Learning To Thrive Under The Microscope (Lesson 2)

Part of learning to thrive under the microscope is not being afraid of looking through the lens yourself. Essentially, in order to move “it,” you’ve got to measure it. When you measure, without being defensive about the results, it becomes easy to see where the problems lie, and therefore to develop strategies around how to fix them. By dealing with compliance issues in a very person-centred way, a great number of difficulties can be bypassed.

Example – Celebrating Staff To Strengthen Commitment

During the first wave of COVID-19, we were asked to put together a number of “surge teams,” so that if there was an outbreak within a facility it could be quickly contained and staffed. By using members of the current staff across all sites to create these teams, organisations were able to have regular touch points that generated a high level of safety and a deep feeling of security about the threat posed by the virus.

The training was extensive, and when it became apparent that the surge teams weren’t needed, as cases of the virus in Australia were so low, the majority of organisations decided to shelve the teams. However, by utilising the core messages provided in the training, which were building relationships, harnessing personality traits to certain functions of the team, working through conflict, and making decisions under pressure, one Western Australian group were able to use the individual skills of members of the surge team to improve the working environment, beyond their function around the virus.

Because they had developed an understanding of each other's personality types, they were able to celebrate and acknowledge those different personalities. Knowing that Mary is task-focused, likes to get things done, and works really well under pressure means that she is going to be effective in practical areas, while recognising that Sam has great interpersonal skills means that he can be more of an asset in terms of liaising with customers and families about care plans.  

The desire to celebrate the surge team staff meant that the organisation made the decision to allocate a $300 care package to each surge team member, with vouchers for massages, aromatherapy candles, a personalised letter of thanks to each person and so on. It was a really thoughtful, beautiful gesture that buoyed the team, strengthened the relationships, and improved the commitment to fulfilling the team members’ roles within the organisation.

It may seem as though finding funds to provide care packages to staff would be beyond the budget, but the reality is that happy, appreciated staff are more likely to stay and more likely to perform better in their roles—which saves significant amounts of money in other areas.

Building and strengthening relationships, however, doesn't really require spending money. A handwritten, personalised note acknowledging someone’s contribution to the organisation is going to be meaningful beyond measure. The point is that people like to feel seen and appreciated.