Clint Maun, CSP
People growing up today expect involvement.
They play interactive computer games, and were taught it’s OK to ask
“Why?” Those of us born before 1965 however, were taught not to ask
questions after we heard “because I told you so.”
after 1965, expect involvement in decision making and is less likely to
stay with an employer with a pictorial parent role culture.
people grew up without much choice. They chose from three flavors of
ice cream: chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, and had three TV choices:
NBC, CBS and ABC.
Today, there are 132 channel options on cable
TV. People channel surf as a hobby. And there are 31 flavors of ice
cream, from mint julep to bubble gum. In the past, three kinds of cars
sat in your driveway – a Chevy, a Chrysler or a Ford. Today, you can’t
even name all the models.
If you are pre-1965 – and most
managers are – you could be setting up management systems for people
who aren’t like you. You must start thinking like them, and involve
them, in decisions.
People with too many options sometimes go
for the easiest one: not making a choice. So you must force them to
make a decision, and then hold them accountable for it.Click here for additional articles
way to involve staff members – and make them accountable for their
choices – is to let them schedule their own work time. They not only
can schedule their time on, but also their time off. Tell them, “If you
are ill or something else disrupts your work schedule, don’t call us,
find your own replacement. Just make sure the schedule is covered.”
will find that people who self-schedule show up for work and complain
less. Statistically, more and more people want to be involved in
self-scheduling systems. This is especially true of the post 1965
We suggest you experiment with one unit on one shift.
Put a blank card on the wall and let them schedule the needed staff.
Soon you won’t ever return to having one person trying to achieve a
perfect schedule for the entire building. And, yes, union employees can
participate in self-scheduling also.Click here for audio tape information
employees are not involved in team-based improvement, the post-1965ers’
may embarrass you with customers – not intentionally, but because they
are not involved in decisions regarding customers. To implement
Continuous Quality Improvement efforts, Total Quality Management
approaches, or whatever else you call them, set up employee teams to
identify and work on solving problems.
THE BEST SOLUTIONS COME FROM THOSE CLOSEST TO THE PROBLEM.Click here to read a related article (The Art and Science of Teaming).Fun-Filled Days
seems like a grim emergency in health care. Yet the best part of the
workday should be coming to work. People will not stay long if work is
not fun. We don’t mean a laugh-a-minute, nor are we talking about
organized fun such as the annual picnic.
I’m referring to
spontaneous fun. Encourage employees to look for the fun side of their
job every day. Don’t let workers create hysteria where none exists.
Every organization has an employee who is a court jester. One of your
court jesters could also be a resident; seniors like to have fun too!
make a big deal out of payday. Give the clerk the day off and deliver
the checks yourself. This gives you an opportunity to pass out
compliments, make comments about the week, or share happy news.
it fun working at your place? Ask the people who work there. They are
more objective than you. Be sure to involve them in creating a fun work
environment.Coaching vs. Counseling
still believe they can help employees by counseling them on their
personal problems. But, you cannot be Mom and Dad to everyone.
turn your attention to coaching. Coaching means telling employees what
they did right or wrong and offering suggestions as to how they can
improve. Focus on work-related issues – issues within your control.
Spend time with the charge nurses and show them how they can go face-to-face with those in their charge.Care Points: A New Way to Look at Assignments
people show up for a shift at a 40-bed unit. Each person is assigned 10
beds. Sounds fair and logical, doesn’t it? Forty divided by four equals
What if you tried another option? Each of the 40 people in
the beds have a different number of actions they require. Some have 10,
others have 20. The total for all 40 customers could be 800 actions to
do. Divide 800 by the four people who are there to work that shift.
That determines the care points there are for each employee to handle
Some energetic employees may choose to do more
than 200. Maybe a new worker is assigned fewer care points. You might
even set up a system whereby salary is based on the number of care
The point is to change the mind set about zoning
and productivity. Break up the concept that everybody gets the same
number of people. Be sure to involve the workers who are on the scene
in making decisions on what those care points are.Go to a related article (Unleashing Productivity)
.Try a Self-Directed Orientation
40 percent of all turnovers are caused by inadequate orientation. In a
common scenario, somebody reluctantly takes a new employee under his or
her wing. It seems like punishment to the assigned mentor because the
importance of orientation isn’t made clear.
Here’s a better
approach. Prepare a sequenced checklist with input from committed
employees on what a new employee should know and do. We’ve seen lists
with as many as 450 items. The new employee then uses the list to carry
out a self-directed orientation over a period of weeks. They are
involved in making the decisions on what they need to do to complete
everything on the list.
The list should include even minor
details, such as where to park and where to store their tuna fish
sandwich. The new workers may find on their list the instruction, “find
the administrator and say hello.” They also can be given names of
mentors whom they are free to approach for questions on their own
Under this new system, it is an honor to be a
mentor. Mentors should welcome new employees with enthusiasm. The
biggest reward for a mentor is how many new employees are still
employed at the end of the year.
Take a “Welcome Wagon” approach
to orientation of your new employee. Create excitement and fun.
Introduce the new person to the other employees even before they begin.
Take a photograph of the new employee; put it on the bulletin board and
say, “We’re really looking forward to seeing you Monday morning on your
People make a judgment in the first three days about
the new place they are working. So make those first days run smoothly
with a clearly explained, sequenced check list. And make those first
days fun days.
From their own orientation to self-scheduling to
team-based improvement – the key in changing for today’s workforce is
to involve employees in decision-making.If you'd like more information workforce development, click here