A Few Notes From Cheryl
Hello again: Welcome to our latest edition of InSights! I hope you enjoy this edition’s article. In case you were wondering if you missed an edition recently, you did not…I took some time off over the past few months so that I could focus on my highest priority - I became a parent! More on that in this edition’s feature article, and please accept my apologies for being out of touch recently.
Feature Article: When Team Members Come and Go: 3 Tips to Success &
A Personal Example. I hope you enjoy this month’s feature article on how to successfully navigate the changes that occur when your team members leave your team and/or when new team members arrive. You will also find some tips on how to navigate personal “team member” changes such as a new child, significant other or pet when they join the household, as I share my new parenting experience. I hope you enjoy the feature article. Read on...
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Feature Article: When Team Members Come and Go:
3 Tips to Success & A Personal Example
Team Changes Affect Everyone
In working with a few different clients lately, I’ve been reminded of how temporarily challenging it can be when a new team member joins your team as well as when a team member leaves your team. Because teams are living, breathing “systems,” everyone is impacted when this occurs.
For example, if your team is in the midst of a project and one member leaves your team, there is a gap in not only the project contributions that person was responsible for, but also that team member’s contributions to the energy of the team “system.” As a result, the entire team feels that impact and tries to find ways to deal with the energetic shift that occurs in the team’s dynamics.
On a personal note, this happens when family members change as well. If a new child, significant other or pet joins the household, everyone feels this impact right away! Having experienced these types of family expansions, including most recently when my partner and I brought home our adopted newborn son (plus we’ve adopted several dogs over the years), I can speak from my own experience…life changes immediately and pretty dramatically when a new “team member” becomes part of the family!
3 Tips to Success
So, what are the most important aspects to consider as you navigate team changes, so that you can position your team for success?
Tip #1: Talk with your team about the impact
This is the most important aspect of leading your team through any type of change – open up the dialogue about what they’re experiencing! So often I see leaders who expect their team to “deal with” or just keep working through whatever change might be happening, without the opportunity to talk about their concerns, ideas for managing the transitions, etc.
If a new team member has joined your group, then welcome that team member and bring everyone together (in person or by phone for virtual teams) to talk about what they want to create together as a new “system.” This can be a simple dialogue, or it can be more comprehensive through a facilitated visioning exercise.
If a team member has left, set up a team meeting (in person or via phone) to talk about what it’s like to be a team now that the composition of the team has changed – talk about the impact of the change. Then, discuss what the team wants to create moving forward.
From my personal example, I can tell you that we had MANY conversations in our household about the impact of how our “team” had changed with the addition of our new “team member” – so much excitement, of course, as well as the impact on the dogs and conversations about the impact on how the flow and completion of “team tasks” around the household would change (not to mention changed sleep patterns. :-)).
Tip #2: Create new team agreements
Many of you have heard me talk during workshops and presentations about the importance of team agreements (if this is a new concept to you, or if you want a refresher, please see one of my previous articles on this topic. Team agreements, also called a team contract, are even MORE critical when you’ve had a change in the composition of your team!
If a new team member has joined your team, be sure to create a NEW set of team agreements. You may or may not want to start with the existing agreements if your team has them – you can start from scratch, or use existing agreements as a foundation. In either case, however, be sure to elicit full team commitment/buy-in to every agreement that makes the final list, as well as any additional agreements or changes that the new team member might suggest.
If a team member has departed, be sure to check in with the team to see if your current agreements will still serve your team well, as well as see if any additional agreements should be added. This step is particularly important for teams who will have to take on an additional workload until the team member is replaced, and even more important if the team member is not going to be replaced.
In my personal example, we definitely had to create some new “team agreements” for the new household!
Tip #3: Periodically check in with team / monitor the new agreements
Remember to schedule periodic check-in meetings (conference calls for virtual teams) to see how your team is doing with the changes in the team members, as well as the new team agreements. If your team is doing well, be sure to find a way to celebrate! If your team has some agreements or dynamics that are not working as well as they’d like, be sure to talk about the changes that are needed, as well as the commitments to those changes moving forward.
The bottom line: schedule time to help your team continue their dialogue about how things are going and where they’re doing well, in addition to looking for ways to continue improving as a team. These ongoing dialogues are key to sustainable success – that’s why the team coaching process is so effective (we all know how much more accountable we are when we know that someone is going to be checking in with us four weeks down the road to see how we’re doing)!
What is one thing that you will do with your team to help them navigate any team member changes that are occurring or that have occurred?
Your success is our priority, so if you’d like some help along the way, I would be happy to talk with you about how we might support you and/or your team to become more productive by participating in these types of facilitated dialogues. You are welcome to call me at (510) 482-8987 – it would be a pleasure to talk about your needs!
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"Aligning Your Revenue Cycle Team for Success: Maximize Your Bottom Line With Accountability"
Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) – Annual MAP Conference
(Note: event is open to non-members)
Wednesday, October 26 from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm (pre-conference session)
Doral Resort – Miami, Florida
This session will present tools and processes that a revenue cycle leader can implement immediately to enhance cross-functional team results:
- Communication tools such as team agreements with shared accountability and a common vision with buy in to align cross-functional success with all revenue cycle team members (e.g. Patient Financial Services, Managed Care, Case Management, Administration, providers, etc.)
- Relationship dynamic tools such as leveraging positivity and cross-functional diversity of knowledge, perspectives and process improvements.
- Measurement tools to identify team strengths and weaknesses, and develop a plan to combine those tools with Key Performance Indicators to enhance team performance
For more details and registration information, please see HFMA MAP event
Team Building Events and Off-Site Meetings:
Could your team use some help to be more cohesive?
Is it time to enhance your team's relationships and productivity?
Some teams know that something isn't working, but they don't know exactly what that is or how to improve it. Some organizations hold team building seminars and employee retreats because they know it's time to enhance their teams' productivity and relationships. Do either of those statements describe you/your team? If so, and if you haven't already contacted us to discuss your needs, feel free to give us a call to see if we can help you.
We offer a variety of programs to enhance the performance of your teams as well as improve the ways in which your teams interact, so we invite you to visit our Team Building, Training and Seminar page. This is a great way to show appreciation for your team and enhance their productivity, thereby improving the bottom line for your organization!
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About Goals InSight
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