That’s a wrap on our latest Moments Move Us season! Tune in and reflect on key learnings.
Wambi has been named one of “Best Fit” Mental Health Services & Solutions by ANA\California.
Real-time recognition is the driving force of the Wambi platform. Our holistic solution impacts patients, frontline staff, and every member of your organization.
Our innovative employee recognition solution leverages gamification to positively transform the employee experience. Calculate your ROI, explore data insights, and read more about our success stories.
New Podcast Episode: Reflecting on Lessons in Authenticity, Vulnerability, and Curiosity from Healthcare Leaders with Rebecca Coren
“R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Find out what it means to me.” Aretha Franklin was onto something in the sixties. Over fifty years later, we’re still learning what respect means. According to the Medscape Physician Burnout & Depression Report 2023: “I Cry and No One Cares,” respect has an extensive impact on burnout and depression. When surveying more than 9,100 physicians, 36 percent cited “greater respect from superiors and coworkers” as a measure that would help most with their burnout.
As health systems across the country face seemingly insurmountable challenges with staffing, rising costs, and budgets, respect is something that can be provided for zero cost while significantly improving workplace culture for over one-third of physicians. There has never been a more important time to build a culture of respect, but this requires involvement from all levels including executives, leaders, managers, and team members.
1. Lead by example
“If we’re not doing it as leaders, our team members certainly aren’t going to do it,” shared Zane Zumbahlen, Chief Human Resources and Talent Officer at Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Leaders must take the initiative to authentically demonstrate the importance of respecting and valuing each team member. They set the example and need to hold themselves accountable. This includes delivering on their promises and endorsing organizational values with their words and actions.
For many healthcare organizations, Wambi has become a place where leaders feel comfortable being vulnerable and sharing personal stories. They are encouraged to show their authentic selves by sharing videos, using emojis, and writing comments in an environment where they feel safe. By sharing more personal stories, leaders build deeper connections with their teams and make staff feel more valued.
2. Foster open communication
Curiosity, transparency, and vulnerability all play a role in creating an environment with open communication. Since each member of an organization brings a diverse perspective, ensure that their feedback is included to help everyone feel like they belong. As a leader, be transparent with your colleagues and provide channels that foster communication and connection.
To build trust and stronger relationships, leaders need to break down barriers with frontline workers. By respecting your associate’s honest thoughts and opinions, you will better understand their challenges and create a community of support. View each interaction with your team members as a chance to better understand their perspectives and improve your relationship. By creating space and providing the time for your team to freely express their honest thoughts and opinions, team members will feel like their voice is respected.
Looking for an easy way to integrate open communication into your everyday experiences? Start by knowing and using the names of all members of the team. This simple practice often goes forgotten for the sake of time or efficiency. However, in The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande, Gawande found that making introductions before surgery led to a 35 percent decrease in the average number of complications and deaths. This was attributed to the “activation phenomenon.” By having the chance to voice their names, people were more likely to speak up later if they saw a problem. Calling someone by their name not only builds a culture of respect but has proven psychological impacts that can improve patient outcomes.
3. Celebrate and recognize accomplishments
Recognition for a job well done is the highest form of respect. By honoring and appreciating hard work, you are demonstrating that you respect your colleagues’ time and talents. Team members feel seen and valued when leaders acknowledge them. With Wambi’s culture transformation solution, leaders acknowledge meaningful moments and share gratitude while uplifting and inspiring their teams.
As a gamified platform, employees complete challenges, send and receive Wambis, and engage on the system to fill their progress bar. Once this bar is full, they unlock surprises, reinforcing the importance of building a culture of respect. Wambi can also be a useful tool for accountability. Real-time data and insights help leaders track progress and engagement to see how their team members are participating within the platform. By integrating Wambi into business KPIs, you can ensure all members of the team are working to build a more respectful culture.
Learn more about the Wambi platform
4. Practice empathy and compassion
Compassion begins with empathy. Take time to actively listen to your colleagues to better understand and identify with the struggles they face. This includes gaining perspective on their challenges, both inside and outside the work environment. Consider hosting training sessions to help your team build their muscle of compassion and forge emotional connections.
As one of Wambi’s five core values, compassion is woven into the company culture and the platform alike. We approach every interaction with compassion, and this correlates to respecting the feelings of others. With the platform, there are a variety of different designs to fit the need of any moment. Sending a Wambi can demonstrate how you honor the experiences of others.
