work with. Being positive is contagious.
Make your working relationships meaningful. I saved this point until last because I believe it is most important. I blogged about it last week and I truly believe it, we all want to be part of something greater than we are. Each of us wants to feel and believe we are contributing to our organization. We are in health care, the most difficult job in the entire world and we are in the business of saving lives, aside from parenting, how can any job be more meaningful. Achieving goals and recognition as a team helps add purpose to what we do and to our lives. We all have the same priority – making the patient feel better. We do not heal every patient because some things are out of our control but we can, and should, make every patient feel better. Our team consists of those who clean the floors, make the meals, change the linens on the bed, pass medications, draw blood, take x-rays, register the patient, explain insurance coverage and perform surgery but no matter the place on the team we all have the same purpose – MAKE THE PATIENT FEEL BETTER.
Sometimes a smile and a kind word are all that is needed to make a our team successful.