Getting the behaviour you want to see in teams

Whenever I run team development programs for workplaces, I speak of the importance of everyone being on the same page - being clear as to the goals for their workplace, communicating clear expectations, and practising the right attitudes and behaviours that help the team to perform at its best.
One of the ways that workplaces often try to encourage the above is through the development of Mission and Vision Statements. 
Now, while I do support Mission Statements, there are three things that amuse me about most.

  1. They are often developed by management, so the buy-in of staff is not there
  2. Not many people can remember them
  3. And lastly, that once they are up on the wall they are largely ignored

One workplace that doesn't make these mistakes is Glenbrook Residential Aged Care Facility in Nambour. I met the Director of Nursing, Deborah Murray, when I presented recently at an Aged Care Conference in Toowoomba.
"A few years back," Deb said, "the facility had to relocate to a new location. The management and staff saw this as an opportunity to start afresh and build the sort of workplace we could all be proud of. We started with a questionnaire to staff about what made a good day for them. This was followed up by focus groups where people could contribute in person. You need the buy-in of all staff," she said, "even if it takes a long time".
Data was collected and a working group was able to articulate the Vision and Mission for their workplace. 
Here is their Vision Statement - I love the simplicity of it and how easy it is to remember, 
'To become the first choice for residents, families, staff and students'. 
Their Mission gives them four areas on which they can focus their efforts and measure progress: 
'We will become first choice by …

Discussion was then on how they would get there.
The staff produced a summary of values they all needed to share and corresponding behaviours - such as respectful communication, willingness to give and receive feedback, mutual problem solving, learning and researching best practice. If you want to see their full list, you can do so here
But this is not a document that is then framed and ignored. 
Key Performance Indicators were established that measure progress towards the overall vision, such as, feedback from residents and families, staff surveys, number of compliments and complaints received, and how many students on placement they have. Progress towards their Vision is actively measured and discussed at monthly all-of-staff team meetings.
"The values and behaviours agreed to by all of the staff are also referred to in one-on-one discussions if there are difficulties or performance concerns." Deb said. "When there are difficulties between team members, these are more easily handled because there is agreement about the behaviours needed from each and the process to be followed."
Has all the above made a difference?  "A Staff Survey, 12 months ago, found we had the highest employee satisfaction of all Queensland State Government Nursing Homes." Deb said. "There are also fewer issues of conflict coming to management and high levels of satisfaction from residents, families and staff. We believe that happy staff equals happy residents."
What might your workplace do to help your staff to be on the same page with how they work?

And how can you use what is produced as a living document where progress is measured?

To be part of a workplace we can truly enjoy and be proud of really does take a combined effort.

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