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Christian Health Prioritizes Empathy at Work with New Training

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Christian Health Prioritizes Empathy at Work with New Training

At Christian Health, our mission is to foster wellness not only for all those under our care but for our team members as well. We believe that an open and empathetic work environment is crucial to quality of life, and if our team members are happy and healthy, our residents and patients will be, too!

That is why we are rolling out “Humanizing X: Joy and Empathy at Work,” an interactive session designed to support a culture of openness, empathy, and innovation for all of our team members. The session focuses on teaching methods for creating a positive work environment that promotes joyful, productive conditions and facilitates our commitment to delivering high-quality care to our patients and residents.

Hackensack Meridian Health first developed “Humanizing X” based on the IHI white paper “Framework for Improving Joy in Work” (Perlo J, Balik B, Swensen S, Kabcenell A, Landsman J, Feeley D., 2017). The session was brought to Christian Health, with added material, by Portia Chinnery, Director of Quality and Regulatory Standards at Christian Health’s Ramapo Ridge Behavioral Health. “We want to reenergize the team,” said Portia. “We definitely had a challenging couple of years. Health care workers in general are burnt-out. We are hoping to empower our team members and lift their spirits so we can continue providing excellent care.”

The session aims to provide team members with the tools and methods to effectively work alongside their leaders to identify opportunities, improve processes, and create and maintain a workplace rooted in empathy. Team members are encouraged to attend the session with an open mind and actively express their thoughts and ideas on how to improve their experiences at work and better relate to one another. Christian Health hopes this training will help leaders take the steps necessary to make sure their team members feel taken care of and have the tools they need to do their jobs effectively without burnout.

The training is also the foundation for Christian Health’s new rounding initiative, which aims to improve the way that leaders approach their team members about what matters to them. “We want to have an open line of communication so that they know they can come to us,” said Portia.

The highly interactive session features roundtable discussion, teambuilding exercises, and a step-by-step plan for improving work processes to boost morale among employees. A presentation on the steps to more-joyful work outlines how to assess what matters to you at work, identify the roadblocks, and then use them strategically to improve joy. The training encourages participants to think critically about how to apply what matters to them to their work, practice empathy, and effectively implement changes to systems and processes by properly identifying what the session calls “the point of impact” – the step in any process that should be removed or altered in order to best improve that process.

“Empathy is needed to make change and redesign the journey of any one particular person – be it a team member, patient, resident, or family member,” said Portia. “We have to be able to practice empathy to do that.”