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Management by walking around
6/12/2012
 
Walking the halls and corridors can be an effective way for CEOs to inspire workers and gain first-hand impressions, according to an article in Becker’s Hospital Review. The authors offer the following four general tips:

Commitment
Make rounds at least once a day, preferably twice. “Committing to rounding as a daily necessity is a crucial first step in better connecting with your organization,” the authors say.

Observation
You can notice a lot merely by observing, as the famous line goes. “Learn to view the hospital from the patient's perspective. Something as simple as outdated lighting fixtures can affect the perception of an entire organization,” the authors write.

Visit patients, watch how work is actually performed on the front lines, and recognize people for doing a good job. Also, “correct observed problems on the spot. Failure to do so validates the action as acceptable.” After rounding, create a specific action plan to resolve any issues observed.

Approachability
Being approachable is key to gathering information, the authors say.

“Try not to appear too stern! Smile. Your presence may make employees uneasy and have a negative effect if performed in a rigid manner. Do not give the impression you are grading people when recording observations,” they advise.

Building Trust
“Rounding provides an opportunity for administrators to engage physicians and nurses and build trust. Showing you are committed to providing patients with the best care possible is crucial. Clinicians want to know you are on the same team,” the authors write.

They offer the following specific ways to help build trust while rounding:
  • Ask open-ended questions.

  • Listening to concerns and acting on them is critical. Ensure prompt follow-up as well, either in person or via email, to explain how their concern has been resolved or is being addressed.

  • Be careful not to make promises that cannot be kept. While it is difficult to gain trust, it is very easy to lose it.

  • Round on nights, weekends, and holidays. Show that you understand the commitment hospital workers make and thank them for it.