For us in healthcare, our sense of joy should not be isolated to the holiday season or our lives away from work. This belief rings true for any industry. But American healthcare workers are burned out. Becker’s recently reported that 70% of nurses are burned out, and more than half of physicians share the same sentiment. Patients are being harmed. Errors continue. Healthcare costs are out of control. Bottom lines are shrinking.
Where is the joy, my fellow healthcare change agents?
True joy connects with meaning and purpose and is intrinsic to our profession. The feeling comes from making a difference in patients’ lives, a unique privilege to our industry. Therefore, as leaders, we must strive to cultivate a workplace that thrives upon it.
For a grass roots DIY start, see the Institute of Health’s three questions and incorporate them into your staff meetings, rounding, daily huddles:
- Am I treated with dignity and respect by everyone?
- Do I have what I need so I can make a contribution that gives meaning to my life?
- Am I recognized and thanked for what I do?
For a more robust approach, A3 Healthcare believes our responsibility as leaders relies upon data-driven approaches, and in this case, we can objectively measure and understand joy at a macro level. The IHI Framework for Improving Joy in Work white paper helps put this task into perspective and provides practical ideas for where to begin.
Here’s A3’s play card, using the tools of Lean and Six sigma, for a solid approach to igniting the joy in your organization.
Measure engagement and culture of safety scores at all levels of the organization.
Assess data and map findings, challenges and barriers.
Train leaders for systemwide adoption.
Develop a system-wide dashboard to ensure goal-oriented, data-driven teamwork and accountability.
Hardwire ongoing communications to support action plans.
Celebrate wins regularly and often.
For support with a strategic plan and approach to cultivating your organization’s joy, contact us.