“People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.” — John Maxwell
Keeping your hospice team members long-term is a critical element to your agency’s success. The stability impacts the delivery of consistent care which affects patients, referrals, CHAPS reporting, business operations, and much more. Leadership, team members confidence in their company’s leadership & management is one of the key elements is developing a workplace where team members want to stay, develop, and help grow the agency.
7 Elements of Staff Retention
- Alignment: Company’s purpose or mission, the company values & direction. Click here to read Part 1. Alignment
- Coaching: Company leadership care about employee concerns, provide assistance as needed, and encourage development. Click here to read Part 2. Coaching
- Connection: Employees feel appreciated, their work is meaningful maximizing their potential and information is transparent.
- Engagement: Team members feel the work is challenging & productive and that they want to do their best. Click here to read Part 3, Connection & Engagement
- Leadership: Team members feel confidence in their company’s leadership & management.
- Performance: Well developed processes that are flexible, achieving goals, innovation, leadership that is involved in operations.
- The Basics: Pay, benefits, training, expectations. “People work for money but go the extra mile for recognition, praise and rewards.” – Dale Carnegie
Team Confidence = Confidence in Leadership
Developing your team members’ self-confidence is a win-win-win. Helping your team members to find and grow their strengths benefits the individual, you as a leader, and your agency.
As a leader, you have a pivotal and important opportunity in developing, or reducing your team members’ confidence which directly results in a motivated team member or a discouraged employee.
Confidence is not developed in a single moment. Building your team members’ confidence, like all the elements of staff retention that we’ve discusses, are a process that requires thoughtfulness, consistency, and time where each experience builds on your previous efforts to holistically develop a high performing and confident team.
Lead By Example
“Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.” — Colin Powell
- Get involved: Since your agency has grown from the startup phase, when you juggled every task, to a larger agency with staff and teams and operations. While it’s imperative that you do the job of running the agency on a high level, how long has it been since you dove into the day to day needs; getting a referral, dropping off supplies, meeting with family and getting a consent? Prioritizing times to work with your team will keep you in tune with the pulse of your agency while building and enhancing your teams trust in you.
- Listen – Before you can listen you need to be approachable and available. Make yourself available and accessible to team members. If your staff does not feel that they can share their feedback, especially problems they see or problems they encounter, they will become disengaged & disconnected lacking confidence in themselves and their team and your leadership.
- Be mindful – Leading a team is about guiding people so they can get to where you want them to be. Whether it’s positive or direct or even corrective guidance, no one wants to be directed publicly. Mindfulness is a form of empathy, understanding how calling someone out for improvement in public can generate negative feelings. Give guidance in private.
- Don’t micromanage – You’ve aligned your team and have communicated your vision, your value and your goals. You’ve trained your team. You offer guidance & support and are available to listen. Now take a step back. Empower your team to manage themselves.
- Take responsibility – The buck stops with you. Great leaders take responsibility for problems and mistakes, regardless of who on the team made an error. For example, a hospice social worker, for fear of the patient’s well-being, initiated a patient transfer from a facility. The social worker didn’t keep other team members in the loop and no one spoke with facility administration either. The first team members heard of the issue was when the facility administrator called them furious that they discovered the patient was being transferred when the ambulance showed up. You, as the leader, have an opportunity to take responsibility for what happened, the process, the lack of communication and lead and inspire your team- or just blame the social worker.
4 Tips to Build Team Confidence
“Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better.” — Bill Bradley
1. Train Better: Build staff confidence by making sure they are well trained to do the job you want them to do. Employees are rarely asked what training they feel they need or method of training that works for them. New employee training is often just an old process that is a matter for HR to check a box with little thought as to the training’s effectiveness. When people are forced to spend time and energy on training that they feel is of little to no value, they feel disrespected and that their leader doesn’t know or care for them.
2. Mentor: While mentoring could be couched under the umbrella term of training, at its best, it’s a separate and unique initiative. Mentorship is not just for new hires who need to be ‘shown the ropes.’ In fact, mentorship is exceedingly effective when it’s applied to familiar team members who need extra confidence and development. Assign relevant employees to be mentored by experienced team members. This has the benefit of not only showing the less effective and less confident employee that you see them and want to provide this development opportunity, but it also shows respect and appreciation to the team-member now mentor.
An important note is to provide the time and space for both mentor and mentee to work through the process. This may affect the time they have to achieve their own set goals and in the short-term, an effective mentorship program may require some time and goals adjustments to accommodate.
3. Respect + Empathy = Confidence: As a friend of mine tells his team, 2+2 = 4, but so does 3+1, and 5-1. There are an infinite number of ways to reach 4. Respect isn’t about agreeing or disagreeing with your perspective but is about recognizing that other people have different perspectives. Whether you ultimately agree or not, respect is about giving your people the space to be who they are and share their opinions and to be treated with empathy and respect. It’s costs almost nothing and a culture of respect & empathy will change how team members interact and create a positive attitude that has far reaching effect & impact.
4. Physical Environment: It’s easy to overlook your physical space – especially in hospice where the physical space for many team members is often their car. Your agency’s space should be created to allow people to do their job and while feeling comfortable and safe. If you can go the extra mile and create those feelings for team members who spend a lot of time driving, even better! Some possibilities include checking that team members have jumper cables, emergency items, and help with maintenance. Some agencies provide emergency contact apps for safety when travelling and visiting patients. The end result is that you can either treat people like machines or like people.
If you’re an independent agency that wants their partners and the tools your team uses to be powerful, flexible and aligned with an empowering culture for your team, you need to find out more about the Hospice EMR built from the ground up for teams like yours!
Get to the Top with Hospice Tools!
Hospice Tools is the EMR built from the ground up for hospice & palliative agencies to help teams do more with pro features such as:
- Super-fast IDG
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- Customizable forms
- Bulk eSign docs – even from the mobile app!
- Hospice billing with built-in Medicaid Room & Board and Appeals tracking
- Unparalleled service & support
and much more!
Help your team chart faster and easier with improved compliance.