Leadership Energy and Employee Engagement

April 20, 2015 in Best of Both, healthcare, leadership, management

Welcome back to Management Mondays.  Today’s topic is Leadership Energy and Employee Engagement.

There have been many articles and posts about employee engagement / productivity and how to increase it.  We were just doing a Leap Frog CPOE test and talking about the “energy” that our CEO brings to our organization.  Leadership energy is awesome.  And more importantly it’s contagious! The question is where does it come from?  How can you make it?  YOU can create it.  It’s FREE!  That’s the best part.

Leadership Energy and Employee Engagement

People power has to be encouraged.  It seems like we have lots of systems down pat, how to get the best pricing from our vendors, how to best utilize services, how to best ensure quality and safety in patient care workflows, but what we seem to struggle with is creating ENERGY among staff members.

I had the pleasure of working with a newly hired Epic employee last week and we discussed the synergy that is not only alive and well, but thriving in her organization.  This twenty one year old summed it up wisely beyond her years, that it is a matter of trust and they really like helping each other out.  For those of you not familiar with Epic, it was created by a visionary woman named Judy FaulknerEpic is an electronic medical record that is used by more than 42% of hospitals in the US and growing by leaps and bounds every day all over the world.  While Epic a most impressive product and service, what I noticed most on my visits to their Madison, WI home base was the culture and energy exuded by every person I encountered.

Jamie lamented that she didn’t enjoy doing group projects in college, because there was always that “one person” who didn’t pull their weight.  At Epic, she shared that her office mate is always swamped and her being a new hire she NEVER feels like she’s bothering her with a question. Her office mate brightly asks “what do you need?” “how can I help?”  Jamie even went as far as demonstrating the receptiveness of how helpful everyone is and not shrugging their shoulders or rolling her eyes asking do you need help-which we all know is not really an offer for help at all.

Hanging on the wall in one of the Epic bathrooms their version of the 10 Commandments

Hanging on the wall in one of the Epic bathrooms their version of the 10 Commandments

In conversation with another colleague discussing the recent passing of a family member, I was saddened to hear that no one from her team attended the funeral.  I told her about my interest in why some places have great employee engagement and others don’t.  We ended up circling back to leadership energy.  She said it definitely starts at the top and trickles down.  When we discussed who was at the top, we both felt that the individual gave off a positive vibe, had charisma and is passionate about their job, but the next level of management was lacking this level of engagement and enthusiasm –just looking at it as a job to do.

So how do we as leaders spark the flames of energy, boosting employee morale?

photo credit: Morguefile.com

In my opinion, first and foremost be present.  Your leadership energy can only be contagious if you around to spread it to others.  Next catch them doing something right and give them immediate feedback about it.  Someone once called me a cheerleader, thinking they were sending a dig my way.  In all honesty, I think that has been part of my success and ability to earn respect from others, because I am genuinely interested in what they are doing on a professional and personal level.  I like to cheer people on, I am happy when people succeed!

photocredit: Morguefile.com

If you want to lead a group of enthusiastic engaged employees, you have to be enthusiastic and engaged yourself.  This is a CHOICE, one that you make every day and is reflected in each action, phone call, email, and  face to face interaction.  Smilemore is a favorite hashtag of mine because when you smile more, you are more positive.

Do you sound like you have a smile on your face on your outgoing voicemail message?  Do you smile and greet people in the hallways as you pass?  What choices are you going to make today to increase your leadership energy?