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Is anyone listening?

In my last blog, I shared some thoughts about people-focused managers as a key factor in creating a culture of engagement. This month I want to voice my opinion about employees having an active voice in your facility!

Just for a moment, walk in the shoes of a frontline employee…

You are at the heart of delivering care and/or service to patients/residents. You are keenly aware of what works and what doesn’t work as you perform your day-to-day tasks. If anyone were to ask you for things that could be done to make things better for patients, or make a work process more efficient, you most likely would have plenty of ideas. Sure, you could offer your ideas, but would anyone listen? Your work is performed within whatever systems and processes the “higher-ups” put in place for care and service delivery. You’re willing to share your ideas, but you’re not sure if it’s safe to do so, or if you would be seen as credible.

Employees want to be heard. They want to contribute to the success of their organization and they want to know that their input is taken seriously. If you don’t encourage employees to share their ideas for improvement, you are missing out on some great time and cost saving ideas! Employees are closest to the work and are acutely aware of the barriers that prevent work from getting done efficiently. But unless they know you are interested in hearing their suggestions, they are not likely to come forward with their ideas.

If you create an open environment for communication, and formal processes for employee input, you can benefit from the voice of your employees. But how can you promote active voice of employees? Here are three tips:

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