Enacting Change Through Engagement

As a clinician, there are plenty of changes that you will face throughout your career. From experiencing new roles to engaging with new coworkers, health care work environments are constantly evolving, requiring global and local leaders to be flexible and able to think of innovative ways to keep their teams engaged constantly. 

The days of top-down and “because I said so” management are long gone. Passing down commands has been proven time and again to be ineffective in engaging clinicians and enacting positive change. Great leaders must be able to foster and maintain a work environment that engages employees and allows them to become their best selves. Leaders that play an active role within the organization not only help clinicians better connect with those they lead, but also help create a happier and more engaged workforce. The best leaders are those who can frame their decisions through the lens of those they lead. Framing priorities in a way that’s understandable for clinicians and care team members is pivotal in increasing engagement. Greater engagement means better work culture, improved clinician-patient interactions, reduced turnover, and a greater chance for change to be enacted¹. To achieve this, we need to know what other people care about, what motivates them, and how to see things from other points of view, which can be accomplished with these three tips:

1)  Speak the other person’s language. Whether you are advising a team member or collaborating with another department, you must state your objectives in a way that will matter to them, too. Physicians, administrators, technicians, nurses, and anyone else on your team need to understand each other’s values–which means you need to understand their priorities and points of view. Find out what matters to your team members. The better you understand your team, the more you can relate to their needs and engage them in new policies, helping you lead. 

2)  Harvest ideas and suggestions from those you lead. Tapping the team for ideas to innovate solutions, educate teammates, share their skills, and contribute is one of the most potent engagement actions of all. It taps into our innate desire for autonomy, giving us greater freedom and choice when carrying out an activity. By tapping the team’s collective experience and wisdom, your team will experience ownership of new programs or initiatives, perceiving them as self-initiated programs rather than another burdensome requirement.

3)  Create positive interactions. Positive interactions and interpersonal relationships between leaders and followers strongly affect motivation, engagement, and well-being. Team huddles, or assigning a “buddy” to new team members enable opportunities for connection, understanding, and conversation. The need for relatedness via social interactions is satisfied when people experience a sense of belonging and develop meaningful relationships with others.

Relatedness, belonging, and having a voice are essential to the well-being, engagement, and durability of our teams. Speaking the language of others, harvesting team ideas, creating safety in bringing ideas, and social connectedness are leader actions to help advance the unity and vitality of our teams. What’s your experience in creating engagement through relatedness? Let us know in the comments below, or reach out to us on LinkedIn and Twitter!

 

  1. Employee Engagement: Why It Matters For Your Company. (n.d.). EveryoneSocial. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from https://everyonesocial.com/employee-engagement/

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