Improving Your Leadership Skills is a lot Like Improving Your HCAHPS Scores!

Improving Your Leadership Skills is a lot Like Improving Your HCAHPS Scores!

Improving your leadership skills, based on your strengths, is a lot easier than starting with your weaknesses according to ASTD, now rebranded as ATD.   The goal for any leader is to start from what you are “good” at and then go for excellence!! Of course you cannot ignore any leadership competencies that you are truly awful at…but once you have improved them to at least average…start to focus on your strengths. It is much easier to go from an 8 to a 10 or from usually to always than from sometimes to always.

This line of thinking is very similar to trying to improve your Patient Satisfaction Scores by starting with your worst scores. It is very natural to want to improve your worst scores first, here is a word of caution…think this approach through thoroughly!! Chances are improving your lowest scores first will take a deeply thought out plan for improvement which will prevent immediate action. Also, these low scores are probably indicative of a system wide challenge. Our advice is to begin working on the strengths of your patient care teams while you devise a well thought out plan to improve the low scores. The scope of this plan is usually much bigger than anyone anticipates so be prepared. Don’t forget, you must include how the plan will be shared with all disciplines, the new expectations with specific action steps that will be adhered to, an education plan for the appropriate people, and the metrics and time frame that will be used to gauge improvement.

Read the reference article from ATD to not only help your leaders improve from their strengths, but to see how to use these same 4 steps to improve your Patient Satisfaction Scores. Here are some ideas to start you off:

  1. Identify the Leader strengths: Where do your patient units shine? What are the employees saying about their Leader? Why do certain units have higher employee turnover and others have employees that never leave. What do the comparison HCAHPS reports tell you.
  2. Build on your strengths: How can you solidify and cement into practice the things that are going well. How do you ensure the good is happening all the time. How can you challenge the Leaders that are doing well to focus their energies on what is going really well and finally start to eliminate what is not working well.
  3. Apply the strengths horizontally: How can you apply what is working really well on one unit to all the others. Where can you use past successful practice to improve another area. What tools, tips and techniques are working in other departments that can be shared with clinical areas.
  4. Share your strengths: How do the successes get communicated to all departments so horizontal implementation can begin. Who are the movers and shakers in your organization that have strong business acumen as well as sound clinical expertise to act as mentors. How do newer managers get access to more experienced ones.

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