In the first part of our series, we identified that frontline managers in healthcare systems do not have the proper tools to do their jobs optimally. Efficient data collection is the foundation that frontline leaders need to manage and hear the feedback of their massive teams. It is a daunting task, but the right technology solution can dramatically improve their day-to-day productivity and effectiveness.

Here are five ways in which better data collection leads to better managed teams: Personalizing Engagement, Accountability, Professional Development, Process Improvement, and General Feedback

5 Key Use Cases

Personalizing Engagement

We’ve heard from many industry managers on this topic. With more and more Baby Boomers retiring, the vast majority of the nursing field is now made up of Generation X and Millennials. The problem is simple: Frontline workers want and expect personal recognition from their managers. If they feel underappreciated or disconnected, they will seek other employment. Often during the onboarding process, managers will collect surveys and other profile information from their new hires. This information is often in paper form, which is destined to be lost in the shuffle of leading a large team. But the information is critical.

For example, what is your preferred method of communication? What are your interests? How do you like to be recognized? Traditional methods of data collection and most current technology prevent managers from easily accessing this information let alone taking action based on the information gathered.  Imagine if it were possible to easily collect, organize, and consistently act on information. Instead of drowning in a sea of paper or searching through endless spreadsheets, managers would have the ability to click on a profile and interact in a preferred manner and receive ‘nudges” to follow-up with the next steps.

Accountability

Managing a team of 150 or more people is not easy, especially when those employees combine to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. You cannot pull them all into a conference room or huddle together to discuss important topics. Communication is extremely difficult. If you are trying to implement best practices or institute a new policy, you have limited communication options. Most managers would choose to send an email to the group then track read receipts.

And no matter how hard you try, you’re almost guaranteed to have certain employees tell you they didn’t see the email. What if frontline leaders had a platform that enabled them to send important information to their teams then easily track responses and follow up with those employees who have not responded?

Professional Development

This is an area that can easily fall through the cracks of a busy unit, especially in the midst of a global pandemic. Most healthcare managers do not have the time or capability to keep track of the professional interests of their employees. Are they seeking any special certifications? Are they working toward a different degree? Do they want to be part of any unique committees or projects within and/or outside the institution?

This information might only be gleaned from an annual review. But, what if managers could click on an employee profile and check in with him or her regarding progress on a new degree or certification? This would be particularly helpful as an institution seeks the coveted credential in the Magnet Recognition Program, the gold standard in nursing excellence. 

Process Improvement

Nurses and other frontline employees encounter a number of different processes in their daily work lives. They clock in and out, take breaks for meals, sometimes float to different units of the institution. Even from the moment, they are hired, they go through an important onboarding and orientation process. Managers with large spans of control find it more difficult to make sure these processes are followed and streamlined.

In the first part of this series, we used the example of a float pool manager. Using traditional tools, it might take weeks to recognize that a specific nurse is having a negative experience each time he or she floats to a particular unit. Similarly, it might take months to realize that one portion of the orientation process is confusing to new hires. Once again, imagine the impact on engagement and productivity if managers could collect this information quickly and easily through the use of surveys and messaging templates that turn the data into timely solutions.

General Feedback

There is a myriad of possibilities when it comes to collecting 360-degree feedback from a manager’s team members. Perhaps it’s information about a particular patient or group of patients, perhaps it’s a survey about your effectiveness as a manager, perhaps it’s a peer review. The story is the same: This is data that typically takes a long time to generate and integrate. What if managers could cut that turnaround time down to a fraction. 

Summary

The underlying theme of these use cases is staying in continuous touch with employees. Managers who are able to maintain communication in all five areas are more likely to run a highly productive, engaged workforce and retain their employees. In our final blog, we will discuss how Laudio’s new “forms technology” is answering this challenge.