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How Do We Manage Metrics That Matter?

What moves the needle on employee engagement anyways?


This week I had the chance to sit down with a group of department chiefs to discuss strategies for their healthcare system. We had a great conversation about everything related to their employees’ well-being. But what they wanted to know was, “How do we move the needle on the metrics that matter?!” For them, that meant employee engagement, workplace satisfaction, and the Best Place to Work scale.


And my response was, it’s complicated. The challenge, as I see it, is that the things we measure are often indirect representations of the real outcomes we want to create.


For example, what moves the needle on the question, “I always give extra effort at work.” Well, it isn’t very straightforward. Because what is that question getting at? It’s getting at how much our employees trust each other, how they feel about their supervisor, the personal meaning or quality of external recognition that may accompany “extra effort,” or the personal costs or work-related resentment that may build up because of “extra effort.”


As you see, this simple question is complex.


To move the needle on the metrics that we care deeply about, we need to think about all the factors that may influence our employees’ responses to the question. And even more important than these metrics, we need to think deeply about what influences our employees’ behaviors in tough workplace moments. And it is our responsibility to create caring and supportive environments that allow them to choose to “give extra effort” without harming themselves, their patients, and their families.


Food for thought.




Organizational Well-Being Assessment.

The “How To” season of Menders is coming soon, but don’t wait for January! I created a quick and dirty organizational well-being assessment that will walk you through my framework and help you to identify gaps and action steps right now. Check out the video-based mini-course!


Women leaders’ perspectives on creating healthcare transformation.

It’s not every day that I get to sit down with a brilliant administrator and ask all of my questions, but this week, I was in luck! Amanda Forrester joined me to share her perspective on why administrative employees have a unique skill set and expertise and the benefits our healthcare systems will gain when we finally take this expertise seriously. She is a leader committed to opening doors for her team and eliminating classist and hierarchical distinctions to create culture change in healthcare.


A favorite from the archives.

If you have ever wondered about your calling as a healthcare leader or struggled to connect with what nourishes you as a whole person, listen to my conversation with Adele Wang. Take time to encourage yourself today!



Candid Conversations & Speaking Engagements

I am motivated to spread the word about how we can all go about repairing relationships and mending health systems. If your organization would benefit from a candid conversation about burnout or an interactive presentation on well-being and organizational transformation, I would love to hear from you. Reach out to me to share your needs and discuss the details.


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