Listen to Moments Move Us Season 2 Episode 10: Reflecting on Moments of Connection with Rebecca Coren
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New Podcast Episode: Reflecting on Moments of Connection with Rebecca Coren
Each year, companies across the country recognize the first Friday in March as Employee Appreciation Day. Coined in 1995, the day is reserved for employers to share gratitude for their teams. With burnout at historic levels, showing appreciation and celebrating employees is more important now than ever before. In fact, Harvard Business Review cites leading with kindness as a strategic way to combat depletion for healthcare workers. This includes recognizing and expressing appreciation and gratitude to employees in an authentic way.
Employee Appreciation Day is a special celebration for Wambi because appreciation is what Wambi is all about! Through the power of gratitude, Wambi’s recognition and culture transformation solution helps team members feel valued and improves the healthcare experience for patients and everyone involved. This day directly parallels the Wambi values of gratitude, compassion, imagination, fearlessness, and joy. At Wambi, we honor this celebration both internally with our Flock, as well as encouraging our clients to share gratitude with their teams. Whether you are celebrating during March or hosting another event during the year, there are a variety of ways you can utilize Wambi’s recognition software to show appreciation.
Companies that recognize their employees a couple of times a month are 41% more likely to see increased employee retention.
For more ideas, make sure you check out our blog post, “How To Integrate Wambi Into Your Hospital Celebrations!”
Vincent “Vinny” Chrepta, Wambi’s Senior Culture and Event Specialist, is committed to the wellbeing of the internal Wambi Flock and believes there are simple steps a leader can take to make sure their team members feel appreciated. We asked him how he approaches showing employee appreciation and what he finds to be the most impactful:
What role does self-reflection play in showing gratitude?
“Think about what would make you feel appreciated. What kind of environment would you want to be a part of? Take that vision of how you’d like to be appreciated and apply it to your team. Maybe it’s serving your team members a full-service hot cocoa bar during your next huddle or teaching them some quick breathing exercises.”
How do you determine what would be an impactful way to show you care?
“Talk about what’s important to your team! Have the conversation and really listen to them. Understand what their daily schedule looks like. Maybe they are struggling to find time to hydrate or eat? A water and snack cart could be a great way to supply treats for each team member on your unit! In some cases, it could even be provided by Food and Nutrition.
Identify tasks during their day that could be particularly depleting or time-consuming. Turn a tedious task like charting into an anticipated assignment by leaving small notes of encouragement at the computer stations (and keeping it fresh with rotating messages!) The goal is to listen to your team, observe their day, and then assess your resources to create moments that will move your team.”
How do you create an environment for a culture of gratitude to flourish?
“Create a safe space, free of judgement, and full of peace for everyone to recharge. Creating an inviting office space can be as simple as producing low light, emitting your favorite peppermint essential oil, and finding a soft playlist to have on throughout the day (Healing Sounds from Spotify is one of my personal favorites!)
Check-ins don’t need to be regular, but they should be intentional. Invite them in and let them feel whatever they need to feel. Appreciating your team also means listening within the safe space that you’ve created.”
Is there anything else you would like to share?
“While Employee Appreciation Day is only calendar-official one day out of the year, it’s a lifestyle for me. I hope you’re inspired to show appreciation every day!”
Remember: multiple programs throughout the day allow everyone on the team to attend at least one event.
How do you incorporate Wambi into your appreciation events? We’d love to hear from you! If you’re an existing Wambi client, log in to the Wambi Support Desk and visit the Wambi Community Forum to share your insights and best practices.
Schedule a strategy session with Wambi to learn more about how we can support your employee appreciation efforts.
Author, consultant, coach, and host of “Show Up as a Leader” podcast, Dr. Rosie Ward is dedicated to exploring human experiences to help understand what it means to be a leader. The show encourages listeners – regardless of official title or role – to embrace their own leadership journey and step into greatness. During a recent episode, Wambi’s CEO and Cofounder Rebecca Coren joined Dr. Ward to discuss how leading with heart has shaped her personal leadership journey.
Key teachings for heart-led leadership:
In the episode, Rebecca and Dr. Ward discuss the importance of shining a light on all good things that happen, because exceptional moments can often be found in the mundane. By focusing on the things that are going well, you are elevating positivity and moments of inspiring human connection to help remind people of their ‘why’— what it is that drew them to their profession in the first place. “Getting people back to their ‘why’ is one of the most sticky things we can do to help drive value and belonging, which are two of the most critical reasons to help people stay,” Rebecca says.
According to McKinsey & Company, the top three factors that employees cited for quitting their job were that they did not feel valued by their organization, did not feel valued by their managers, or because they did not feel a sense of belonging. These three factors have been paramount contributors to the retention challenges faced in the Great Attrition. In Wambi’s Employee Retention White Paper, helping employees find meaning and purpose in their work is a powerful contributor to making them feel valued and improve retention.
