THREE BEST WAYS TO CREATE A SENSE OF BELONGING, RANKED
People crave a sense of belonging. Creating an environment where people feel that they belong is one of the most effective strategies for patient and staff retention. Here are the three best ways to accomplish it for your organization:
Immediate acknowledgement. Has this ever happened to you? You approach a counter for service, but the person working behind the counter doesn’t look up at you. You know people are busy, so you wait. When you think you’ve waited long enough, you make the “I’m here” cough. If the person still doesn’t look up, does your attitude change? Tone of voice? Words you choose to use? One of your service behaviors should be: “Greet people when you see them.” This service expectation is especially important for colleague-to-colleague interactions. Immediate acknowledgement of the other person is the foundation for a sense of belonging.
Something in common. People think, “If you are like me, you like me.” I’ve just finished Damon Tweedy, MD’s best-selling book Black Man in a White Coat. In four instances, he describes experiences in which finding something in common eased a relationship. One was finding out that he and his “difficult” patient had both worn orthodontic braces when they were younger.
At NewYork Columbia Presbyterian, the Neuro ICU team posted a photo of a morning huddle in which a new team member brought his Marine uniform to show something important in his life. Can’t you imagine the connections made after that introduction?
No negative gossip. Gossip has been described as junk food for the brain. Negative gossip destroys trust. Think it’s impossible to have a no-gossip organization? Shayla McKnight wrote an article for The New York Times about joining an organization where gossip is not allowed. Before she was hired, she signed the company’s “agreement to values” form but she wasn’t sure if what they were promising could be achieved. Now she is. “If we ever sense someone is gossiping” she writes, “we call that person out and say ‘You need to go to the source if you have a question.'” “It might be human nature to think an unkind thought about a co-worker, but it’s a choice whether or not to actually say it.” If you’d like a pdf of the article, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A sense of belonging. It’s not rocket science; it is important. Perhaps now more than ever.
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CARE, LEARN, LEAD
Empathy: How do you tell someone over the phone that they’re dying? (Medscape)
Essential: Top skills for an effective manager. (Inc)
Enhance: Day of surgery phone, video calls boost satisfaction. (Orthopedics Today)
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