How can we increase the level of care within our team? As I’ve observed from personal experience lately, care is crucial to organisational performance, as well as making an important impact on people’s wellbeing…
I believe that both the concept and the reality of care matters in the workplace. Having recently spent time in hospital when my wife was admitted to an acute medical ward, I saw this in a very literal sense, but it’s clear that any organisation and team can benefit from taking more care. It prompts me to ponder:
- What impact could higher levels of care have on an organisation’s results?
- What impact does it have on people’s wellbeing?
- How can we increase the level of care to benefit both people and organisational performance?
More than ‘just a job’
During my wife’s hospital stay we met many doctors and nursing staff who displayed a wide range of behaviours and attitudes. It appalled me just how few of them demonstrated any care whatsoever. In many ways it felt that, for many, is was ‘just a job’ performed with automaton-like efficiency, with no inclination to ask a question, listen to patients’ concerns or show insight.
Perhaps the result of an organisation and team under extreme pressure, it was nonetheless as though each patient was on a production line. I was truly shocked and wondered how many mistakes must occur when there is so little engagement with ‘the client’.
What CARE really means
At the same time this was happening, Michael Neill published two new blogs about care and I began to ask myself what care really means. How can we help others to feel and act with care in their day-to-day work, whether in healthcare or beyond?
Mulling it over with my wife, we concluded there were four common characteristics shared by the true carers we’d encountered:
Connection – they took TIME to connect, to LISTEN with both their ears and their eyes. They asked questions and, in a relatively short time, understood what was happening and what to do next.
Authenticity – they had genuine FEELING for others and were not just going through the motions as part of a process.
Respect – they treated others as equals, as human beings (not human doings!), ADAPTING their behaviour to each individual’s needs
Energy – they had a positive energy about them and clearly wanted to do a good job. They had a smile on their face and a spring in their step. Because of the EFFORT they put in, they got more enjoyment out of every day.
The benefits of greater CARE
My challenge to you is to think objectively about how well you and your team demonstrate CARE. I’m not sure how one could measure it, but if you could all improve your CARE by 10%, how could this impact on Profit and Smiles? According to one study, a caring and supportive work environment improved productivity by 12% and made employees happier. That’s quite some difference to organisational performance.
For our own part as Leadership Consultants, whether mentoring individuals or working with their teams, we become very attached to people and we care passionately about helping them achieve success. Our mission is to help them grow their Profit and Smiles and I’d like to think we do it with CARE: Connection + Authenticity + Respect + Energy.