When leaders acknowledge and appreciate their team members for what they are doing and why it matters, they are helping their teams connect back to their Ikigai. This Japanese concept means “that which gives your life worth, meaning, or purpose.” For healthcare workers, reflecting on moments of connection with patients helps them engage with their Ikigai and reminds them why they chose the healthcare industry. This is the driving force behind Wambi’s recognition solution. It ties people in a very transparent way to their impact, and to one another.
Throughout her leadership journey, Rebecca has embraced small things to intentionally show her human side as a leader. Whether it is inserting humor and silliness into the way she talks or wearing clothes that she feels comfortable in, she understands the importance of setting an example as a leader. She shares, “I need to lead in a fully present, authentic way that brings my whole self into this.” The expression ‘bring your authentic self to work every day’ is something that Rebecca and the Wambi leadership team advocate for to the entire Wambi enterprise. Dr. Ward agrees about the importance of being your truest self and says, “It is easier to connect with people when you are being who you authentically are.”
For Rebecca, the most profound way for leaders to be able to show their human side is to “Tap into the depths of who we are as people and bring that to the forefront. Let our teams know when we’re moved and not be afraid to show our feelings and vulnerability.”
Rebecca’s emphasis on showing vulnerability as a leader is a current theme across collaborative leaders. In “Vulnerability Is a Strength, Not a Weakness” healthcare leaders across the country weigh in on this polarizing leadership topic and how they’ve embraced it in their own leadership journeys.
“A company is a community, and you need to feel love within your community. You need to feel loved by others and you need to love them, too.” Rebecca cites Barbara Fredrickson’s book on Positivity Resonance “Love 2.0” as a guide for her to see love from different perspectives and more fully appreciate micro-moments of connection.
In addition to love, Rebecca advocates for emotional ways to lead with the heart utilizing intuition, kindness, empathy, and compassion. Successful leaders understand the importance of cultivating compassion. As Wambi’s Product Evangelist Melanie Alm shares in Emotional Success: Harnessing Gratitude, Compassion, and Pride, compassionate workplace cultures have been linked to improved collaboration, increased employee engagement, and reduced burnout.
However, during the show Rebecca reminds listeners that showing softer emotions doesn’t mean that we can’t be competitive or care about ROI. It is important to bring harmony and balance between both sides.
Heart-led leadership helps create a space for leaders to build connections and, according to Rebecca, connecting with teams is a leader’s number one job. Interested in hearing more inspiring stories of human connection? Tune in to Moments Move Us, a people-first, values-based podcast with the mission to improve human experience by unlocking the power of meaningful moments.
Wambi is a catalyst for connection. It helps to improve patient and team member experiences and empower leaders with actionable insights. Are you ready to build a culture of gratitude where team members are valued and stay? Request a demo of the Wambi platform today.
Black History Month is observed each year during February, and we take this time to honor the contributions of those in the African Diaspora who have shaped history. The 2022 celebration is particularly special for the Wambi community as its theme was selected as “Black Health and Wellness.” This theme acknowledges the legacy of not only Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine, but also other ways of knowing throughout the African Diaspora, considering activities, rituals, and initiatives that Black communities have done to be well.
At Wambi, we’re committed to honoring and celebrating Black history every month of the year. While we have made progress in celebrating their contributions, there is still more work to be done. Together we strive to honor the past and inspire the future by fostering moments of gratitude, embracing the power of storytelling, and encouraging a sense of belonging for all.
To celebrate the diversity of our community, we continue to listen to Black healthcare professionals who have graciously shared their knowledge and insights on the Wambi values of joy, compassion, gratitude, imagination, and fearlessness.
Tune in to some of our favorite moments shared during interviews, panel discussions, and the Moments Move Us podcast.
Lydel Wright MSN, BSN RN NEA-BC
SVP of Health & Wellness at Elegance Living
Johnson & Johnson Nurse Innovation Fellow
“To the nurses and the healthcare heroes all over the globe, whether you’re retired, at the bedside, in nursing school, or in the C-suite, my first feeling is one of celebration and gratitude for your many contributions. The contributions that get celebrated, and the contributions that are often not shared. Those are the embodiment of our profession that we love: healthcare. I feel celebration and gratitude for those who give of themselves every day, go into harm’s way, and deliver great care. We are fighting two public health emergencies: one with Covid 19 and the other with systematic racism and discrimination. Every person who participates in the delivery of care, I want you to know that you are necessary to these fights.”
