Give me a Break!

timeforabreakI was talking with a pharmacist and a seasoned oncology nurse – both Baby Boomers – and we were discussing the presence of multiple generations in the workforce. (Please keep reading, even if you don’t work in healthcare – the thoughts apply to all).

Both of these ladies were frustrated because the “younger” team members (Millennials) insist on taking breaks. I asked a few questions and this is what I heard from the Boomers:

  1. We are too busy taking care of patients to take breaks – the work will back up.
  2. When they (the millennials) go on break, it means more work for the rest of us to cover for them.
  3. Sometimes the boomers don’t get lunch until 4p (starting the shift at 7a) but they need to get everything done before they leave the unit.

So here’s the question that’s plaguing me. Who’s right?

Are the millennials smarter by taking breaks? Are they more engaged because they’ve had some time away from work to recharge? Are they more efficient when they return?

Are the boomers more loyal and engaged because they put aside their own needs for the needs of their patients? Have they developed stamina over the years that means they don’t need a formal break? Are they more productive because they work without stopping?

I think we can learn from both viewpoints on this one. One hospital I worked with set a goal for every staff member to take a lunch break for 30 minutes away from the unit. This was an organization-wide goal supported by senior leadership. The belief was that patient care would improve so it was important to accomplish.

At first, a lot of the staff said “this will never work…we are WAY too busy to take a lunch break”. As usual, when the goal didn’t go away and taking a lunch break was measured and monitored, miraculously it started to happen…on all units on all shifts. Incident reports didn’t go up. Patient satisfaction didn’t go down. Teamwork actually improved. Now it’s part of everyone’s routine.

So here’s the moral of this story. Everyone can be right AND happy! When the boomers learn from the millennials and visa versa, there’s a wealth of knowledge to go around. Don’t worry GenXers…I haven’t forgotten about you. We all know you have lots to teach us as well.

Now, it’s time for my break. While I’m gone, please share your thoughts below.

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Run, Rest, Repeat

RunRestRepeatI was running recently and saw someone with this t-shirt. It reminded me of the futility of this exercise. Once I’m finished, it’s back to the beginning and need to schedule my next run.

It occurred to me that work is a lot like this. The t-shirt could just as easily have said, “Work, Rest, Repeat”.

Do you ever feel the futility of going in to your job everyday? How do you turn it around and find energy?

I do it by connecting to what gets me satisfied, energized & feeling productive. In fact, I enjoy my work so much that I sometimes get stuck in “Work, Repeat” and skip the Rest part.

How about you? What keeps you coming back to work (besides the paycheck, of course we know you enjoy that)?

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Harness Those Harmful Knee-Jerk Reactions

Have you ever accidentally deleted something on your computer? Or moved an image that you had perfectly aligned? Of course! We all have. That’s when Command/Control+Z comes to the rescue.

Commandz

This is the best combination of computer keys because it lets you go back in time to the correct version of your work. Oh, if we could only use this with the words we speak and actions we take at work. Continue Reading →

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3 Keys to Engaged, Satisfied Healthcare Employees

beckers hospital-logo

A healthcare organization is only as strong as its people. At the Becker’s Hospital Review 5th Annual Meeting, Stephanie Reid, RN, BSN, MBA, chief nursing officer and vice president of quality at Carroll Hospital Center in Westminster, Md., and Vicki Hess, RN, MS, CSP, principal of Catalyst Consulting, examined an oncology unit’s ailing employee engagement and supplied the three must-haves for creating a culture of employee satisfaction and commitment.

The Carroll Hospital Center’s Tevis Family Oncology unit was experiencing a 28 percent rate in employee turnover and 23 percent vacancy rate. Keep reading HERE

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Keep Asking Questions

Two of my friends and colleagues, Joy Goldman (a fantastic leadership coach) & Susan Bindon (a very talented professor & nurse educator) have me thinking about how asking simple questions can be very thought provoking.

thoughtsWith that idea in mind, I’m posing a few questions for you to ponder. A few of these questions are from www.ThoughtQuestions.com. Although I don’t know the folks who created this site, I really enjoy what they have put together.

This month, instead of me doing the “telling” and sharing tips and ideas you’re officially in the driver’s seat (see my recent BLOG POST for more about that).

To make this manageable, take one question per day. Set aside 5-10 minutes (you can do it, I promise) to sit and think about the question and your response. Talk to trusted friends and colleagues and ask them the same question. It’s always interesting to hear what others think.

  • What’s something that you do as often as possible to feel satisfied & energized at work?
  • What word best describes your work?
  • What do you know you could be doing, that you aren’t doing, to create more joy for yourself and others at work? What’s holding you back from doing it?
  • How can you be more of a contributor and less of a consumer on the job (Thanks to Susan Bindon’s mom for that bit of wisdom)
  • What’s one bad habit at work that you’d be better off without?
  • If you woke up tomorrow with no fear, what would you do first?

Please take a minute in the next few days or weeks to let me know via email, Twitter, or LinkedIn which questions you’ve answered and what you’ve discovered.

And I’d appreciate it if you’d share this email with folks who would enjoy it as well.

Happy Pondering!

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Are You Sick of Dealing with Bullies, Babies & Brats at Work?

Unfortunately, we all end up dealing with challenging people while at work. When folks have different beliefs and mindsets about how things should be done, it can lead to disagreements. And not everyone has the emotional intelligence to effectively manage differences at work.

Well if you are looking for ways to get along with all the tough folks you encounter, you’re in luck. I recently presented a webinar entitled, Bullies, Babies & Brats: How to Get Along with Anyone at Work and you can view it now.
 
Just click on the picture below and get some new ideas for making these encounters with difficult people a little easier.
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