Given a strong enough reason, every human on this planet will wash their hands. Like deciding to get out of bed each morning, wear clothing or eat food, we make the choice to do so. We don’t have to do these things. We do them because we have a strong enough reason for doing them. If I never got out of bed I’d never be able to do see my daughter off to school. If I didn’t wear any clothes it would be a very awkward commute to work. If I didn’t eat anything…well, I could probably stand to lose a few pounds (it would certainly help my soccer fitness). With a strong enough reason, our behavior follows accordingly. It’s not complicated.
So when it comes to hand washing in hospitals, how do we get staff to wash their hands more often? This would be particularly nice to see when there are no auditors or secret shoppers around. Perhaps it just takes a straight-forward and honest conversation with every single employee. One-on-one, personalized interactions that ask: What motivates you? What is the number one thing that’s hurting your desire to perform your duties? Where would you like to see changes made? Etc.
It’s listening over talking. It’s ears and eyes over mouth. It’s less about paying lip-service and more about paying attention.
Is this practical? Can every organization pull this off? To be honest, probably not. But if it helps uncover the best way to get your staff to hold each other more accountable, isn’t that reason enough? I think we owe it to employees to at least make the effort. What are your thoughts?
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