Showing respect costs nothing, but its impact can save millions. Next time when you ask your team, “What do you need” you can remember Aretha, R-E-S-P-E-C-T (just a little bit).
Respect is just the beginning of fostering an environment of collaboration and engagement. If you’re interested in finding more ways to reduce burnout and turnover to improve patient experience and organizational margins, let’s connect!
We had an unforgettable time connecting with over 3,000 healthcare leaders from around the country at Becker’s Annual Meeting in Chicago. Throughout the over 170 sessions, we discussed the current challenges facing health systems, brainstormed solutions, and came together to envision a brighter future for the industry overall. After the conference, we sat down with Wambi’s cofounders, Alexandra and Rebecca Coren, to hear about their experience and discuss some key takeaways.
Q: What was the most impactful part of the conference?
Rebecca: There were so many meaningful moments during the week that spanned from connecting with people we haven’t seen in person in ages, to building relationships with new colleagues, and learning from transformational leaders. That said, I have to say the most impactful part of the conference was sponsoring the keynote interview with Mark Cuban. Most people know him as an incredibly successful entrepreneur, investor, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, and the list goes on; But Mark’s recent entry into the healthcare space with Cost Plus Drugs has demonstrated how important it is for him to devote his energy to really helping people access needed prescriptions at affordable prices. It is very inspiring and motivational to see someone of his caliber living out the value that “It’s not just the right thing to do, it’s good business.”
On top of that, there were more than 2,400 attendees in the audience for his keynote session. These leaders of our nation’s largest and most influential health systems had the opportunity to learn from his perspective and experience. And of course, it goes without saying, I loved seeing Alexandra interview him.
Alexandra: I definitely have to agree with Rebecca. It was incredible to sponsor the keynote with Mark Cuban. It was also really special for me on a personal level, because when I was growing up, my father really wanted to get me into entrepreneurship, and his way to do it was to show me Shark Tank. The full experience of the show ended up changing the course of my life. It led me to realize that you can affect the change you wish to see in the world, but you have to be relentless about it. You’ve got to get after it. And a lot of our discussion with Mark that day reflects that.
As you mentioned, there were a lot of great takeaways for leaders and individuals in all industries. Some of the most inspiring parts were directly focused on how we can all personally improve. Mark even shared a few of his personal mantras during the discussion—were there any that stuck out to you during the conversation?
Rebecca: First, I loved it when Mark shared about his favorite sayings, because he told the audience that his kids apparently give him a hard time for them—he’s got a great sense of humor. As a parent, I can totally relate. If I had to choose my favorite, I would say: “The one thing in life you can control is your effort.” This couldn’t be truer, and I’ve seen this playout in my own life over and over again. As a young volleyball player, at 5’7” and less naturally gifted than my teammates, I saw that if I could outwork my peers, I would have a chance at being great. This hustle and drive propelled me in my professional career, as a parent, and so much more. I have never been afraid of hard work, and, in my experience, when you give your full effort, you will be more than satisfied with the end product. I would also add that effort coupled with belief surpasses all odds.
Alexandra: For me, the mantra that really hit home was: “How you do anything is how you do everything.” I mentioned how my dad and I watched Mark Cuban on Shark Tank. The show helped inspire my journey to be an entrepreneur, which requires a great deal of hard work, personally and professionally. How you face a challenge or manage a conflict will likely be how you handle them all. That definitely relates to Rebecca’s comment that hard work, dedication, and believing in yourself are essential to success.
Those characteristics reflect another takeaway from the session, which was something Mark learned from Bob Knight, Indiana University’s former basketball coach, about how everyone has the will to win, but not everyone has the will to prepare. And it is only those with the will to prepare who actually win. As the healthcare industry continues to change, leaders need to be ready, because that preparation is what gives us the edge and opportunity to succeed and to help our teams grow and evolve. We can learn from Mark, who shared how, for him, change is really a kind of motivator. It pushes him to succeed.
There were a lot of different changes mentioned in the discussion, including the impact of AI (Artificial Intelligence). He counseled the audience to prepare for the changes that AI will be bringing to every industry, including healthcare. Personally, Mark is spending every free minute he can learning about AI. However, most of his time is being capitalized with another major change happening in healthcare. By starting Cost Plus Drugs, he’s creating a huge disruption in the pharmaceutical industry. And his solution is simple in concept: transparency. He’s regaining trust through this transparency.
