Listen to Moments Move Us Season 2 Episode 1: Owning the Responsibility of Leading “Human-First” with Annette Walker
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New Podcast Episode: Owning the Responsibility of Leading “Human-First” with Annette Walker
At Wambi, we’re always looking for ways to innovate while building a culture of gratitude. To ensure each team member can live the Wambi values and bring compassion, imagination, fearlessness, gratitude, and joy to work each day, we implemented a 4-day workweek.
The leadership team at Wambi took deep consideration into the decision to implement a 4-day workweek. They listened to trusted advisors and reviewed the science and research available on its impact on culture, happiness, and business value.
Some of the key findings that led to the transition were:
Response from the Wambi team has been consistent with these findings. In fact, 100% of the survey respondents have indicated they feel more productive in a 4-day workweek. During their flex days, Wambi team members have been able to focus on their physical health by getting more rest and working out, spending time learning or reading, or simply enjoying more time with family. One team member shared, “I got so much accomplished at home and ran errands that I don’t normally have time to do. Having the extra day gave me a full weekend with my family to enjoy and less stress Sunday night thinking about everything I didn’t get done.”
Wambi is not alone in this work schedule adjustment. The trend continues to gain traction across the globe and is reflected in the healthcare industry. Angelo Venditti EVP Chief Nurse Executive/Chief Patient Experience Officer at Temple Health shares, “In what I hope to be a progressive move aimed at improving our nurse leaders’ work-life balance, we have moved our frontline nurse leaders to a 4-day work week. My goal is to serve our frontline nurses better and preserve our leaders from burnout.”
We sat down with April Rosentreter, Wambi’s Director of HR & People Operations to answer a few frequently asked questions:
What inspired Wambi to move to a 4-day workweek?
“Because our recognition and gratitude solution supports the healthcare industry, we are well acquainted with the devastating impacts of burnout. We are continually trying to assess how we can be a business model that inspires behavioral change and optimizes the human experience without losing momentum with our mission. By creating space to nourish ourselves, we are confident our team will be better equipped to bring their best selves and freshest ideas to the important work we do.”
What if Wambi’s clients need customer support with a Wambi platform on a Friday?
“We are dedicated to providing the best service for our clients. Not every team member has their flex day on Friday to ensure we can continue providing robust customer service. Some team members are off on Mondays and work Fridays to support any issues.”
In what ways have meetings changed to be more efficient?
“One of the most important adjustments we’ve made is rethinking meeting times. For instance, we recommend team members start a meeting at 10:05 a.m. instead of 10:00 a.m. This helps them gain back time in their day while ensuring they aren’t late to meetings that are scheduled back-to-back. Additionally, we’ve shortened low impact meetings to 15-minutes or 30-minutes. Preparation and follow-up for meetings is also key. We recommend that meetings have a targeted agenda set in advance so everyone can be prepared and ready for discussion.”
What has been the biggest impact you’ve noticed or heard from the team?
“In this brief time, the team has embraced our new 4-day workweek and we are flexing our fearless value. It’s been rewarding to see everyone collectively working to become more efficient; sharing tips on productivity, being mindful of meetings, and remaining respectfully focused on role clarity ensuring no one is going rogue or cutting corners for the sake of speed. It’s also been a ‘metaphorical carrot’ for leaders to ensure we are aligned and can provide clear direction so teams can more easily prioritize and have the autonomy needed to thrive. I have found it both motivating and invigorating!”
What is one piece of advice you would give to another company who is thinking about changing to a 4-day workweek?
“Do your research! This is not a one-size-fits-all schedule, so it is important to consider what will work best for your business and team. It is also key to reach consensus amongst your leadership first and then create a working policy that clearly addresses expectations and nuances for better accountability. And finally, monitor the effects of this change. We are conducting routine pulse surveys to gauge feelings related to productivity, stress, and happiness to make sure this new schedule continues to work in our favor and/or make applicable changes if needed for long-term success.”
At Wambi, we truly value our values. Encouraging our team to practice and live by our values each day empowers us to grow our gifts and feel connected to our purpose. Interested in learning more about how we can partner together to improve the human experience within healthcare? Let’s connect!
Want to learn more about how to be successful in a 4-day workweek? Add these resources to your “to read” and “to watch” lists.
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!”
Stumped for ideas this Employee Appreciation Day? Here’s what the Wambi Flock has planned for this year’s celebration:
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 Co-Founder Rebecca Metter 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!