Category Archives: Performance Management

How Mindfulness Can Prevent Burnout Among Healthcare Providers

The strong desire to help others, along with natural tendencies toward compassion and empathy, serve to enable healthcare providers to develop high quality relationships with their patients. These qualities also put healthcare providers at risk for compassion fatigue, burnout and secondary post-traumatic stress.

Compassion fatigue is the point at which a helping professional or employee no longer is focused on the clients needs as well as before because the emotional “well” (the ability to empathize and manage the relationship) is dry. Burnout denotes a level of incapacitation of the provider/profession, often without acute awareness of the problem. Vicarious trauma often applies to workers who deal with aftermath crisis situations and deeply disturbing situations, such as abuse, war, violence, and, we would add, homelessness, deprivation, and domestic violence. Thus health care professionals start to take on the trauma of clients and feel the effects physically and emotionally, contributing to burnout but also to damage to their own health.

When providers are drained, distracted, overwhelmed, stressed, and unaware, they are unable to fully use their skills.   Not only does patient care suffer but these providers are more likely to lose time from work due to stress related illnesses and some will choose to leave the profession altogether.

In short, to care for others — or even deal with others in stressful situations — we need to take care of ourselves.   We have found that mindfulness practices, self-care techniques and a supportive work environment can greatly reduce the likelihood of burnout. We teach a number of mindfulness practices that can be easily integrated into the workday.   Strategies such as verbal recognition, short breaks and opportunities for support will enhance the ability of healthcare providers to present their best selves at work, thereby providing the highest quality of patient care.

Alisa Blum, MSW & Judy Sugg, PH.D. co-direct AIM for Organizational Health, providing customized training, facilitation and coaching, to raise Awareness, achieve Integration, and enable Mastery of mindfulness tools to improve individual and organizational effectiveness.  Our upcoming public workshop, “Seven Tools for MindfulSelf-care“, will help participants develop skills to prevent burnout & compassion fatigue.  

 

 

 

Celebrate Your Employees With High Impact Recognition

 

Portrait Of Business Team In Office Celebrating

Last year I had the opportunity to help a client combine their annual holiday lunch appreciation event with a management development program on the power of recognition.  The nature of this client’s busy business prevented them from being able to get their managers together very often for a training.  This event was an ideal way to combine a management development program with their annual holiday event. The business owner enhanced the motivation of her managers by providing them with recognition and the managers learned strategies for providing high impact recognition to their employees.

Whether you give your employees gifts, cards, bonuses, or have a public forum for letting your employees know how much you appreciate them, make sure each and every employee is aware of the specific ways they contribute to the success of your organization.  And keep in mind that for recognition to be effective, it should be given throughout the year and tied to individual and team performance goals.

When given correctly, the recognition you give will enhance motivation, improve productivity and increase the retention of your top talent.

 

Alisa Blum & Associates works with businesses & organizations to select, develop and keep a high achieving workforce.  

Retain Top Talent With These Three Questions

job interview-young employees

As Boomers retire and Millennials begin to dominate the workforce, it is essential for managers to retain top talent.  One of the best ways to keep top Millennial talent is to have frequent career development discussions.

Managers can initiate the career development discussion by asking their employees these three questions:

  1. In what areas of your work do you feel the most successful?
  2. What parts of your work give you the most satisfaction?
  3. What ideas do you have that would simultaneously create a career opportunity for you and increase the success of our organization?

Keep in mind that career development is a process.  Your employees will likely need time to reflect on these questions, and may need assistance to fully explore their career goals.  The manager’s role in this process is key because employees often are not likely to openly discuss their career aspirations without encouragement from their manager.   You will find that these discussions will go a long way to enhance motivation, increase productivity and reduce turnover.

Alisa Blum & Associates offers consulting, training and coaching to enhance motivation and improve productivity.  For questions about our services and schedule a free consultation, please contact Alisa at (503) 524-3470 or alisa@developtopemployees.com.

Recognition: A Key Employee Engagement Strategy

Very Important Person

Despite all of the research that has demonstrated what a powerful employee engagement strategy recognition can be, it is often overlooked.

It’s common wisdom that managers typically spend 80% of their time with the 20% of employees that aren’t performing well. One reason this occurs is because managers believe that their primary responsibility is to correct skills or behavior, so they mostly pay attention to problem areas. They aren’t even aware that they aren’t paying attention to the employees are performing well and don’t realize the benefits that organization’s reap when they provide recognition. What would happen to your business or organization if managers spent 80% of their time rewarding the employees that are excelling? My guess is that you would see significant increases in employee engagement, which we know leads to higher performing organizations.

I challenge you to start treating your high performing employees as if they are VIPs and notice what happens. For specific skill development in this area, click on this link Recognition: a Key Factor in Talent Development to see a sample of an e-learning program I’ve developed that teaches verbal recognition skills.

Contact me to explore how we can help you develop a more engaged workforce.

Strategies for Improving Employee Performance

strategies to improve employee performanceWe now have advancements in brain science that give hard data on the positive and negative impact a manager can have on the brain functioning of the employee. In the book, Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People, author Nick Hallowell, M.D. cites evidence that demonstrates how a person’s brain can grow and change for the better with the help of a skilled manager. According to Dr. Hallowell, brain growth occurs when a manager encourages positive feelings & positive behavior. On the other hand, chronic negativity & fear makes for lower performing brains because brain circuits get overloaded. Therefore, even a very bright employee will underperform when in a highly charged negative environment.

Here are some strategies for improving employee performance:

  1. Acknowledge to the employee the specific contributions he/she is making that positively impact your organization’s success.
  2. Be supportive when your employee experiences failure. Frame it up as a learning opportunity and alleviate the pressure for perfection.
  3. Align the employee’s job responsibilities with their strengths and passion. We all do better when we are assigned tasks/projects we excel at doing.
  4. Pay attention to signs of burnout and encourage self-care such as time off, regular lunch breaks and exercise.

As managers increase their ability to positively influence the performance of employees, you will see a wide array of benefits ranging from reduced turnover, to decreased sick days and increased profitability. Contact me for a complimentary consultation to discuss strategies for improving employee productivity.