4 ways hospital leaders can create workplace camaraderie


As healthcare leaders strive to create a workplace culture that leads to positive outcomes, it’s vital that they make genuine camaraderie between employees part of that culture, according to a post from the New England Journal of Medicine’s Catalyst blog.

Many leaders view camaraderie as a nice bonus rather than a must-have, writes Stephen Swensen, M.D., medical director for leadership and organization development at the Mayo Clinic. In fact, however, such a spirit within workplace culture is a key metric of leadership success. Consequently, when there isn’t a sense of camaraderie, outcomes take a turn for the worse, Swensen writes.

For example, the majority of preventable harms arise due to problems with handoffs and communication. Some hospital leaders have already noted the benefits of improving these aspects of care. For example, a program at Miami’s Baptist Hospital based on the aviation industry’s strategies promotes communication and teamwork through protocols and checklists. To promote this spirit, leaders can set an example in four ways, according to Swensen:

  • Leaders must make a habit of communicating authentic, well-earned appreciation for employees’ work and team efforts
  • Leaders should set an example through transparent communication, which, in combination with participative management, creates a sense of organizational trust
  • Healthcare leaders should regularly ask colleagues for advice and ideas. “Participative management with collaborative action planning is fundamental for successful servant leadership,” he writes “Insightful leaders promote this with commensality--such as over a shared meal.”
  • Leaders should develop detailed succession plans, Swensen writes. They can generate this by taking employees who report directly to them under their wings and using mentorship to develop a better spirit of camaraderie.

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