Leading With Values

I have a secret I’m going to share with you, one that is so powerful, it may change the way you and your staff relate to the business of care. It has nothing to do with a typical “business” and everything to do with your inner motivations.

You must lead your business, and your team, with values.

It may sound simple, or even obvious. But your values are not just a slogan you put on your website or pamphlet. They’re the foundation of your business and what makes everyone working for you energized, organized, and ready to go. It takes hard work and time to implement throughout your organization. But I live by three key principles that can fundamentally change your business.

Your Patients are Your Family

Everyone will say this, and it’s the ultimate goal of every nursing home—to make their patients feel like they’re at home. But it’s one thing to say it, and another thing to live by it.

Quick Test:

  • Can you name an important moment from at least three of your patients’ lives?

For many of us with multiple locations, this is the trickiest—you can’t reasonably meet everyone and be everywhere. But scheduling at least one day a month to visit each facility and talk to your patients will be a game-changer for you. It will remind you of your purpose.

  • Can you see yourself living in your facility?

Our standards for ourselves and the standards we hold for others can be quite different. This second question is great for seeing what’s missing in your facility, and what you would want if you were a resident. Ask this question at the beginning of each of your development meetings, and go from there.

Go Above and Beyond Regulations

I know as well as anyone that we work in a highly regulated business. Every ‘i’ must be dotted, and every ‘t’ must be crossed. It’s easy to become jaded and forget the well-meaning behind each regulation—viewing compliance as an administrative burden and a headache. But let’s change the conversation.

Regulations can be empowering for your team

The key here is to develop a system based on your values. Don’t let your team think they’re doing this because the law says so. While that may be the case, you need to make it personal and show them the responsibility in their roles. Remind them that their job has a large and direct impact on others. Help your employees see that they’re part of something bigger than themselves, and you’ll demonstrate that the rules they follow are simply a roadmap to better care.

Above All, Care is #1

The term “care” is often tossed around as a synonym for medical treatment. Remember that patients are people, and they should be treated with dignity, respect, and kindness. Reflecting on the true meaning of care ties together my first two principles. When you go the extra mile and when you empathize with your patients, the quality of care in your home will improve all around. It’s not just about following routines or doling out medication. It’s about asking questions of your patients, engaging with their lives and their families, working with intention and compassion, and bringing with you the drive to improve every single day.

It’s hard work, but focusing on values first is a win for everyone.