Web site spotlight: Reduce staff nuisances with a WOW team

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, March 13, 2009

When staff satisfaction is high, staff turnover rates are low, collaboration is more effective, and patient care is optimal. But what keeps staff satisfied is sometimes a mystery—one that can be solved if staff are given the opportunity to voice their stressors and irritants, as big or little as they may be.

Trinity Health System in Steubenville, OH, formed a WOW team in June 2008 as part of a systemwide initiative to reduce staff nuisances and improve the organization's work environment. Nineteen staff members from various departments in the facility currently drive the team, including, nurses, case managers, medical, laboratory, housekeeping, dietary, and information technology.

"We wanted a good mix of employees so we could [identify] what our entire employee population needed," says Dean Lucarelli, MSCIS, information technology project coordinator and WOW team member.

WOW team members meet for one hour each week to discuss goals for reducing nonpolicy staff irritants within the facility. The team works together to devise work plans for any initiatives, which then must be submitted to the facility's education leadership council for approval.

Trinity has seen a number of changes since implementing the WOW team such as an employee check-cashing program removes the hassle of getting charged an ATM fee. Cash-strapped staff now have the option of cashing personal checks for $20 or less at cafeteria registers.

Another change was the implementation of an additional cash register in the cafeteria, which allows staff to enjoy more of their 30-minute lunch breaks by expediting lines. And nightshift staff now can park their vehicles directly in front of Trinity, rather than in its large parking arena where they would wait for a shuttle to transport them to the facility.

“What we are striving for is a partnership between employees and the hospital so we can work together to make this a great place to work—and a place people want to work," says Lucarelli.

Editor’s note: This excerpt was adapted fromFacility eliminates staff irritants with WOW team” found in the Reading Room at Get a free trial membership that will give you 30 days to test drive all the exciting features on the Web site.

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