Connecting the Dots: HRO & EngagementFebruary 17th, 2020
Without a doubt, we are all challenged with balancing our responsibilities while trying to make the best use of our time. Whether we serve as faculty, administrators or support staff, adding more to our plates, like additional training, can feel overwhelming at times.
Our third and fourth quarters seem particularly busy. Everyone is expected to complete Universal Skills training by this June to support our journey to become a Highly Reliable Organization (HRO). At the same time, we are focused on employee engagement in the hopes of seeing improved survey results with this year’s survey in April. While they may feel like distinct initiatives, both efforts are driving to the same positive outcome – a cultural change which will lead to a safer, more efficient and respectful environment for us, our patients and their families.
There’s a clear connection between our HRO and engagement efforts. HRO’s goal is to improve safety by teaching people the skills that will reduce preventable error and optimize our tools and work flows. The engagement survey identified communication and professional development as institutional opportunities for us.
HRO teaches us that speaking up and increasing our communication with colleagues helps us avoid mistakes and near misses. Creating more opportunities for dialogue and problem solving, through huddles, rounding and clarifying questions, improve feedback and engagement. Similarly, we can view the Universal Skills training as a development opportunity for all of us, regardless of our functional area. Truly practicing the Universal Skills requires behavioral change and leadership support, which is only achieved with engaged employees. Both cannot succeed without true cultural change.
So instead of us looking at these as two separate, time consuming activities, let’s consider them as a shared responsibility to engage each other in improving our workplace culture, and providing the best possible care for our patients.
Engagement and HRO focus on many cultural attributes, such as trust, accountability, empowerment and mutual respect. What is working in your area to move the needle? Please share your comments below.