The pressure to improve patient satisfaction scores is everywhere. Unfortunately, posting and explaining scores won’t engage the heart of the people who are most likely to have a direct impact on the scores. If you want to engage your staff in creating a better customer experience, open a conversation with them about what a great experience would look like. Have them tell you what they would like to hear their customers say about their encounters. Once they have articulated what they would like their customers to say, ask them what would have to happen in order to make that vision a reality.
Here is how I guide a visioning discussion with a team. I ask the following questions:
- Who are our key customers? (Patients, co-workers, physicians, etc.)
- What would you want each of these groups to say about their experience working with us?
- How close are we? (to the description just given)
- What do we need to do in order to close the gaps?
- Who do you need to be in order to be an active part of the solution?
The first question establishes a foundation for the discussion. I don’t let the participants respond to that question with, “Everyone.” That won’t cut it because each stakeholder group has different needs. The second question begins to shape the vision. What people respond to this question will form the basis for the action plan. The third question starts to bring reality into focus. The fourth question begins the action step planning. The final question starts to foster ownership. I’ve learned that when people have the chance to envision the future, they are much more likely to take ownership.
If you can engage your team in this discussion, you’ll be able to return to it over and over again as a means of framing reality in the day to day work.