Much earlier we looked at the benefit of having regular catch-up with your boss to be clear about what the priorities were for you and your team and sort out what you needed to achieve them. Do the same for your team. Consider these opportunities:
Daily check ins – Each day take the opportunity to check in with your staff and leaders.
Handover provides you and the leaders of each shift the opportunities to broadcast the big issues and priorities that the team needs to focus on.
This can also provide the opportunity to actively check-in in with the team to see how they are feeling, what they have achieved, and what help they might need, and if there are any tensions that can be resolved right then and there.
The leads from the previous shifts identify status of their patients/residents, their achievements (accountabilities), any tensions and priorities for the coming shift – these might be resolved immediately or be delegated to the monthly team meeting or a relevant project team. The leads of the new shift allocate roles and clarify accountabilities.
Weekly or fortnightly leads meetings – This would involve as a minimum the people who leads shifts and the big projects in your team. The point is to set priorities, identify tensions that need to be resolved and provide reports on what the leads have achieved, and what they might need to keep progressing. even though it is shift work and some people will find it hard to come into a meeting, you need to engage them in finding ways that will make it easier to take part. Ideas include rotating across shifts and using teleconference, Skype, Zoom – and other ways of connecting so they do not have to be physically present but don’t miss out.
Monthly staff meetings – Set these up so that the whole team can come together once a month and build the social capital between them – the relationships that provide the grease to make working together smooth and enjoyable. It is in these forums that you can engage the team in working out issues and tensions together – forming little project teams so they get to work together on more than care delivery. This allows them to take ownership for the functioning of their team and the processes that support it. Your big ticket items such as accreditation and continuous quality improvement can be dealt with in these forums.
Quarterly lead meetings – Each quarter I recommend that you and your leaders go off site to review your Unit Plan and identify the priorities for the quarter. Given the turbulent nature of your work environment, even a 12-month plan is likely to be redundant 3 months after it is developed so you really need to keep reviewing it and refining it. While you take the lead, invite your boss to give their feedback on how your team performed in the previous quarter and what the priorities are for the coming quarter.
- Identify the forums you can use to hold daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly meetings to plan, review and improve the work and how it is done.
- Put these in your diary.
- Set them up if you don’t already have them in place.