October 15, 2020 Building Operational Resiliency: COO Lessons Learned

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected billions of people across the world. In the healthcare arena, those effects have been felt to an even greater degree. However, the degree of impact between large health systems and their smaller counterparts has been significant. In this blog, I will share the lessons learned from conversations with two such health systems that prepared for the impact and, as a result, found themselves building a more resilient operational model.

Across the country, healthcare providers watched closely as the pandemic unfolded. They listened carefully to information related to key challenges they would face in the event of a surge and how best to prepare. For many, the surge never hit. But the preparation was a key catalyst for Chief Operating Officers (COOs) in learning how they would need to adapt to a new operating model.

One of the biggest operational challenges that surfaced was leading a team of employees who would now perform their jobs in different ways. Many employees were sent home to work remotely, creating a hybrid workforce overnight. While the day-to-day operating model may have changed, the need for process, procedural consistency, and productivity remained the same. Even in adverse conditions, a primary focus for COOs was ensuring that employees were productive and that the organization continued to work towards strategic goals.

As COOs worked to balance conducting normal business with building operational resiliency, they identified gaps in systems, processes, and skillsets. For many, the pandemic accelerated learnings and innovation across the health system that enabled them to re-evaluate operational processes and reinvent themselves for the future. COOs were able to tighten operations that allowed them to run more effectively and efficiently and, ultimately, emerge in a stronger position.

“Leadership intuition is more important than ever,” Lutheran Hospital of Indiana COO Dana Obos said during a recent discussion. “We need to understand that people are not accustomed to working in the environment we’ve experienced over the past several months. We need reinforcement and follow-through. I think as leaders we need to be super cognizant of that at this time.”

In a recent discussion with Beverly Hospital COO Craig Williams, he stated that he sees this time as a real opportunity to improve, not only processes, but communication between C-suite, managers, and front-line employees. He believes we owe it to our employees to give them the best tools with real-time information to keep them productive and engaged.

Williams said, “We need to focus on our strategic plan, and the goals of the organization, and then adapt to the external changes that have happened. We need everyone on the same page in the new normal. It will just require more focus.”

Both Williams and Obos stated that their organizations did not feel the impact of the pandemic to the extent that many health systems did around the globe. However, what they did learn was that many of the long-standing processes needed to be revisited to accommodate a more agile work environment, better connection to employee feedback, and real-time communication.

To address today’s challenges, Laudio, a Continuous Performance Management, and Engagement platform, is working with health system executive teams and frontline managers to drive productivity and improve operational resiliency. The platform provides a simple, automated approach for communication and personalized engagement between managers and their teams – in real-time, regardless of location. With Laudio operational leaders can easily establish a systematic approach to performance management and communication through automated workflows designed to create consistency and alignment across the organization. To learn more about Laudio read Laudio Delivers Return On Investment or visit us at Laudio.com

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