Leadership - Archives

3 Leadership Essentials for an Exceptional Service Culture

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All organizations talk about service, but for healthcare organizations, service is everything. Fostering an exceptional service culture throughout your healthcare organization can be a challenge, but it can be done. In my last book, Raising the Bar on Service Excellence, I talk about what it takes to get the people within the organization to this level. I depict the process as a triangle that involves the head, the hands, and the heart. Do they know what to do (the head or knowledge)? Do they know how to do it (the hands or skill)? And, finally, do they want to do it (the heart or attitude and desire)? If they do, you’ve got a winning combination! Continue Reading...

5-Star Rating Comes from 5-Star Leadership

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In April, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 5-star rating system for patient satisfaction. It’s a simplified approach to reporting The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) in a way that will, hopefully, be easier for the public to understand. The mandate is clear: healthcare consumers want an easy-to-understand means of identifying the organizations and clinicians that provide the best care and service, which most healthcare organizations are committed to doing. Continue Reading...

Are Your $100 Bills Going to Sacred Cows?

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If it’s good enough for millionaires, it should be more than good enough for healthcare professionals! Whether you call it the “Power Hour,” the “Sacred 60,” or something else, as this Forbes piece points out, being steadfast in committing your time to a specific important endeavor can yield exceptional results. Continue Reading...

How Hourly C.A.R.E. Rounds Can Positively Impact Your HCAHPS Scores

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Rounding is nothing new in healthcare. It’s as old as some medical facilities themselves and also was a tactic used by Florence Nightingale as she went from one soldier to the next to provide care during the Crimean War! Rounding has traditionally been seen as a way to move efficiently between patients when there was more than a 1:1 ratio of providers to patients. It ensures that providers can move from one patient to the next to keep tabs on each patient’s status. Continue Reading...

Is Your Leadership Style One Size Fits None?

What if you walked into your favorite coffee shop one day and discovered that you couldn't order your usual "customized" coffee? You'd be served caffeinated black coffee or nothing at all. Many industry leaders recognize that their customers are demanding customized experiences; after all, you can customize everything from your computer to your morning cup of coffee. But what about the frontline employees providing these customized experiences? Should their leaders expect them to perform their work in a "black coffee" world, with each employee being treated exactly like the one next to him? In our increasingly customized world, it should be no surprise that employees might expect customized approaches from their leaders. A one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work any better in leadership than it does with serving coffee to a Starbucks generation. Continue Reading...

Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way!

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Healthcare organizations are beginning to embrace the concept of a Chief Experience Officer - an individual responsible for ensuring service excellence throughout the organization. While I can see the merit in having a position like this, and it makes sense to establish clear accountability, simply anointing this new type of "CEO" is not enough to make exceptional service happen. Continue Reading...

Leaders Don't Duck

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We’ve all been there—faced with a critical moment of truth when we might offer some much-needed feedback (constructive or corrective) to an employee, but we let the moment go. Maybe it’s because we don’t feel the setting is appropriate—perhaps we’re in a meeting or with a patient and family members. Maybe we think it’s just an isolated instance, and it’s not really a “big deal.” Maybe we just aren’t ready to face a potential confrontation at that particular moment in time. Whatever the reason, we duck the issue. But, guess what? Continue Reading...

Leading with Passion: 3 keys to sharing your enthusiasm

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When it comes to leadership traits, "passion" is hard to pin down, but it is vital to engaging the hearts and minds of followers—or employees. Passionate leaders have the spark that can foster commitment and determination in their employees. Continue Reading...

Listen to Your Patients in Stereo

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You’ve conducted a very extensive patient satisfaction survey and you’ve just received the results. You’ve gathered your leadership team together and you’re diving into the data. There’s a lot of information—and you’ve paid a lot to attain it. But what does it mean? And what do you do with the information? With HCAHPS scores driving reimbursement, as well as the movement toward value-based purchasing, patient satisfaction is no longer the “nice” thing to do—it’s essential. Continue Reading...

MIA: Why your strategic plan should be focused on doing not planning

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Strategic planning may not be the favorite activity of many healthcare leaders, but it is arguably one of the most important. Unfortunately, too often the plan is created and then pushed aside—in the “old days” gathering dust on the shelf, these days more likely in an electronic file somewhere. When it comes to planning for your future patient experience and culture, think of it as a type of strategic plan. Many, if not all, of the principles apply. Continue Reading...

Mission Check: How to keep your essential promises

Typically, organizations pour a lot of effort and brain power into developing powerful mission, vision, and values statements. The final results of arduous brainstorming sessions, these statements are boldly plastered on websites, walls, organizational literature, and employee name tags. They stand as the organization's essential promises to their customers. Breaking any one of these promises leads to a breakdown in service, quality, and, ultimately, your reputation. Continue Reading...

Mission Critical: Making two essential connections between mission and service

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The importance of superior customer service in carrying out your organizational mission should be clear to all employees. However, sometimes the employees who work most closely with the greatest number of customers can lose sight of that essential connection in their daily work. To foster that critical connection, employ a simple formula in E(ducation) plus E(ngagement) adds up to a successful mission. Continue Reading...

Physician and Manager: Powerful pair or oil and water?

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As a child, you may have worked the parenting system by telling dad that “Mom said it’s okay,” or convincing mom that “Dad lets me do it.” Unless mom and dad caught onto the ploy, joined forces, and made it impossible for you to pit one against the other, this tactic may have been an effective means for you to get your way. Continue Reading...

The Connection to Purpose: Why work matters

At some time or another, every human being is swept up in that search for purpose. Aside from a paycheck, most workers will cite that what makes them happiest is that they have a meaningful level of contribution to their organization and that they can take an active role in shaping the outcomes. A sense of purpose is critical for employees to maximize their full potential. It sparks creativity and intensifies focus. Employees who are connected with an inner purpose are more fulfilled, more passionate, and more invested in the success of their organization. A sense of purpose links the individual employee's values with the greater organizational values and creates a more engaged employee. Continue Reading...

Walking the Talk: Four leadership actions that show service is a priority

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As leaders, we sometimes forget that the things we do make a difference and that our actions often speak more loudly than our words. Employees pay attention to not only what we say, but what we do—and they look for consistency between the two. That consistency is often referred to as “walking the talk.” Are you “walking the talk”? Do your behaviors and actions back up the things you say and support your organization’s mission, vision, values and purpose in tangible ways? If not, or if you’re not sure, here are four actions you can take to make sure that you’re “walking the talk” and demonstrating that customer service is truly a priority. Continue Reading...

What's the Story? Great leaders shape culture with stories that support mission, vision, and values

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Storytelling is ageless. It traces back to prehistoric times when cave dwellers would capture their stories in the form of pictures on cave walls. From Aristotle and Aesop to Shakespeare and Doug Lipman, throughout time, those who have been able to craft a good story could hold audiences in thrall, capturing both their hearts and their minds. Continue Reading...

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