Seun Ross, DNP, MS, CRNP-F, NP-C
Executive Director, Health Equity at Independence Blue Cross
“For the majority of us, whether you’re working from home, or working in an office, or in a hospital, if you encounter people of African American descent, or minorities in general (Latinos, Asian-Americans) it’s important that we hear everyone out. You remove your personal feelings and just listen. The issue is that people have their own notions about what race and racism means. Just having a conversation and being open-minded changes opinions.”
Taofiki Gafar-Schaner, MSN, RN
Registered Nurse at John Muir Health
Co-Founder of Frontier Health & Resources
“I think the most important thing is to speak the truth. Speak the truth to ourselves and speak the truth to others, whether it be in our families or professions. There are a lot of things going on in the world today, but what’s giving me hope is looking at things with fresh, new, and truthful eyes. We say that making the world a better place starts with us recognizing what we need to do better. From the opioid crisis, to Covid 19 treatments, to racial injustice, we must recognize that we all play a part in these moments, and we can all make things better.”
Dr. Edtrina Moss
CEO and Principal Solutions Consultant at The Ambulatory Care Specialty Group
“Be forgiving of yourself and be mindful that you have to give to yourself abundantly so that you can continue to give abundantly to others. Be forgiving when you experience those times when there’s a loss. We’re experiencing lots of losses in this pandemic. Be forgiving and understanding to yourself and remember to replenish yourself, so you can give to others. And that’s really important, especially for nurses—we often are always giving to others, and we take a backseat to our own physical, mental, and emotional health.”
Cassandra Crowe-Jackson, MBA, CPXP
Chief Experience Officer at Sharp HealthCare
“On those days when I can just exhale and slow down and sit and breathe and hold space for people and listen to what they have to say at the end of the day, I feel so much better. And when I write my three things that I’m grateful for the day, those are always the best days, because I feel that I’ve helped people.”
“No leader is successful on his or her own accord. We’re only successful because other people help us. And the only way you get good is to help to put good back into others. Let people know how much they mean to you or that small gesture meant to you.”
“When I start my virtual meetings, I always try to find the one question about you. It will be something more of an icebreaker in terms of, ‘What was the best thing that happened to you yesterday?’ Because that kind of stops people for a moment. Because they’re prepared to tell me all about their work, and their role and what they can do to help me or what I could do to help them, but when I have taken that pulse and that beat, just to say, ‘What was the best thing that happened to you?’ Or, “What made your day?’ Or, ‘What were three things you were most grateful for yesterday?’ It kind of says, stop a moment and let’s connect here as humans first, and then we can talk business.”
Ophelia Byers, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, NEA-BC, CPXP, CDE
Chief Nursing Officer at Atlantic Health System
“Before we speak to our teams about resilience, let’s talk about recovery. The elasticity you need to bounce back comes from recovering wounds and we need to think about how we are supporting our teams in that recovery before we urge them to snap back. Minority and social stress is real. We need to be at another level in our DEI maturity and organizations to embrace the reality of those stressors and to intervene with intention and with specificity. It’s okay to reach out to people based on their unique lived experiences in vicarious experiences and intervene directly, it is not partial to do so, it is corrective.”
“Culture shift requires structural change; we know that in our society and it’s true in our organizations. Structural change is really about top-down buy-in from our boards on, it’s about our policies, it’s about our practices, it’s about making sure that we are creating a culture of respect and gratitude through our policies, and you can do that. We need to hold our organizations and ourselves true to the core values in the missions and visions that we espouse. Remembering that all of the things that we’re saying will not hold true without an organizational commitment rooted in how we move every day.”
The Wambi platform fosters a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusivity. In honor of Black History Month, we have released new Wambi designs so that Wambi users can recognize this important celebration.
Not a Wambi client? You can still celebrate Black History Month by downloading the images below and sharing with your colleagues, friends, and family members or even loading as a Zoom background!
Traditional leadership is rooted in the belief that power comes from a position of authority. These leaders maintain ownership of information, occasionally listening to suggestions and ideas from their team. However, as retention and burnout challenges continue to ravage the healthcare industry, leadership is changing. Leaders are becoming more understanding, compassionate, and collaborative.
In contrast to traditional bosses, collaborative leaders know that power is greatest in a collective team, and they openly share information and knowledge. Collaborative leaders encourage suggestions and ideas, and act with honesty, transparency, and vulnerability.
What type of leader are you? Download Wambi’s Evolved Leaders Guide to see how traditional and collaborative leaders differ.
New York Times best-selling author and host of popular podcast Dare to Lead, Brené Brown, has dedicated the past two decades to studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. Through her research, she has found that “Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center of meaningful human experiences.”
Through Wambi’s recognition software, meaningful moments of connection (like ones Brené alludes to) are elevated within healthcare systems to foster positive workplace cultures. Great leaders understand the importance of recognizing powerful human experiences and the role that vulnerability plays within them. Healthcare leaders across the country have shared their insight into how to be vulnerable, what the benefits are, and how they’ve embraced it in their own leadership journeys.
