By Stephen Tweed
As a leader in home health, hospice, or private duty home care, one of your most important roles is to grow your agency and get ready for the future. The key to growing your agency is to answer four Strategic Why Questions:
What is the history of your agency? Who started it and what was that person’s story? Linking your current day team members to the history and tradition of your agency is critical to forming a strong company culture. Knowing the history of your agency helps your team become “Strategic Storytellers.” Strategic Storytellers are leaders who have an ability to tell the story of their agency in a way that creates emotion. That emotion enables us to connect with one another, build trust, and nurture relationships with patients, family members, and referral sources.
2. Why Do You DO What You Do?
May years ago I was studying the characteristics of high performing leaders in business, and I came across the work of Dr. Charles Garfield. He wrote a book called Peak Performers, and in it he described the traits and characteristics of high performers in many fields of endeavor. Dr. Garfield, himself, was a world class weight lifter. In his study, Dr. Garfield uncovered the power of a “Mission That Motivates.”
When you get clear about your purpose, and you are moved to action because what you do matters, then you have developed a “Mission that Motivates.” Our study of health care professionals including nurses, therapists, home health aides, and personal caregivers shows us that what is important to them is doing “meaningful work”. When you and your leadership team are clear about why you do what you do, then you can define a “Mission That Motivates” for all of your people.
3. Why Should Patients Choose Your Agency?
What makes you different from all of the other agencies in your local marketplace? What gives you “unfair competitive advantage”? One of the exercises I use in my strategic planning process is to ask each member of the leadership team to write down the answer to this question: Why should patients choose our agency? Rarely do we see all of the leaders writing down the same answer. Most times, they are not even close. If you are going to grow your agency, every member of your leadership team must be crystal clear about your competitive advantage, and why patients, families, and referral sources should choose your agency.
4. Why Should Employees Work for Your Agency?
The biggest barrier to growing your agency is “The Caregiver Recruiting and Retention Crisis”. There are simply not enough nurses, therapists, home health aides, and personal caregivers to meet the growing needs of our aging population. To grow your agency, you not only need to differentiate yourself for your customers. You need to create distinction for your employees and potential employees. What makes your agency a great place to work? What can you do to craft a “Culture of Attraction and Accomplishment”?
Creating Strategic Focus in Your Agency
Answering these four questions is part of creating Strategic Focus. I define Strategic Focus as … “having a clear vision for the future, having a strategy to get there, and having the talent to execute with excellence.” Every home health agency, hospice, and private duty home care company needs to take time every year to evaluate where you are, develop a vision for the future, create a strategy to grow, and test your talent to make sure you have the right members on your team.
A big part of what I’ve been doing for the past three decades is guiding executive teams in home health, hospice, and private duty through the process of creating Strategic Focus. Let’s talk about how I might help you. Give me a call at 502-339-0653 or visit https://leadinghomecare.com/strategy-business-growth/
For More on Strategic Focus, Join Me In Florida in January
To gather more insights on the principles of Strategic Focus, join me in Boca Raton, Florida on Tuesday, January 16, 2018. I’ll be presenting the opening Keynote Presentation for the Home Care Association of Florida: “Home Care Warm Up.” Other speakers on the opening afternoon include Bill Dombi, CEO of the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, and Bob King, Founder of Legally Nanny.