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CRI Lab Quality Advisor

Beyond Competency

Published August 27, 2014 12:55 PM by Irwin Rothenberg
We all want our employees to succeed; that is, do well in their job, and do their job well. This requires more that the didactic aspect of training, and goes beyond competency assessment. This requires the skill and intuitive ability of the manager to understand and apply what motivates their employees to do as well as possible, as well as moving beyond defining boundaries when staff  do not meet standards.

Essentially, motivating your employees effectively means understanding the human component of work. While we are Professionals with a capital P, we are also human; both positive and negative reinforcement are essential to get the best out of our staff.

The plain fact is that everybody watches everybody else; how their fellow  staff are treated; wary of any hint of favoritism or unfairness. So, we need to go beyond implementing and using the important dictums of clear communication, transparency, and competency, to an awareness of not just what you are communicating, but how you communicate: the language that is used: the tone, the volume, your body language; your concern and your sincere involvement.

Once an employee has achieved competency, and is doing their job well, how often do they get recognized, praised, and rewarded? How often are they told that their efforts are not only saving lives, maintaining the quality and integrity of the laboratory and their organization, but serving as an example and inspiration for their fellow staff. How often do you instill pride in your staff?

If an employee is not performing to standards consistently, do you go beyond discipline? Beyond retraining? Do you try to find out if anything else is going on that is affecting their performance? This is not to say, you should go where you are not welcomed, but that you communicate your readiness to listen to your staff if they wish to talk to you about other issues?

How cognizant are you about the dynamics of your laboratory culture? Are you aware of the politics and power plays that go on, that may also affect performance? Do your supervisors share your philosophies of management? Do your employees feel comfortable having a private conversation with you about factors that may affect their work?

Good, solid, competent and experienced staff  are to be valued and supported; when things go awry, you may have to look beyond training and competency assessment to the human factors that govern behavior, and by extension, performance.

The result is truly effective management; and this aligns with driving quality laboratory medicine.

By the way, who do you talk to?

posted by Irwin Rothenberg


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