Leadership Lesson: Building Team/Staff Resilience & Cohesion Through Joy

October 2, 2020
Building Team Image

This month’s leadership lesson is from Leighann Sauls, Program Director at Alliant Quality for Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

I recently attended a call where a nursing home leader shared concerns about the staff feeling weary as a result of this challenging time, and how it results in risks of harm to the residents. I thought to myself, what can we do to help create cohesion with teams, especially during times of such great stress and anxiety?

One idea surfaced as I was sharing these thoughts with the leaders at Alliant… Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) recently held a session on Joy in Work. During this call, the leaders walked through the IHI Framework for Joy in Work. It is a simple process that has the potential to yield big returns. Here is a snapshot of the process:

  1. Ask staff “what matters to you?”
  2. Identify unique impediments to Joy in Work in the local context
  3. Commit to making Joy in work a shared responsibility at all levels
  4. Use improvement science to test approaches to improving joy in your organization

While it can feel like there is no time for one more thing, a quote that really stood out to me helped assuage some of these concerns, “people in the problem become part of the solution.”

Attendees on this call answered the first question about what matters to them:

  • Meaningful progress on my work and time with family
  • When others I am helping thank me/ tell me that they appreciate the help
  • Being outdoors and in nature
  • When residents, care partners, or family members express gratitude for the nursing home team and the care

The ideas they shared seem relatively easy to encourage! There is a great one-pager with more ideas on the IHI website. Visit the IHI website to download the white paper and resources:  http://www.ihi.org/Topics/Joy-In-Work/Pages/default.aspx

Here is my favorite: “Psychological PPE”: Promote Health Care Workforce Mental Health and Well-Being: http://www.ihi.org/resources/Pages/Tools/psychological-PPE-promote-health-care-workforce-mental-health-and-well-being.aspx