The team that is needed in healthcare is one that relies on the passion to be well, the deeper intelligence to thrive, and the authenticity to be who you say you are as an organization.
Let’s start with the passion to be well. In healthcare, we are notorious for not pursuing the root of the problem. Many would rather take a pill or prescribe a pill for diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or some other chronic illness instead of getting to the root cause of the disease. In organizations, we function very similarly. We may institute a policy or a program in order to correct employee behavior, when the root cause is the lack of engagement of the employee, with an even deeper root being the organizational culture. What would a healthy organizational culture look like in the 21st century?
There needs to be a vision established for holistic wellness (body, mind, and spirit) to be a priority within the organization. Not just lip service to holistic wellness. This requires leaders modeling the way. If you want your people to follow, you have to be willing to lead. Leading people and caring for people takes energy, and energy must be replaced. Individuals and people must create rituals that renew their energy to be able to function to their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual capacity. According to Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz in the article, “The Making of a Corporate Athlete,” “Companies can’t afford to address their employees’ cognitive capacities while ignoring their physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being (p. 128).”
Four suggestions to put into practice to begin the passion for wellness:
1) Offer healthy choices in the cafeteria and vending machines. Also, bring healthy snacks like hummus and fresh veggies for dipping and trail mix or almonds for break room snacks
2) Provide an area for employees to take a break and meditate or take a 10-20 minute power nap (twelve hour shifts can be de-energizing)
3) Hire trainers to help employees with healthy eating and exercise plans (notice I did not say diet)
4) Offer a daily inspirational quote for the week with reflections of how that quote energized employees and patients
Look for Part Two of Building a Better Team when we discuss a deeper intelligence to thrive.