Do you think transparency plays a role in culture building?
Alexandra: Oh, for sure. No matter what industry you’re in, culture matters. Mark said, “Trying to sustain culture is everything.” As the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, Mark takes a lot of what he learns from sports into business. Especially culture. He experiences what it’s like to enter a packed stadium and how the energy is when people get together. In the business world, he knows this is more challenging, but even more critical.
Rebecca: And that discussion on culture really led us into what was arguably the most moving part of the keynote address. Although I’ll edit out a little of the colorful language Mark used during that segment, he said, “Treating people equally doesn’t mean treating people the same.” It was so inspiring to see the crowd erupt during this moment. I absolutely loved that it broke the conversation up to pause, and clap, and really let that statement soak in.
Alexandra: I totally agree—it was such a powerful moment because I think we can all relate. We’ve all felt that, at some time or another. We each just want to be our authentic selves, and we want to be part of a culture that allows us to do that every day.
Wambi was founded on the premise that when healthcare workers feel valued and seen, especially by patients and families, experiences are transformed for all people. By fostering ongoing, meaningful connections in real time, Wambi helps individuals realize their impact, reignite their purpose, and in turn want to stay.
Using Wambi’s culture transformation technology, patients and families, healthcare professionals, and organizational leaders are each empowered to play a part in improving the quality of healthcare experiences from start to finish.
If you are working to improve retention and experience in your organization, we would love to speak with you about how we can work together to treat people better.
“I’ve really been thinking about, ‘how do we leverage technology?’” shares Linda McHugh Hackensack Meridian Health’s EVP, Chief Experience and People Officer. This is a question that healthcare leaders across the country grapple with each day. Whether searching for more digital interaction with patients, supporting frontline caregivers, reducing administrative tasks, or automating scheduling, there are countless options to consider for leveraging technology.
However, there are no easy fixes when implementing a new digital innovation. The onboarding and training process can be lengthy, and leaders need to avoid adding “one more thing” to their teams’ plates. Therefore, when considering new technology projects, we need to ensure there is internal alignment and create a clear strategy.
Corewell Health’s Chief Digital and Information Officer Jason Joseph and Manipal Health Enterprises’ Deputy CIO Shuvankar Pramanick both agree that the first step in implementing any new technology is creating a clear strategy that aligns with business goals. This requires a detailed understanding of the current environment and its complexities. This also helps create a clearer path to the goals that the technology serves to achieve. Pramanik believes that “By aligning projects goals with broader organizational goals, you can create several more opportunities for the organization.”
Decisions on technology that impacts an entire health system need to be supported by the entire health system. This requires alignment between leadership and frontline staff. Executives that have a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by frontline caregivers, will be better equipped to leverage technology that supports their pain points. Without taking the proper steps to consult with and educate staff, a cultural issue could worsen. Practicing active listening and being authentic are just two tactics to strengthen relationships with frontline staff, which will lead to improved internal alignment.
Richard Zane, MD and CIO at UCHealth shares, “Technology, at the end of the day, is a tool, and the delivery of healthcare relies on people, process, and tools. No matter how cool, new, or sexy a technology is, if it isn’t used and just sits on a shelf, there is nothing special about it.” To make lasting changes with new technology, there must be continued engagement. Wambi’s culture transformation solution boasts 80.7 percent average utilization due, in large part, to its user-friendly interface.
To engage all key stakeholders, Wambi incorporates a formal change management strategy into each aspect of the pre-deployment and onboarding process, complete with recommended tools, resources, and value-added activities for clients to be successful.
Ready to see how leveraging Wambi’s culture transformation solution can impact retention, work satisfaction, engagement, and culture? The Wambi team provides a first-class customer experience to any organization preparing to roll out the culture transformation platform. Download the Onboarding Overview to learn more.
During a recent Moments Move Us episode, Linda McHugh, Executive Vice President, Chief Experience and People Officer at Hackensack Meridian Health, shared, “We have to be … strategic partners with our frontline caregivers and their leaders to really understand what their needs are and how we can help them grow and thrive.”
Leaders across the healthcare industry understand the importance of connection among their teams. However, according to a McKinsey study, “80 percent of frontline employees say that their company provides few connection opportunities at work.” Without strong relationships, networks, and mentorship, the retention crisis continues to impact the healthcare industry. The question remains: How do we build strategic partnerships with frontline caregivers?
