During my late teens and early twenties, I was certain of a couple of things: I knew that I would travel, and that I would overcome any obstacle life threw at me—was unacceptable.
I’ve always been the type of person who strives for more, and to accomplish that, I had to create opportunity by digging deep and working hard in my personal life and career. When obstacles appeared, I’d leap over them, and sometimes even plummet through them like The Hulk running through a wall.
My career in healthcare and post-acute care services started out with volunteering in a hospital, where I quickly fell in love with the work. I had never felt so fulfilled as I was helping people during their most personal moments, by providing comfort and ensuring their basic needs were met.
Later, I took a job on the Neuro Trauma Lab floor (at the hospital) where the patients were even more acute. Seeing the ugly side that comes with trauma, I knew I wanted to be a part of the solution.
As I began to recognize the needs the patients would have after their hospital stay, it was a natural transition for me to post-acute care. As my career unfolded before me, my passion for the industry grew even stronger, while I also unabashedly walked through the doors of opportunity—rising from a hospital volunteer to my current position as CMO of HCP and founder of IDEAL.
A former boss once asked me if I could predict the future. If you know me, I’m sure you can imagine the look I gave him. He went on to explain that, if you work with intention, you can begin to predict where your future will go. If you dream big and put action to the dreams, you will create a new reality for yourself.
That was the moment that I took control and never looked back.
When you think about your employees, this fire lives in more of them than you could possibly imagine, and it’s my goal to help you recognize how you can find that fire and focus this kind of tenacity. We need to build an industry perception that attracts top talent, and that starts with you.
- Find the fire
- Embrace failure
- Inspire through real opportunity
#1: Find the fire
When I was just dipping my feet into the water of post-acute care, the CEO of the company I was working for would make time in their schedule to meet one on one with me. That personalized attention was a game-changer for me with that company as well as my career.
By simply taking the time to offer executive-level mentorship to your entry-level staff, you’ll reap exponentially larger rewards in productivity, passion, and enthusiasm. It’s about finding the sweet spot between what motivates your employees and what you can do to make sure they’re feeling fulfilled every single day.
The best companies build the best systems for hiring, interviewing, relationship-building, and rewarding. If you haven’t found your fire yet, I encourage you to keep testing, trying new things, evaluating your competitors, and learning more about your employees and what’s important to them.
If you’re in a position where you feel disconnected from your employees or are unsure about what motivates, encourages, and inspires them, there’s a simple way to find out: ask.
Your business will likely learn the good, the bad, and the ugly from employee feedback; however, the agencies that do this and act on the responses are the ones that create a community that promotes retention, engagement, and satisfaction for their employees.
Take Your Clients from Satisfied to Loyal
Measure and improve client/caregiver loyalty, learn where you can improve, and boost retention across the board—while saving time for you and your team
#2: Embrace failure
Failure is a part of the process, and as tough as that might be to accept, it’s an important piece of the puzzle that will allow us to truly show up for our staff.
Imagine the life of your employees, and all the conflicts and obstacles they are trying to overcome, both personally and professionally. Along with that comes the fear of failure, and even more so, the fear of not being able to provide. They could be walking on eggshells, trying not to make any mistakes in fear of what might come next.
Imagine an environment where you allow people to embrace mistakes, demonstrate vulnerability, and create opportunities for them to learn.
Not only will they feel more comfortable walking into work every day, but they’ll be also eager to grow and learn within your organization. They’ll be more likely to share big ideas that can change the direction of your agency. Small steps can make more of a difference than you’d imagine.
#3: Inspire through real opportunity
Do your employees feel stagnant in their roles? Learning and development are key factors in the satisfaction of your employees. If they don’t have the opportunity to progress, they’re likely to feel unsatisfied.
A close friend of mine shared an idea with me about a training program she implemented for a large hospice provider.
She created a 12-week program for anyone at the organization interested in developing the skills needed to fill the shoes of an executive director. Students who successfully completed the course would be considered for the open position. The program not only helped them gain expertise in the field, but if they were offered the executive director position, their salary would increase from $40,000 to $120,000 annually.
While your internal career ladder may not be quite as accelerated as the example above, it shows you may have employees with strong leadership potential already on your payroll. With the right development and growth opportunities, you can create the next generation of post-acute care leaders.
Our employees have big aspirations, and the more we can embrace their desire to gain new skills and develop the ones they already have, the better off our entire industry will be.
Turn Good Care Teams into Great Care Teams
500+ courses. RN-developed. Blended online/in-service training options. Tailored to your state’s complete requirements.
It’s not that I’m exceptional or that my story is all that unique; I’m tenacious. With determination, I’ll create a path for all who want more. To grow our workforce and provide the best care experience for our clients, we must take responsibility for this.
I’m so proud to work for an organization that drives an action-led culture, embraces data, and implements what is proven to produce a higher standard of care and quality of life for employees. To be the solution, we must be proactive in addressing the needs of our clients and employees, and that starts by evaluating the data. HCP created a report to help you break down your employees #1 complaint—and I’d like to share it with you for free. You can download the 2022 State of Training Report here.