The administrators of Ambulatory Surgery Centers are tasked with, among many other duties, making sure the staff at ASCs perform their jobs with confidence and professionalism. There are several steps administrators can take to foster a positive environment for the ASC staff and maintain a professional, positive environment.
Regular Staff Meetings
The timing of staff meetings isn't as important as their regularity. Whether you have weekly or monthly meetings, employees appreciate knowing when and how often staff meetings are held. These meetings give them a forum where they can be heard and have their concerns addressed. Staff meetings are also the ideal time and place to review procedures, affirm what the staff is handling correctly, and announce any changes that will affect the team.
Staff meetings are also a way to convey information about any changes in procedures, protocols, or ASC expectations. Rather than sending out generic emails, announce any changes at staff meetings and stress that the administrators can answer any questions. Clarity and transparency at staff meetings reassure staff that you have their back and promote confidence in the ASC as a place that values them and their contributions.
Maintaining good morale hinges on two things – a personal touch and small details. The most important thing is to make sure, as an administrator, that you get to know each member of your ASC staff as an individual. Having a personal connection doesn’t require becoming best friends. It can be as simple as asking about their families, admiring photos they may have on their desk or station, and offering to help when they are swamped with duties on a busy day.
The details are also important. Nurses often say that small gestures such as being taken out for coffee by their manager or receiving a gift card from the local diner a few times a year can boost morale. Why? Because it makes them feel human and allows them to take a break and be something other than their job title.
Acknowledgment from co-workers boosts morale individually and as a team or unit. Ask staff members to let you know when someone they work with has gone above and beyond. They can do this anonymously through a dropbox or shoot you a quick email. At staff meetings, read the positive comment and thank the person for their dedication. Peer recognition also builds team unity and bonding. People are more willing to go the extra mile knowing others appreciate what they are doing and recognizing it. It translates into a sense of loyalty and a willingness to continue to perform at peak professionalism.
Clinical confidence is higher when learning opportunities back it. Any time a new procedure is introduced at your ASC, provide educational materials to the entire staff, not just the team working on that surgical procedure. Knowing and understanding all policies and new protocols (for instance, Covid-19 prevention guidelines) builds confidence. Your staff members will perform their tasks better if they are confident they have the latest information and can perform their duties accordingly. When additional training is available in your area, offer to pay for and schedule it for your employees. Knowledge builds confidence, and knowing you are invested in their success affirms the worth of your employees.
Reliable schedules are crucial to running an efficient ASC, but flexibility has to be a component that allows for individual circumstances. If your policy is no rescheduling, no bending of the rules, and no changes in how you choose shifts, some of your staff will become dissatisfied.
While your policy may be two days off for the death of a grandparent, if one of your employees is grieving excessively for a grandparent who raised them, reminding them of the policy and demanding they return to work sends the message that their grief is an inconvenience. Instead, ask about how much time they may need and ask for volunteers to help cover shifts. When other staff members see you are flexible about personal issues or family emergencies, they’ll know you’ll have their back as well when the time comes.
Individual support, praise, and understanding will all contribute to clinical confidence and professionalism within your ASC.
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