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blog post 10172016

Why Healthcare Leaders Should Regularly Round on Employees

This blog post continues our series of patient experience best practices from the HealthStream Engagement Institute. We regularly share information that demonstrates our understanding of the challenges faced by healthcare organizations and the solutions we have identified for improving the patient experience and patient and business outcomes.

Rounding is a communication tool. It is a means of two-way communication with employees, as well as a proven relationship-builder. Listening and “walking a mile in someone else’s shoes” gives invaluable insight. Helping, sharing, and interacting personalizes every effort and creates trust by:

  • Removing barriers
  • Emphasizing that the environment is one of open communication
  • Giving employees increased access to leaders
  • Allowing staff to demonstrate high performance
  • Enabling staff to be recognized for service excellence
  • Building on trust between staff and leadership
  • Creating openness 

Employees begin to look forward to rounding as a valuable time for open sharing with their leaders. They realize that you are there to coach, to learn, to communicate, and to celebrate. They become comfortable volunteering information and understand that they are empowered to take action and make the organization better. Empowerment in turn creates powerful feelings of ownership. Staff members who are thus engaged become long-term advocates; they continually drive your organization’s success, which translates into satisfied and loyal customers. Finally, the leader who recognizes high performance during rounding further motivates employees to continue the desired behavior.

Leaders’ rounding on employees is a purposeful process to connect in a planned way with employees, to solicit engagement, and to improve. It provides a means for leaders to listen, reward, and recognize, and also provides opportunities for improvement.

Building trust, loyalty, and ownership is critical to a culture of excellence. Employees need an opportunity to have time with their leader and be heard. Without trust, it is impossible for any organization to function effectively. Trust is essential for two people to work together.

Why Round Regularly on Your Employees?

Rounding should be an essential part of every leader’s day, because its value cuts through so many levels of the healthcare organization. As a leader, rounding on employees:

  • Helps you get to know your staff through accessibility
  • Builds relationships of trust
  • Identifies tool and equipment needs
  • Solicits feedback
  • Gives you opportunities to teach, train, and share information
  • Engages and empowers your staff
  • Establishes who should be rewarded and recognized
  • Reveals opportunities for process improvement

Rounding can be critical to your success as a leader. Effective leaders know that productive and valued relationships are based on mutual respect and accessibility. It is your interaction with team members during rounding that builds these types of relationships.

About the Best Practice Series

We are pleased to share the best practices developed by our expert coaches from the HealthStream Engagement Institute. This series of how-to publications offers proven techniques, key words and phrases, and processes to help you transform your culture to one of high performance.

Our Best Practices Series, based on employee-developed and employee-managed practices and programs, includes the following:

  • Hourly Rounding
  • Reward and Recognition
  • Peer Interviewing
  • Bright Ideas™
  • Purposeful Rounding
  • Words that WorkSM
  • Service Recovery
  • Standards of Performance

Our goal for this collection is to offer you even more tools to achieve extraordinary service and higher levels of performance excellence.

Learn more about the services offered by the HealthStream Engagement Institute.

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