Veteran Health Administration: Action Equation
The project is to become a magnet hospital. The critical goals or essential goals for this project include: delivery of excellent patient result, high level job satisfaction within the workforce, and reduction of staff turnover rate. This same set of goals can also be considered non negotiable as they are the most basic for achieving magnet status in Veteran Health Administration. Developing an action plan is important for the hospital to execute the strategy needed to achieve magnet status.
Delivering and maintaining high level of patient outcome
The nurses need to know what to do and why they are doing it
The nurses and other staff members need to know the hospital policies with regards to ethical standards, the use of facilities and equipments, and employee benefits.
Nurses in charge should be allowed to set the level of nursing staff they require in their domain. They need to know that every department or domain needs to have a mixture of nurses depending on their levels of experience and expertise.
Nurses in the management levels need to know that they are required to have extensive and significant training in order to execute their duties appropriately.
Nurses need to know that they are required to function as a team and it is important to integrate information regarding patients with other medical professionals including physicians, counselors, and social workers. On the other hand, physicians also need to understand the value that comes with nursing in order to effectively collaborate with nurses.
The hospital is also supposed to adhere to the code of ethics for nurses. Basically, the policy regarding ethics in the hospital should be formulated based on the provision of the code of ethics for nurses.
The nurses need to feel a sense of belonging. The need to feel the hospital cares about their wellbeing and the wellbeing of the patients. The hospital is a home to the nurses and it cares about their career advancement, and personal development. The opportunities provided by the hospitals to the employees are unique and they need to feel that they cannot get such opportunities anywhere else.
They also need to feel that working towards achieving the magnet status not only beneficial to the hospital and the patients but also to the nurses as well.
Cost of care is a paramount. Even if nurses focus on improving quality of care and increase patient outcome, the cost of care is still a concern. But the one point that employees need to focus on is that they have to act independently and distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack. One cannot do something because others are doing it.
Increasing job satisfaction within the nursing staff
Reducing the turnover rate of the nurses
Utilizing safe facilities within the hospital: through the use of evidence based design, creation of a health care environment that promotes less stress for nurses and better outcome for patients
Providing uniforms and showering facilities to all nurses in contact with patients; ensuring that the uniforms and cleaned regularly and the staff get to shower and change uniforms before leaving the hospital.
Crating an organic and green environment where there are facilities that recycle and compose waste as well as servicing patients with cholesterol free organic foods
Improve the policies of the hospital in order to support and protect the nurses
Focus on strengthening nursing
Strengthening nursing managers
Creation of various important and necessary employee benefits
Strengthening the credentials of the hospitals through encouraging snap visits from evaluators from the magnet credential centers
Encouraging team work and collaboration between various medical professionals staff in the hospital
Ensuring that the hospital moves towards being a nursing institution where board members and management team are at least 50% nurses
Providing care based on evidence and latest accredited research
Having and enforcing a strong policy on ethical standards in the field of medicinel
A description of the methods used to communicate between the levels
Just as in many organization people are best used in delivering information at the Veteran Health Administration. As a nurse in the acute care hospital, I have witness that the direction from which nurses hear from supervisors is different from that which they hear from senior leadership and managers. Basically, nurses would easily want to hear from their supervisors rather than from the senior managers and matrons.
The Leaders which mainly constitute the board of trustees and the senior management normally receive information about strategy first. They are basically involved in decision making process and therefore they are the one to disseminate the information on strategy to other leaders and the frontline nurses as well . The leaders basically have a deep understanding of the information on strategy before the rest of the organization gets to know about it. Communication of this important information is done using the traditional vehicles and tactics of internal communication within the hospital. This includes channels such as satellite broadcast, video systems, intranet, conferences, and company newsletters. Even though they are not the center stage, these channels of communication only help to support leadership communication in the hospital . Generally, in order to inform everyone in the organization about the intention to move the hospital towards a magnet status, the senior management will have to call for a conference meeting which will be attended by the other supervisors and matrons. This team will eventually help in disseminating the information to the various frontline nurses under their departments and work stations. Being such a large hospital, it may not be possible to bring operations to a halt so as to communicate strategy to the entire nursing staff. Through the use of the people channel, daily operations and activities in the hospital can proceed as usual while the strategy is effectively communicated to everyone concerned. As it can be noted, receiving direction from supervisors is more effective in bringing results than receiving direction from the board of trustees or the hospital CEO.
The senior leadership also uses hospital newsletters to communicate strategy. The newsletters are published on regular basis and every employee has to receive a copy. This makes it easy for them to communicate to the entire staff team on strategy. The newsletters are always to remind the staff team on strategy and to always ensure they know what to do. Communication between the senior managers and the board of directors is sometimes achieved through video conferencing or conference meeting. Communication from the CEO to the supervisors is done through conference meetings. The conference meetings are held on regularly basis to report and to evaluate the progress regarding any issue. Communication from the supervisors to the frontline nurses is done during daily working schedule. The supervisors inform the frontline nurses on what they are supposed to and motivate them to work put effort in their work.
