Engage the Heart to Engage Employees
The term “hardwiring” is a familiar one in the healthcare industry and typically focuses on consistent behaviors rather than employee engagement. There is merit in hardwiring behaviors for consistency, but it’s equally important to “heart wire.”
Heart-wiring goes beyond the desired behaviors by starting with connection to purpose.
Working with people in various settings over the years as a clinician, a leader, and now as a consultant, I’ve found that without a personal connection to purpose, many service tactics just feel like more work for employees. There are two key operating assumptions at work here:
- Everyone wants to matter; every employee wants to make a difference. Employees want to succeed and they need their leader’s help to do so.
- Everyone wants to be a member of a winning team. Your employees want to work for the best health care organization in their community or even the nation. They want to know that their contribution is vital to the organization’s success.
Without a personal connection to purpose, many service tactics just feel like more work for employees.
The leader’s ability to “heart wire” behaviors and actions won’t happen by chance. It must be by design. There are three key leadership skills that will help to heartwire behaviors. They are:
- Hiring – Heart-wiring starts during the hiring process and involves careful selection of employees who have a passion for service. Find out what draws the candidate to healthcare and how he/she makes a difference in the lives of patients and other customers. In our Be the Leader Nobody Wants to Leave course, we have an entire module dedicated to hiring for fit. This helps leaders ask questions to identify how candidates bring their heart to their jobs.
- Coaching – Once hired, it is the ongoing coaching and feedback that helps cement desired behaviors and actions throughout employment.
- Recognition & Accountability – We all like a pat on the back every now and then. Employees need to be recognized for good work. It also provides the leader the opportunity to connect great work back to the mission, vision, and values.
Demanding adherence to tactics can fuel resentment in an already over-stretched team.
Tactics alone won’t engage the heart. In fact, demanding adherence to tactics can fuel resentment in an already over-stretched team. Help your employees make the connection between the tactic and the organizations’ mission, vision, and values. That’s heart-wiring—that’s how you can ensure all employees know what is expected of them, how these expectations matter, and how they make a difference.
Learn to heart wire a connection to purpose throughout your culture. Enroll today in Be the Leader Nobody Wants to Leave – 8 Transformational Skill-Builders for Busy Leaders.
Tags: Communication, connection to purpose, Employee Engagement, heart-wire, heartwire, heartwiring, Leadership, Organizational Culture, Patient Experience, purpose