Valentine’s Day was last month, and as usual, stores were filled with candy hearts while customers snapped up flowers and greeting cards. With Valentine’s Day now in the rear view mirror, while thinking about the holiday, I realized that we tend to overlook the opportunities we have every day to genuinely impact someone else. I found myself wondering how I could turn the seasonal attempts to show someone appreciation into a day-to-day routine. If I carried this mentality with me throughout the year, what downstream effects would follow? How would this impact not only my personal life, but my career and the culture of my organization?
You might wonder if there is a place for hearts at the office. I believe there is. Executives, managers, and staff all have the ability to incorporate our hearts into what we do. Most organizations within your industry offer many of the same products and services. So, how do you stand out? I believe a desire to leave a lasting impact on everyone you encounter will set you apart from others in your field. When businesses learn to leverage this strategy, the results can be powerful.
In healthcare, we have a tendency to value productivity and volume over other areas of business. Providers run from one patient appointment to the next, managers and administrators jump from task to task. Rather than fostering growth, the redundancy of rapidity can result in a lack of motivation among team members and an office devoid of passion.
If this sounds familiar to you, consider ways you can improve your work environment. Could greeting a co-worker in the morning or surprising someone with a cup of coffee help them start the day with a positive outlook? Showing interest in your team members’ lives helps them feel valued. Carve out more time with your team to help them develop their skills. And sincerity is key when bringing your heart to work.
In the book, True Professionalism, author David Maister touches on workplace quality when he writes, “More than any other factor, it is the people that determine the quality of our work lives.” If you choose to prioritize people, greater levels of enthusiasm will naturally follow, resulting in a work environment more conducive to success.
Take a closer look at your customers: the returning patient; the physician launching a new practice; the director on the “hot seat” because of a cash flow concern; the executive challenged with bringing the RCM operation back in-house; The issues our customers are facing can often go deeper than they appear on the surface, and how we choose to serve them can be impactful on the relationship. Take advantage of opportunities to get to know the patient, the doctor, the director, or the executive who reaches out in need of your expertise.
Going that extra mile will not go unnoticed by your customers, and it is often what brings them back to you again. Hheart-felt service goes beyond the financials. The most accomplished organizations understand that the numbers take care of themselves when you take care of others.
As the years go by, I find myself appreciating the little things more. The other day, I noticed a colleague seemed extra cheerful at the office. When I asked her about her morning, she shared that a barista at the coffee shop took the extra time to write “you’re awesome” on her to-go cup. It was a simple gesture that turned out to be so uplifting, it led her to approach the day with enthusiasm others around her noticed.
Our fast-paced days are peppered with countless opportunities to positively impact others we encounter. What you do with those opportunities is your decision, but I hope when you leave for work each morning, you choose to bring your heart with you.
Stewart Garner is a Healthcare Advisor with Kassouf & Co.
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