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The Behavior You Permit You Promote

By Stephen Tweed 

This month is Company Culture Month for the Home Care CEO Mastermind Groups, and our Mastermind Town Hall will focus on creating a “Caregiver First” Culture.

You’ve read our posts before so you know that we define company culture as “The way we do things around here.”  And you also have heard me talk about the four elements of your company culture:

  1. The Leadership Style of the CEO
  2. The Core Values the Guide Your Decisions and Actions
  3. The Behavior you Expect
  4. The Behavior you Permit

Using our Values Worksheet, we’ve guided dozens of home care companies through the process of defining their core values, describing the behaviors that to with each of the values, and communicating those expected behaviors to all members of the team.

Holding Team Members Accountable

My wife and business partner, Elizabeth Jeffries, RN, CSP, CPAE is a world class Executive Coach. She coaches CEOs in large hospital systems, and she coaches Physician Leaders in academic schools of medicine at several esteemed universities. Elizabeth works with these executives on their leadership skills, and helps them develop relationships with the members of their leadership teams.  Here favorite coaching is on-boarding new leaders as they move into a new role in the organization.

One of the elements of leadership that Elizabeth works with is accountability, and helping her coaching clients hold people accountable for what they committed to do.  She has even developed a Seven Step Accountability Script that leaders can use to prepare that conversation.  The seven steps are:

  1. Describe – the opportunity for developmental coaching
  2. Express – how you feel about this situation
  3. Question – what questions do you want to ask?
  4. Suggest – what outcomes you want
  5. Explain – the benefits to the person for this course of action
  6.  Ask – for commitment
  7. Account for: – what you will say to hold the person accountable

You can read the details of this process in Elizabeth’s newest book, What Exceptional Executives Need to Know. 

The Behavior You Permit You Promote

In developing her coaching process over the years, Elizabeth has developed a mantra that holds true for most situations. “The Behavior You Permit you Promote.”

This is very true when it comes to crafting your company culture.  And when you are crafting an “Employees First Culture,” you will need to be observing the behavior of leaders toward their team members, and holding them accountable for demonstrating the behavior you expect.

We have learned over the years that it is very easy for leaders to speak the words that describe the company culture. It is much more difficult to demonstrate the behaviors that go with living your values.  What do you do when a member of your team behaves in a way that is outside of your expectations?  What do you say? What do you do? What are the consequences?

How do you hold Caregivers Accountable?

In today’s world of high turnover, no call – no show, and unreliable caregivers, how do you hold caregivers accountable for the behavior you expect?

While it is not easy, there are some steps you can take to increase the probability that your caregivers will behave the way you want them to, and they’ll stay with you.

Here are some specific concrete steps you can take to get your caregivers to buy in to your company culture and demonstrate the behaviors that you expect:

  • Communicate your company values in to your job ads
  • Build “Culture Fit” into your selection process
  • Use behavioral interview questions to determine how the applicants core values align with your company values
  • Focus on company culture in your on-boarding process
  • Train your office team members on the values and behaviors of your culture
  • Be very specific with caregivers about the behavior that is expected and the consequences
  • Make sure that your supervisors and managers are holding caregivers accountable
  • Ask very specific questions when having conversations about behavior.
  • Build your values and behaviors into your reward system.  Reward caregivers for living your company values and expected behaviors
  • Enforce your expected behaviors and implement the consequences for bad behavior.
  • Use the Seven Step Accountability Script when having those conversations.

There is no magic answer to the process of implementing your culture and getting your caregivers to behave the way you want them to.  But the companies we work with you are really focused on crafting their company culture are seeing measurable improvements in their ability to attract high quality new hires, and in retaining those new hires.

Another Mantra that has come out of our work:

“People who want to work, want to work with people who want to work.”

When you build an amazing culture of attraction and accountability, you’ll find that these suggestions really do work to find and keep the people you need to grow your business.

Discuss These Ideas with your Peers

One of the great ways to test these principles is to discuss them in depth with your peers, and learn from OPE – Other People’s Experience.  You can do that by becoming a member of a Home Care CEO Mastermind Group.  Nobody really understands what you are going through as a home care company owner except another owner of a home care company your same size.

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