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Are your Standards just a Suggestion?

Posted by Kristin Baird on September 29th, 2015 • 2 Comments »

Nothing kills your patient experience improvement efforts faster than a leader who doesn’t hold his/her staff accountable. I’ve witnessed more wishy washy leaders in my time than I care to remember. And do you know what’s worse than being wishy washy? Being that way and not knowing it. That’s why I need to talk about it here. I want each of you to ask yourself if you’re really holding your team members accountable to the standards for service excellence. And are you consistent?

If you are a manager or director over a unit or department, you cannot afford to let things slide. When you do, you send the message that poor behavior is acceptable.

We were giving a mystery shopping report to a client a few weeks ago and one of the managers in the session started to explain that the poor behavior witnessed not once, but twice, by mystery shoppers, may have been that the staff member was having a bad day. Are bad days acceptable when you hold a customer facing job? No.

Everyone out there is always using Disney and Ritz Carlton as benchmarks. Do you think that they make excuses for bad days? No. They hold their standards out as a non-negotiable term of employment. When you let things slide, your staff thinks that standards are merely a suggestion.

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Baird Consulting

2 Responses to “Are your Standards just a Suggestion?”

  1. Kristin, I’ve been in management AND an RN at the bedside. For many years I’ve had my own business as an RN Patient Advocate. The “healthcare” workplace culture has shifted drastically in the last 5-10 years, and I know that the delivery of an organization’s mission, vision, and values starts at the top. How is administration held accountable to employees for staffing cuts, diminishing wages, hierarchical demands (based on “hotel” surveys), lack of support for employee physical, mental and emotional health? Communication is sorely lacking, and collaboration within and across departments is essentially non-existent in most facilities. Employer/employee relationships are a two way street!

  2. Deb Stargardt says:

    Kristin, I just posted on this topic last week. You are spot on and I would emphasize that the leaders must model expectations. There is so much saying and not enough doing. What we as advisors need to talk about more is what holding people accountable loojs like. I think everyone understands the why but how is more elusive. For starters, the leaders need a solid game plan with HR buy-in. Create an accountability management process that works consistently and efficiently.


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