To break down barriers, leaders must be open to adjusting how they engage with their teams as well as the cultures they model in order to shorten the distance between themselves and their frontline workers.
Practice Active Listening
Active listening is the process of “listening to understand.” An active listener’s goal is to receive and understand the speaker’s emotional experience, beliefs, and perspective—to hear the words and their intent and meaning. This requires being fully present, giving the speaker your undivided attention, asking them open-ended questions, and practicing empathy. It’s also important to pay attention to non-verbal cues, like body language, tone, and facial expression (both the speaker’s and your own). By creating space and providing the time for your team to freely express their honest thoughts and opinions, you will better understand their challenges while building trust and stronger relationships.
Spend Time in Their Shoes
There is no substitute for first-hand experience. To feel, see, hear, and live through a situation for yourself is powerful. According to Betty Jo Rocchio, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Mercy, this requires leaders to spend time where the work is done. She says, “Going to the front lines and seeing what’s going on really helps you get a good picture of the decisions that you need to make.” Stepping out of the metaphorical ivory tower and into the front lines shows the commitment leaders have for their team members and dedication to providing the best experience for the patients that they serve.
As nurse retention and experience continue to be paramount concerns for health systems, this experience is invaluable. Chief Quality Officer at Duke Health Dr. Richard Shannon says, “Leaders must spend their time focusing on the development of their people, supporting their people, and meeting their needs. The only way to do that is for leaders to get out of their office and go to where the work is done. You have to understand and see the barriers to the work nurses are being asked to do. That’s the only way to understand how badly the front-line people are overburdened.”
Does your team participate in water cooler conversations? How do you share your personal stories? Creating a space for non-work banter can help leaders show their authentic selves, let team members get to know who they are personally, and form bonds that strengthen workplace culture. Showing a human side as a leader is something Wambi’s CEO and cofounder Rebecca Coren has embraced throughout her leadership journey. During an episode of the Show Up as a Leader podcast with Dr. Rosie Ward, Coren discusses the importance of leading in a “fully present, authentic way.” 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.”
Provide Space for Vulnerability
In “Vulnerability is a Strength, Not a Weakness,” we explore how great leaders understand the importance of recognizing powerful human experiences and the role that vulnerability plays within them. By sharing personal stories with your team, you allow yourself to be vulnerable, which gives your team the space to do the same. According to Sylvain Trepanier, Senior Vice President, System Chief Nursing Officer at Providence, “There’s more to gain out of being vulnerable than not.” As a guest on Moments Move Us, he recalls a moment when he was vulnerable with his team and how it opened up an important conversation about mental health that allowed team members to reflect on their own challenges.
Ensure Team Members are Seen
We all want our employees to succeed, but they can’t do that if they do not feel seen. Acknowledging impactful moments and sharing gratitude are great ways to recognize the hard work of team members. In an industry constantly focused on improvement and rooted in negativity bias, notes of appreciation help build a positive culture where employees are celebrated for the things they do well.
Wambi’s culture transformation solution was created to improve the healthcare experience. By building cultures and communities of trust, support, and connection, employees feel valued, a sense of belonging, and are connected to their purpose. With Wambi’s gamified technology, leaders acknowledge meaningful moments and share gratitude while uplifting and inspiring their teams. They are encouraged to show their authentic selves by sharing videos, using emojis, and writing comments in an environment where they feel safe.
By utilizing the Wambi platform, Marshfield Clinic Health System built invaluable connections through leader engagement. After only 90 days of using the platform, 97% of leaders logged in to the platform and demonstrated high engagement rates—posting thousands of comments, reactions, and notes of appreciation. Leaders can quickly see how easy it is to use the Wambi platform and the profound impact it has on organizational culture.
Team members feel seen and valued when leaders acknowledge them. Additionally, team members and leaders who may not see each other daily can connect through the Wambi newsfeed. For example, when a high-level leader comments on a Wambi that a unit team member has received, the recipient feels seen for their work, and the leader gains more insight into the work being done on the front lines. This simple interaction helps close the gap between leaders and team members each day.
We’d love to connect and learn more about your health system’s recognition environment, staff engagement efforts, and culture. If you’re looking to close the gap between your leaders and frontline team members, the Wambi platform can help. Request a demo today.