McKnight’s Guest Column: Show Me The Money!

Happy Thanksgiving!  I just realized that another guest column was posted to McKnight’s.  This topic of whether or not staff should EXPECT a raise with their review came up when a friend of mine, Josh (new administrator) asked my opinion about it.  His question reminded me of when a CNA taught me a valuable lesson years ago at my first facility … You can read the entire article by clicking HERE or on the article image below.

Guest Column for McKnight's regarding annual reviews and raises
Guest Column for McKnight’s regarding annual reviews and raises

EnsignPrize! – judging behind the scenes

This has been one of my favorite weeks in YEARS in skilled nursing.  I’ve had the privilege to judge, in person, some of the finalists of the eprize in California and Colorado.  Below are a few photos from my time behind the scenes.  Unfortunate realization … I didn’t have many regrets about my time as an administrator until this week.  Seeing the great work that these leaders have inspired in their staff has been humbling.

Serious Tilapia. Administrator say, “Dave you don’t have to eat it all.” I say, “I wouldn’t if I didn’t want to. This is great.”
“Cheesecake Factory” quality cream of broccoli soup.
Wouldn’t believe it if I didn’t see it. Alzheimer’s facility in Colorado that I was afraid of years ago when we acquired it. Now, didn’t want to leave. What a great feeling. These people have become legit experts in meeting the needs of the cognitively impaired. There, “behaviors” is a bad word. Quote: Behaviors are simply unmet needs.  To have 8 residents with extreme dementia peacefully sitting together engaged in meaningful activities compared to how it was years ago was jaw-dropping.
Organic garden w/ help from local organic gardeners. Chef uses the produce in soups, dishes all the time. Residents help cultivate/grow.

Baptist Healthcare

Baptist Healthcare Journey to Excellence

In 2011, I intend to share some books with you that have given me tools, material, and ideas that I’ve found helpful in running my own team/facilities.

1st one, The Baptist Healthcare Jouren to Excellence.

From the cover’s inside flap …

“For three consecutive years, Baptist Health Care has been ranked as one of Fortune magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work for in America. All five of Baptist Health Care’s hospitals have spent multiple years in the top one percent in patient satisfaction based on survey results from the largest hospital patient database in the world. In 2004, President George W. Bush awarded the company the coveted Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. But Baptist Health Care was not always a success story.

In 1995, Al Stubblefield and his management team had to face some harsh realities: patient satisfaction rating had reached an all-time low; recent corporate reengineering efforts had damaged employee morale; and five years of merger discussions with three different organizations further devastated morale. Al’s suspicions were confirmed when an attitude survey conducted among his employees made it abundantly clear: they were not pleased with the Baptist Health Care experience. In addition to the internal conflicts, their flagship hospital was competing against two other facilities owned by national health care conglomerates with bigger budgets and deeper pockets. Outspending them was simply not possible.

This is the story about how one company beat the odds and rebounded to become a leader in its field and a pioneer in management. By creating a cultural transformation within their Baptist Health Care organization, employees became engaged and inspired to perform at the highest levels. Their positive outlook translated into a level of service and operational excellence that has become the national benchmark. Through their story, you too will learn how to transform your organization into a WOW! culture with a passion for excellence.”

There are a lot of solid principles explained in Baptist.  The one I’ll point out is using …

… 90 day plans …

consistently with everyone.  Usually when you hear the line, ‘let’s put her on a 90 day plan’ you figure the writing is on the wall and that it’s only a matter of time until ‘she’ is fired.  90 plans or 60 or 30 day plans are usually put in place because someone is underperforming and needs micromanagement to work themselves back in to your good graces or out of your operation.

Baptist flips this paradigm on its head.  They preach the practice of each manager developing a personal plan for the next 90 days.  That plan ought to be developed with input from the supervisor and shared with fellow managers.  Everyone does this as a way of approaching their work thoughtfully and systematizing a culture of accountability.

Goals.  Objectives.  Growth.  Accomplishment.  Grounds for celebration (or discipline).  Empowering.  If done right (regular review as a team), these positive 90 day plans can give you a tool to help your department heads become united and elevate your operation to more effective and efficient performance.  Check out the book and start by putting yourself on a 90 day plan.  If you combine those 90 day plans with weekly one-on-ones with your managers, you’ll see an evolution from people coming to get their job done to people coming to achieve your collective vision.

Good luck!

Radio Lab Podcasts

Food For Thought

I eat A LOT.

Literally & mentally.  I eat a lot of food throughout the day — mostly fruits, veggies, nuts, hummus, grains (I’ve sort of become a health nut) but that’s another topic for another day.

I also eat a lot of Food 4 Thought.  Over the years I’ve found a few sources of print & audio & video that feed that hunger.  These sources usually have nothing to do (directly) with providing world class service and leadership in long-term care.  BUT … I’ve found that by looking, constantly, outside our industry for the brightest ideas we’ll be able to apply them and improve our profession.  Some of my favorites …

First, the newest discovery: Freakonomics.

Freakonomics Radio
Freakonomics Podcasts

Many of you have probably heard of Freakonomics or evenread the book.  The authors haves a blog on the nytimes and a podcast that I started listening to just a couple weeks ago.  The pack a ton into about 20 minutes … discovering the ‘hidden’ side of all sorts of things.  In fact 2 recent episodes prompted me to start a conversation with my partners at work that I think may lead to huge steps forward for us.

  1. The No Lose Lottery episode prompted me to encourage our HR team to see if there was something we could apply to instigate more savings among our employees.  Of course we have a 401k like everyone but is there another, cutting-edge option patterned after lottery principles that would be more effective?
  2. The Reading Rockets and Rithmetic episode hit a nerve big time for me, in light of my recent post on wanting to dedicate my next 10 years to transforming the industry.  Got me thinking about how to involve many others in a HUGE way.

Second, RadioLab Podcasts.

Radio Lab Podcasts
Radio Lab Podcasts

These guys take on all sorts of issues through a scientific lens.  I’m not a science guy at all.  I hated chemistry.  I lean much more right brained than left.  But, the way they present really captivates.  Here’s a few that I’ve shared with others …

  1. about a Chimpanzee
  2. about WORDS
  3. about LIMITS (this one was incredibly timely as I had about 15 miles left on a 60mi bike ride when it came on my ipod)

Next, This American Life.

This American Life Podcasts
This American Life Podcasts

This American Life sort of started it all for me.  I needed a companion during my long early morning bike rides as I trained for my 1/2 Ironman in June 2010.  I’d be on rides for anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours before work (hitting the road at 5am).  These podcasts were, and are, gold.  They totally get in my head and prompt new thoughts on work and family issues.

Lastly, TED Talks.  I discovered these a couple years ago and my wife still can’t get over how I can just watch talk after talk on stuff that’s usually way over my head.

TED Talks
TED Talks

Now.  Go.  Eat.