While a mixture of public entities and private employers will inevitably share in the delivery of skills ranging from STEM components to a range of operational capabilities, the transformational process we are undergoing demands that employers provide the core interactive skills that enable a truly inclusive workplace. Our public and private institutions consistently fail to cultivate the deep communication, conflict resolution and collaboration capabilities that are essential for diverse, team-centric, remote and goal-driven workforces.
Our Mutual Respect framework is a live, habit-oriented transformational regimen that provides a foundation for all forms of operational skills development. It is live, intensive instruction and a major commitment of time – not an online brush-off. It requires and represents a serious investment of private capital in the social capital necessary for lasting success in the post-industrial workplace.
- Standards – Seven linked standards that lead to Mutual Respect & Inclusion and are endorsed by leadership
- Practices– Each standard defines an essential practice that is the ongoing goal of all participants
- Habits – Mastering these practices requires not just awareness and training, but systematic change of habits
- Accountability – Groups commit to the standards and commit to enforcing the framework
- Universal – All staff participate, from leaders to all levels of employees and contractors
AN UPSKILLING SUCCESS STORY FROM
This New York hospital and trauma center served diverse and demanding immigrant neighborhoods in Queens. Differences abounded among several unions composed of a very diverse staff and a traditional management. Their respective deeply held biases and assumptions and often disrespectful behaviors disrupted employee relations, patient care and RN scheduling. Patient and employee satisfaction measures were well below acceptable standards. RN retention suffered.
After systematic observation of hospital operations and data review, we conducted a broad set of leader interviews and staff focus groups to identify sources of concern and potential levers for change. Having determined that RN dissatisfaction with scheduling drove many negative behaviors, we launched a project to delegate the schedule function from traditional – and sometimes punitive – nurse managers to teams. We provided Mutual Respect training to create the capacity for collaborative and inclusive scheduling in what had been an adversarial environment. The Hospital then chose to embrace the approach across the institution.
Beyond noticeable improvement in standard measures of patient care and satisfaction, a study found:
- 79% of RNs were “more satisfied with team scheduling than with the way we used to schedule”
- 64% of Nurse Managers said “team scheduling has improved the morale of the RNs in my unit”
In a joint statement RNs and Nurse Managers said: ““Here people are now more likely to work together. The Mutual Respect process has opened up the dialogue between management & staff, greatly increasing our ability to work together across our many differences. Patient flow, staff satisfaction and patient and family feedback are greatly improved.”