This is the month to celebrate all that you love. Is your job on that list? Is your facility or staff? You likely fell for a career in surgery because you could help others, advance your personal goals and achieve recognition along the way. Rededicate yourself to making those passions an important part of your daily goals. Relationships thrive, after all, when you work on them.
Helping others. We do what we do because it lets us help others. Does your work environment fulfill this need? Do you still focus on patients as people or just another slot in the surgical schedule? You might think that your staff's care for patients suffers when the day reaches its typical manic pace. But the days you and your staff receive the most positive patient feedback are often the days your ORs are filled to capacity. When your staff works hard and efficiently, patients notice and appreciate their efforts. Even in the midst of a busy day, remind your clinical teams to bond with those in your care. Remember that establishing personal connections with patients makes them look at your staff and center in a positive light.
Don't forget to grow your relationships with surgeons and staff. A birthday card is a simple way to show that you care. Enter staff and surgeons' birthdays into your computer's scheduling program (I have more than 100 saved on my laptop). You'll be reminded in time to send an electronic birthday greeting or conventional card. The card's message is unimportant. The recipient will be grateful for the thought and the fact that you remembered.
Career advancement. Staff will appreciate working at your facility if you give them the opportunity, tools and support to advance from their current positions. You want to manage employees who set good examples for their peers, who are active in your local AORN or ASPAN chapter and attend your state ASC society meetings. Dynamic members of your team become known as national leaders, develop a voice in the future of our industry and encourage other employees to seek professional development opportunities outside of your center.
Achieving recognition. There are those who seek recognition. You know the ones. They'll volunteer for special projects, won't hesitate to speak at local and national conferences and chair staff committees. The go-getters within your center don't need to be motivated. But as a manager you owe it your staff to help the quiet leaders reach their full potential. Challenge and motivate them. Give them the opportunity to take on projects outside their comfort zone to stretch self-imposed limits on their capabilities.
Confidence develops through repeated successes. Target the employees with untapped potential and ask them to take on a challenge they had never considered. Once they succeed, hear positive feedback and get a small taste of success, their thirst for recognition will snowball. You'll also feel good about developing a new leader.