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Leadership Lesson – May 2022: May Is a Perfect Time To Show Appreciation

May 3, 2022

Words of advice from leaders on the front lines.
This month’s leadership lesson is from Linda Kluge, RD, LD, CPHQ, the executive director of Alliant QIN-QIO.

Quality improvement work is a team sport, and it needs the discipline and rigor of a plan for success. Many of the staff that work with the QIOs around the country use a simple PDSA (Plan, Do, Study, Act) format that is easy to convey and share with everyone to document what you are looking to improve. It can become a communication tool for what needs to be done better. The last step, Act, is often missed or passed over to ensure the plans continue. It only takes a moment to do as you decide how to move forward—Act, Adapt or Abandon. Do you want to act on what you did, adapt what was done and try another test, or abandon the idea? The Act step calls us to reflect, memorialize, document and celebrate the work that was done.

This is the perfect time to add another A word to the PDSA model: Appreciate. Thank your team members for their efforts, and recognize and honor those who worked to improve the processes in addition to everything else they are doing professionally and personally. May is an ideal time to build appreciation into your celebrations. It is the month of graduations, family gatherings and Mother’s Day. Our memories of these life events can last forever. In the workplace, there is Nurses Day, celebrated during the week of May 8, National Skilled Nursing Care Week, with the theme “Creating and Nurturing Connections,” and National Hospital Week, with the theme “We Are Health Care.” For those who work in the communities that serve seniors, May is Older Americans Month, with the theme “Age my Way” to encourage older adults to live independently and get involved in their communities, which requires making the connections to stay wherever they call home. May is also the time to recognize our military. During the week of May 21, we honor those in the armed services who sacrificed for our nation, and the Memorial Day weekend caps off the month of appreciation. Make it a great month of celebration and appreciation as we work and improve lives together.