Jarrard Inc. Daily Counsel

As an organization’s leader, how should I engage with our team amid a crisis?

Even in normal times, healthcare leaders have very full calendars.

Add to that a critical situation such as COVID-19 and it becomes seemingly impossible to have the sort of critical, regular engagement with your team that allows you to listen keenly and to reinforce your support.

Here are four approaches we’re seeing from health systems in our network.

  • For physicians: Convene a regular 15-minute CMO briefing by phone or webinar a few times a week and offer it to any provider who wishes to join. Keep it focused and apprise them on the state of the system’s COVID-19 response and key updates or policy changes. Follow this with a succinct email reiterating those few messages. And in every communication with providers, infuse gratitude.
  • For the leadership team: Hold twice-weekly evening calls with administrative leaders, hosted by the CEO. Executives field the team’s questions and concerns and provide them with the organization’s most recent materials and updates.
  • For staff team and external partners: Record an All Team Member update and another for community partners, like YWCA or Chamber of Commerce. These updates provide an overview of the current response in that area, what the health system itself has done to prepare and respond and ways for the community and team members to help. Recognize where your team is and post these updates on their preferred channels. Ask your community for help celebrating your healthcare heroes.
  • For all: Help relieve their burdens. In addition to giving timely updates, ask these stakeholders, “What do you need?” You may gain innovative solutions to help them – that could involve childcare options, provision of meals or insight into how updates can be delivered more effectively.

Takeaway: Be creative and committed in connecting with those you serve. And give stakeholders the opportunity to join the discussion.

Lauren McConville