October 20, 2022

Keynote: Culture CPR, Administer Immediately to Survive the Great Resignation

By: Lauren McCaffrey

Editor's Note 

Jeff Whitehorn, LFACHE, ACC, founder of Whitehorn Coaching and Consulting, concluded the OR Manager Conference on Wednesday, October 19, by discussing culture CPRthe acronym which, as he explained, stands for Celebration, Passion, and Recognitionas well as best practices for successfully retaining staff.

Healthcare lost 20% of its workforce, with 30% of nurses quitting their jobs in 2021, Whitehorn explained. The negative impact from the great resignation has resulted in higher turnover, increased work hours and stress, decreased team morale, and leadership and team burnout. “In order to get a handle on your staff, you have got to have retention,” Whitehorn said. “And the number one way to do that is to work on culture. You have the power to influence the culture.”  

Whitehorn then addressed the main aspects to improve work culture: celebration, passion, and recognition, or CPR. “You’ve got to be intentional about your celebration,” he said, stressing the importance of celebrating the milestones along the way and enjoying the journey. Some celebrations can include cultural events, birthdays, work anniversaries, employee outings, and more.

Passion ignites team energy, Whitehorn continued. Passion leads to better communication and leadership, ultimately leading to more positive outcomes, he said. 

“Bottom line, make sure to say thank you to your team,” he urged. During one of several audience engagement exercises throughout the presentation, he asked who in the audience had been promoted recently. One stood up, and the room applauded. "The sound of applause goes a long way to lifting morale," Whitehorn noted. "How did that make you feel?" he asked the recently promoted attendee, who answered it felt really good.

“One of the best parts of our job is to be able to acknowledge someone and honor the team,” Whitehorn said close to the end of his talk. He noted some ways to recognize employees, including putting up a wall of appreciation, carrying out employee award dinners, and of course, applauding your team members.

"You've got to do it now, and remember, retention starts with culture," Whitehorn concluded.

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