Articles by: Phil Krison

The Neighborhood Approach to Improving Employee Relations

As care providers, it is crucial to have every member of the team working collaboratively to effectively drive results. Improving how employees interact with managers and peers alike will improve the quality of care provided to clients. Similar to members of a neighborhood, maintaining a positive community where employees feel at home will keep the staff focused and effective everyday. To build employee relations, it’s important to follow these neighborhood approaches:

1. Make new neighbors feel welcomed to the community

Just like a friendly neighbor might bake an apple pie for the new family on the corner, it is important for leaders to help new team members feel welcomed into their new workplace. Take the initiative to introduce new hires to each member of their team, invite them to lunch when possible, and make an effort to get to know them. Delegate employees to be responsible for relaying job-associated knowledge, such as the organization’s mission, vision, and culture to help assimilate employees on to the team.

2. Take a walk around the block

The Harvard Business Review identifies wellness programs for organizations that focus primarily on at-risk employees as the most cost effective technique to lower healthcare claims. Offering wellness programs helps support lifestyle management, leading to healthier and happier employees. Additionally, by catering specifically to employees suffering from critical conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, and depression, you can decrease the likelihood of costly hospital visits. To increase the effectiveness of these programs, utilize a tailored system to track performance and provide incentives that reward employees on their personal successes.

3. Good fences build good neighbors

While it is essential for managers to be personable and approachable leaders, a defined boundary between professional and personal lives should be drawn. Keep in mind, what is humorous and entertaining for some employees, may be offensive or inappropriate to others. Staying connected to your team is crucial for retaining long-term employees. As leaders, exhibiting professional behavior, above all else, will help team members feel comfortable in their workspace.

4. Great neighbors build great cultures

Employee attitudes will ultimately decide the organization’s culture. Align the emotional energy of your team by developing positive behaviors, such as how to respond to a colleagues email and how to properly give constructive criticism. By providing a roadmap for employee’s to hold one another accountable, they will feel empowered and will help cultivate a unified and positive workforce.

Reinforcing a comfortable environment for employees to feel welcomed and accepted begins with how managers interact with their workforce. Setting a general guide on how to interact with coworkers can go a long way to creating the positive work atmosphere needed for modern organizations. Being a kind neighbor is contagious, so lend a friendly hand whenever possible and pass it on.

This DATIS Blog was written by Phil Krison, DATIS, on June 22nd, 2016 and may not be re-posted without permission

Encouraging Innovation Governance

For many organizations in the Health & Human Services industry, making company-wide change can mean spending valuable time and resources on searching for solutions, implementing, and adopting new processes. According to Deloitte ‘Nearly 75% of business leaders stated that their current state of work environments are "Complex to Very Complex", making the ability to implement company-wide changes a difficult undertaking. However, by establishing a standard set of guidelines to continuously improve quality, employees are able to contribute to the organization’s mission and focus. In order to encourage rejuvenation through organizational change, consider the following three strategies.

Define the Innovation Process
Executive management can create an organizational plan for decision power lines, communication procedures, expectations, and budgets. Building a routine for making improvements will eliminate the burden on employees having to a new project plan template each time. Additionally, promoting creativity in the workplace allows for every member of your workforce to voice their opinions and ideas on how to improve processes and activities. Along with the promotion of an innovative workplace, it will also become important to set clear and defined metrics to evaluate the impact of these specific innovation plans.  For example, measuring vacancy time and daily lost revenue per position will show the effectiveness of a new recruiting and on-boarding process.

Benchmark with Industry Leaders
Innovation governance promotes the sharing of business ideas internally and externally for the advancement of specific organizations and industries alike. While new concepts and ideas can come from within the organization, it’s not always necessary to reinvent the wheel in order to gain a new perspective. Using relevant, third party references to assist in ‘open-source innovation’ allows thought leaders to access true results from how other organizations have evolved. Building on pre-existing technologies and ideas can reveal new opportunities that the organization could be focusing on. Subscribing to newsletters, blogs, and industry journals, as well as maintaining business networks, keeps business leaders informed on new ideas to help drive business results.

Implement with Performance in Mind
Choosing the best strategy to implement a new idea, or improve an existing one, can be time-consuming. However, ensuring these new ideas fit properly into current processes takes precision and care. Creating effective, cross-functional innovations often requires multiple departments to devote resources for correct implementation. Without a scheduled plan for each step of implementation, many unanticipated challenges can arise. Taking the effort to properly implement new procedures and ideas can determine whether it succeeds or not.

Constant improvement is what drives organizations to grow and evolve. Innovation governance is starting to make its mark on industry leaders within the healthcare space. Sustain your organization’s innovation by considering the adoption of modern solutions to drive your workforce to success.

This DATIS Blog was written by Phil Krison, DATIS, on July 27th, 2016 and may not be re-posted without permission.

Mending the Gap: Overcoming Understaffing

The number of service providers needed is steadily increasing as demands for these services continue to rise. As the Baby Boomer Generation approaches the traditional retirement age, keeping a fully staffed Health and Human Service Organization is becoming a top priority throughout the country.

A study of 20,000 US Physicians showed that 80% of doctors feel over-worked, or are working at full capacity. Along with this, Healthcare professionals are beginning to retire at earlier ages and the industry as a whole is experiencing high turnover rates. These challenges are requiring organizations to re-evaluate their strategies to maintain proper staffing levels while continuing to provide the quality of care necessary today. Consider the following three strategies to overcoming the growing trend of understaffing.

Hiring Novice Nurses
Today’s nursing programs are not only preparing nurses for providing bedside care, they are also preparing them to properly assimilate with the aging nursing workforce. In fact, many healthcare providers are already partnering with universities to prepare the future workforce for their new patient care environment. Coming right from college, early career nurses are typically more tech savvy, making them more comfortable with utilizing Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and Human (HCM) software, as well as other systems designed to improve quality of care. Novice nurses typically have a thirst for learning new techniques and can be more motivated to improve their caregiving abilities.

Training Displaced Workers
Some industries have made cuts in their workforces, leaving many Americans without a stable job or career path. Organizations, such as , worked with Oakland University to create a two-year nursing program for Ford and GM workers laid off from factory relocation. While there were several pieces of criteria and pre-requisites that were necessary, nurses that passed their nursing licensure exam helped diversify clinics and fill those desperately needed positions. This program found that the formerly displaced workers would typically work for less salary, as well as bring an outside perspective to the Health and Human services industry.

Improve your Recruitment Success Rate
Every organization wants to have the best-qualified talent that they can afford, but without setting performance metrics, it can be difficult to measure how successful a candidate will be. Data analytics have become increasingly popular over the past few years, especially during the recruitment stages. By identifying metrics such as cost-per-hire, quality-of-hire, daily lost revenue, and turnover rates, organizations are able to identify efficient, and inefficient, areas of their recruiting process.

The demand within these specified industries is expected to increase within the upcoming years. Organizations that establish and maintain a strategic staffing plan will be able to remain competitive, despite the upcoming challenges. By utilizing these three strategies at hand, organizations will be able to optimize their workforce and meet the challenges ahead. Is your ready to start overcome understaffing?

This DATIS Blog was written by Phil Krison, DATIS, on August 30th, 2016 and may not be re-posted without permission.