Leader to leader tip: How to motivate your team

While leading a hospital or health system can be an incredibly rewarding role, leaders must constantly work to keep their employees engaged, while also maintaining a high level of motivation themselves.

Janie Schumaker, RN, CNO of T-System, a provider of solutions to solve clinical financial, operational and regulatory challenges for hospitals and urgent care clinics, provided the following tip:

"Being in a leadership position can often be the most rewarding experience one can have. On the flip side, it can be quite daunting and lonely at times. Within the episodic care environment, which includes the emergency department and urgent care centers, leadership can be exceptionally challenging. Varying levels of acuity, the nature of episodic care events and a fast-paced, 24-7 environment can make it tough for leaders to motivate and encourage staff to put their best foot forward and ensure care is being delivered with compassion. Staff can easily lose sight of their purpose, and leadership plays an important role in helping staff stay motivated. 

Below are five tips I recommend for all leaders.

1. Make a personal connection: People must know you care about them as a person, no matter their level. Start conversations off on a personal note, asking questions such as 'How was your weekend?' Connecting with your team on a personal level increases engagement.  

2. Embrace an actionable tactic philosophy: When striving to deliver high-quality care, it's important to keep focused on the actionable tactics. What is the desired outcome? Leaders must communicate the desired outcomes to their team in order to keep everyone on the same page and drive positive results. 

Also remember to take a look at the language you use when communicating to your team. It's important to keep in mind that hope is not a strategy. Instead of saying 'I really hope our perception of care scores improve' say something such as, 'Our perception of care scores will improve because of X, Y and Z.'

3. Be resilient: As it becomes more difficult to lead in this rapidly changing environment, our capacity to be resilient is a key indicator of how effective we will be as a leader. In the midst of caring for others, you must take time to care for yourself to avoid burnout. Find one thing that refreshes you each day and prioritize it. Doing so will ensure you're able to tackle the most difficult challenges with a high energy level and clear mind. 

4. Take a step back: When facing a challenging patient or situation, remember to take a step back and assess. By assessing the situation, you're able to develop the best plan of action for the patient or to conquer a challenge.

5. Emulate a successful leader: Take note of leaders you've encountered who have experienced success in encouraging and motivating people to work at their top potential. Seek them out to talk through their best practices and begin putting them into action."

Do you have a tip to share? Please send any leadership tips and ideas to trosin@beckershealthcare.com to be included in our "Leader to leader tip" series.

More articles on leadership and management:
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The art of stopping
3 ways to manage stress through self-reflection

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