(Editor’s note- Culture is the main determinant for having engaged anesthesia providers that want to stay with a practice instead of always looking for that next job. Whether or not you have an official leadership role in your department understanding key characteristics that improve culture is important so you can help make positive changes.
This sponsored article by NAPA shares tips you can implement to improve your anesthesia group’s culture. Enjoy!)
Today, changes in the healthcare industry have placed increased stress on clinicians, with many practices dealing with fewer resources, longer hours and increased regulations. These factors can weigh heavily on employees, the culture in which they work and impact an overall sense of well-being, leading to poor productivity and compromised patient care. In order to overcome these challenges, clinical leaders must be proactive in creating a positive work environment that builds trust and inspires loyalty through communication and collaboration.
Here are 7 tips to help improve employee culture:
1. Set Clear Goals: The first step in improving culture is understanding the department’s goals as well as the organization’s overall goals and mission, enabling your team to think beyond their roles and responsibilities.
2. Acknowledge Challenges: It is important to listen to staff members and understand their challenges. As leaders, we need to acknowledge these specific obstacles in order to move past them.
3. Reward Successes: Everyone, whether individually or as a group, likes to receive kudos and receive recognition for their outstanding work. A good example of this may be to post patient satisfaction comments and acknowledge the best performers publicly. Or leaders can post positive results in the break room to celebrate departmental achievements, such as hand hygiene statistics or first-case start times.
4. Encourage Open Communication: As an anesthesiologist, I encourage communication between all members of the anesthesia group and perioperative staff. This is applicable in all specialties. It is essential to be able to communicate across departments, teams, staff, etc. within the healthcare setting. Empowering staff to ask questions is important to help clarify direction or intent before decisions are made. This often leads to solutions for challenges in real-time and helps sidestep concerns before they gain momentum.
5. Foster Mutual Accountability: Stick to established standards. Everyone must hold each other accountable for their behavior and/or performance. As the old saying goes, “you are only as strong as your weakest link.” A successful group helps to build each other up by upholding high workplace standards and maintaining professionalism at all times.
6. Provide Lunch: Nothing brings people together like a shared meal. I like to provide occasional lunches on busy OR days. This tip is a practical gesture in an environment where sometimes meals are often skipped due to workload. As healthcare professionals, it is important that we take care of ourselves to ensure we are at our best when it comes time to take care of our patients.
7. Host Social Gatherings: Holiday parties and after work social gatherings bring people together. When we take the opportunity to connect outside of the hospital setting, it provides us with an opportunity to foster a new appreciation for one another deepen existing relationships and foster new ones.