As leadership styles continue to evolve and adapt to meet present challenges, you may be wondering how you can be vulnerable with your team. According to healthcare leaders, there are three important things to keep in mind when providing a space for vulnerability:
1. It starts at the top
2. Admit when you don’t know the answer
3. Demonstrate transparency and honesty
“If we’re not doing it as leaders, our team members certainly aren’t going to do it.” That’s what Zane Zumbahlen Chief Human Resources and Talent Officer at Cancer Treatment Centers of America shared during Wambi’s Humans at Work in Healthcare panel discussion. He continues, “I take it upon myself to try to lean into that and [connect] more often because I’ve got to create the space and the aperture for others to really authentically feel.” Zumbahlen understands that his team looks up to him and will follow his lead. Setting an example as a leader and showing vulnerability gives your team the opportunity and platform to be honest and have meaningful conversations.
In addition to leaders showing team members the importance of vulnerability, Dr. Hanna Song, VP and Chief DEI Officer at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, surrounds herself with a “personal board of directors” who guide her to demonstrate vulnerability. To her, these individuals have been the most impactful mentors. In Moments Move Us: Knowing What You Don’t Know, Dr. Song shares, “I had several mentors along the way, and the ones that I feel are the most important in my life are the ones that were willing to say, ‘I don’t have all the answers.’ And when there is this level of vulnerability, it creates what we are honestly really all after currently in terms of psychological safety or wellness.”
Cassandra Crowe-Jackson, Chief Experience Officer at Sharp HealthCare would agree with Dr. Song that inspiring leaders are willing to admit that they do not have all the answers. In fact, during Moments Move Us: Seeing Is Healing, Cassandra shared, “I never want to make you think that because I am a leader, I have all the answers. I consider that one of the worst leadership qualities, because no one has all the answers. No one does. And it’s a big burden on you to pretend you do have all the answers.”
By admitting you don’t have all the answers, you are providing the opportunity for team members to collaborate and identify solutions together. You can build a sense of camaraderie, working through problems together, and helping one another.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “Honesty is the best policy.” This is particularly important as a leader in order to build trusting relationships with your team members. When Cassandra Crowe-Jackson was asked how she makes sure her team feels valued, she shares, “One of the things I’ve done is I do my best to be transparent.” With this transparency comes respect, authenticity, and courage, which helps to strengthen relationships.
By admitting you don’t have all the answers and collaborating with your team to resolve a problem, you’re providing an opportunity for them to take ownership of their work, which can help them feel like a valuable contributor.
According to McKinsey, not feeling valued by their company or their manager were two of the top reasons that employees left a company. By relying on your team and acknowledging their hard work, you are showing that you value their work. That is one of the benefits of being vulnerable with your team, you don’t carry the burden of having all the answers, and you can highlight the impact your team members are making. Something that Cassandra shares with her team is that “I’m really relying on you because you have been the ones doing the work.”
Similar to giving your team opportunities to own their work, being self-aware and honest about your vulnerabilities can also help you identify gaps in your team and where new team members can fill those gaps.
“Being honest with your team about vulnerabilities and gaps is okay when you express confidence and recruit the right team that fills those gaps.” shares Dr. Shereef Elnahal, President and CEO of University Hospital during Moments Move Us: Taking the Time to Connect. He knows as a leader, it is not enough to admit vulnerabilities, you must be empowered to make changes. By being self-aware and understanding vulnerabilities, he can recruit team members who can fill vulnerabilities and help execute in a comprehensive way.
Each team member is a puzzle piece, and when they see where they fit into the overall puzzle, this improves their sense of belonging.
When Dr. Swati Mehta, Director of Quality and Performance and Patient Experience at Vituity was asked what she thinks about vulnerability during Moments Move Us: Curiosity, Compassion, and Celebration, she replied, “I believe it’s a strength.” She believes in leading by example and has found value in showing her own vulnerabilities because “being vulnerable makes that person believe you, that there’s authenticity in you, that you are human.”
In this dynamic and challenging environment, building a workplace that is welcoming, inclusive, inspiring, and empowering is the foundation to foster a strong team. Be a leader who cultivates their team to grow and succeed through the power of vulnerability.
Looking for more leadership resources? Explore Wambi’s library of white papers, case studies, workbooks, toolkits and more.
Ted Talk: The Power of Vulnerability
Best of 2021 Retention Tools Workbook
On-Demand Panel: Humans at Work in Healthcare
Moments Move Us Podcast: Dr. Swati Mehta
Moments Move Us Podcast: Hanna Song
Moments Move Us Podcast: Cassandra Crowe-Jackson
Moments Move Us Podcast: Dr. Shereef Elnahal