The hospital also has systems in place that integrate information regarding patients. This is important to help in the delivery of the care to the patients. Nurses communicate with other medical professionals in the hospital to improve on the quality of care. Physicians, social workers, and nurses work as a team and collaborate to deliver care to patients.
The need for action equation in leadership
Effective leaders need to develop action equations on any strategic plan or project undertaken. Action equations help to organize what the leaders need to communicate to all the employees . This aspect is important to make leadership effective. Leadership requires execution of a strategy that leads towards a vision or a goal. In order to effectively execute strategy, leaders have to develop the action equation which stipulates every strategic action that employees need to take in order to achieve the goal. Action equations not only provides the answer to ‘what employees need to do’ but goes further to address what employees need to feel and know so as to take the appropriate action leading towards a strategic goal. In order for leaders to be effective, they also have to be able to communicate important information to their employees effectively. Action equations provide the guideline that leaders can use to communicate to their employees. All the three parts of action equation have to be done adequately for the execution process to be effective.
Advantages of conversation platform
Under normal circumstances people use conversation to communicate. In strategic communication, the conversations are fabricated in a way that yields results. Strategic communication is commonly used in organization for effective communication and conversation platforms are aligned towards strategic communication. A conversation platform is essential in packaging the most important parts of an action equation. This is in order for leaders to easily access these salient features and communicate them in the most simple and effective manner. Conversation platforms help in driving conversations from the leadership to the frontline employees with clarity and simplicity. In most businesses, managers and leaders tend to focus a lot on the complexities of business communication and fail to effectively achieve the intended outcomes. However, the conversation platforms further simplifies the action equation in terms of communicating strategy from top leadership to the frontline.
According to Martha and Boehm (2008), the simplicity of a conversational platform is in the form of a story which begins with where the organization intends to go. And then, in at most four themes, the tool further articulates how the organization will achieve its strategic goals and what the employees are required to do in order to get there. The authors also say that the one point that makes conversation platforms effective in communicating action plans is the fact that it uses language that the employees use. There are no jargons, slogans, or the kind of corporate language that is always confusing to employees.
The other advantage of conversation platform is that despite being very simple, it is linked to all the activities and objectives of an organization that are aimed at achieving specific goals. Through the conversation platform, everyone within an organization easily gets a context upon which to evaluate, understand, and interpret all the action plans . This therefore helps the employees to figure out what they are supposed to do in order to assist the organization achieve its plans. Understanding conversation platform as a story helps to stick the ideas in the minds of employees and managers because people can easily remember simple stories.
People channel and effective leadership
As earlier mentioned, people are the best channels which organizations can use to deliver information from the top leadership to the frontline employees. A top leader can use the people channel to align the leadership team in such a way that simplifies direction of delivering information . Strategic communication through the people channel is important in helping leaders gain important information first before the employees. This will provide leaders with the opportunity to ask question which will clarify an issue before the information gets to the frontline employees .
Martha and Boehm (2008) further say that when people channel is incorporated with all the other tactics and vehicles used for organization communication, it becomes more effective in yielding results. The vehicles and tactics for internal communication within an organization may include hall meeting, intranet, and company newsletters among others. Linking the people channel with internal communication vehicles achieves two results: overwhelming employees with information about strategy, and stimulating the conversation on strategy.
The people channel is important in helping with the management of expectations. They create observable steps and processes which leaders can use to monitor and manage the flow of information. Line managers can also use the people channel to do their jobs effectively. Through the people channel, they will be able to motivate and inform employees to act on strategy. This eventually helps the employees to achieve local objective and helps the organization to achieve its strategic objectives. Martha and Boehm (2008) say that the people channel is essential in every organization and every leader should actively be part of the people channel.
Two takeouts from the course
The process of strategy begins with an individual, the leader. However, it takes a collective effort to implement and execute strategy in an organization. Therefore, as a leader one has to dedicate a lot of time and effort communicating the action plan for a specific strategy. This is where other individual in the organization begin to have a role. In order to execute strategy effectively, everyone involved should be able to understand what is they need to do and develop a good feeling about the whole strategy. Applying this concept in my organization is not an easy task. But, as a leader it only requires that I devote a lot of effort and time to ensure that there is effective communication down the frontline nurses who make contact with patients every day. The only way that the hospital will achieve magnet status is through a collaborative effort in the execution of strategy; and strategy will only be executed effectively through a result oriented communication from the top leadership to the frontline nursing staff .
The second important takeout from the course is the use of action equation, conversation platform, and the people channel to help simplify leadership communication around an organization. As mentioned earlier, a lot of organizations focus on the complex corporate communication which leaves many employees confused therefore creating the need to simplify communication for everyone to understand the role they need to play in order to achieve a strategic goal. As a leader in my organization, the use of action equation, conversation platform, and people channel will focus on simplifying communication around the hospital.
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