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Topic Title: Possible to engage employees to do the tough improvements
Topic Summary: Seeking out people who have seen teams actually shift work from one department to another.
Created On: 03/16/2017 12:34 PM
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03/20/2017 10:33 AM
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Josh Terrill

I am working on improving a process that affects 3 different departments and 4 different job classifications, and 1 classification is union and the others are not.
I am trying to find the right balance of engaging staff and being transparent while still committing to doing some of the "tough work" like moving responsibilities from one job to another. If I highly engage the staff, I'm concerned they'll never make the tough recommendations because they might "see the writing on the wall" that the efficiencies created mean less work for them and potentially less FTE.

Has anyone worked with a team that was highly engaged AND able to make the tough decisions to shuffle work from one department to the next?

Another consideration I had was to have them engage in some "micro" improvements that only affect their personal job. Then I (an engineer for the organization) focus on how to move the work from one department to the next.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
07/21/2017 10:27 AM
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Brian Mackey

Hi Josh,

I have worked with a few teams like this, both in union and non-union environments. When you see the potential for an FTE reduction, I typically try to address it from multiple angles:

1) I ingrain in the team that this is about the patient. Connect their work directly to patients and their families and constantly challenge them if you see they aren't making the leap to the "tough" decision. Make it all about the patient and not about them.

2) If you are in a position to ensure there won't be any layoffs related to this work, do so. If you are not, I might have an executive sponsor step in to address that sentiment.

3) Maybe layoffs are a possibility, but in the healthcare organizations I have been a part of, there is no lack of work that needs to be done. I put the emphasis on repurposing roles rather than eliminating roles. In other words, what you are doing today may not be what you are doing in the Future State, but we need you to help provide excellent care for our patients and their families.

Hope this helps,
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