Is it an Explanation or an Excuse?

Posted by Kristin Baird on July 14th, 2016 • No Comments »

I was recently speaking with a hospital Vice President who had called to discuss their training needs. Their system had more than doubled in size in under five years, creating stress across the system. As a result, they experienced wide-spread turnover at both the front line, and managerial levels. During the transition, they lost important ground on their patient experience. It seems that so much change all at once caused leaders to shift focus. The Vice President presenting the problem told me, “What I find disturbing is that the managers are using change as an excuse for tolerating bad behavior.”

I’ve heard lots of excuses over the years, and have yet to find one that provides good rationale for wavering on service standards. A few include:

  • The staff is so busy
  • We’re understaffed
  • We have travelers, so have no control
  • New staff hasn’t had the training
  • I don’t have time to babysit

There are many times when a manager feels compelled to explain why they can’t hold staff accountable. Just remember; there’s a fine line between an explanation, and an excuse.

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