GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Rheumatology managers who seek to make changes in their workplace must appeal to physicians’ and staff members’ “nobler motives” in order to motivate employees to buy in, according to a presenter at the 2019 National Organization of Rheumatology Managers Annual Conference.
“People are going to have questions about any change you want to make, and the reason why we question is because we don’t understand how this impacts us,” Phil Zeller, BA, CEO at Dale Carnegie Training, offered by Ralph Nichols Group Inc., told attendees. “I didn’t need a doctor’s degree to figure that out — I just needed to look in the mirror. If I don’t understand how this is going to help me, I don’t buy in. You may have the greatest change plan in the world, but if I don’t understand how this impacts me, I’m going to be an anchor. I’m going to be lead weight.”
“And now you have a tougher decision,” he added. “Are you going to fire me? Look at the job market. You’re going to fire me because I’m not buying into the changes you want to make around here? Threaten me with my job? How’s that working out these days?”
According to Zeller, staff members will often respond to changes by asking, “Why do I care? What does this mean to me? How is it going to affect other people?” To address these concerns, rheumatology managers need to provide a secure environment in which questions can be raised and properly answered, he said.
Rheumatology managers who seek to make changes in their workplace must appeal to physicians’ and staff members’ “nobler motives” in order to motivate employees to buy in, according to a presenter.
To accomplish this, rheumatology managers should provide their teams with a “fine reputation to live up to” and appeal to their “nobler motivations.”
“First and foremost, you have to give your team a fine reputation to live up to — tell your team how great they are,” Zeller said. “Remind them that they have done this before and how it benefitted them. You have to give them evidence that they have been down this road before and they have been successful. You must build their confidence.”
Regarding motivations, rheumatology managers should emphasize how changes will allow physicians and staff members to better serve patients, he added.
“You have to stress, ‘There is a reason why we are doing this, and when we’re done, here’s how we’re going to be better, and here’s how we’re going to better serve our patients,’” Zeller said. “Talk about the difference you are all going to make. Articulate that clearly. Share with them at least reasons why this is important and why you believe, in your heart of hearts, this will make things better.”
“Have that discussion and allow them to ask questions and express why they feel the way they feel,” he added. Give them examples from your experience regarding why you think this is a good change. And once they know that you’ve bought into it, odds are they will start buying into it.” – by Jason Laday
Zeller P. The people side of change management; Presented at: National Organization of Rheumatology Managers Annual Conference; Sept. 13-14, 2019; Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Disclosure: Zeller reports no relevant financial disclosures.