HR Leaders

Managing a Nursing Staff with Real-Time Feedback

Chris Phillips is not your average nurse. Residing in Columbus, Ohio, he manages a remote staff of eleven nurses and two ED nurse practitioners working in the field for Privia Health’s Care Management team. The 500-person company based in Arlington, Virginia relies heavily on Chris’ team to solve some of the country’s most pressing healthcare needs.

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One of the secrets to his success as a great manager is his consistent way of giving meaningful feedback to his direct reports. In fact, he’s so good at it that Privia recognized him with an award in 2018 as one of their two top managers.

I took some time with Chris to find out what he has learned as a manager in healthcare, and how others can learn from his example.

What is your job like as a manager at Privia Health?

Privia Health is an intense, high tech, high growth, performance-oriented organization. I love it!   

We rely on remote staff throughout the country, and my team cares for the most complex and neediest patients of all ages. Careful attention, correction and encouragement is needed as a manager who oversees each clinician.

Why is giving feedback so important in the healthcare industry?

Healthcare organizations have corrective and instructional mechanisms in place. However, encouragement, complimenting and motivating employees can be clunky or awkward in those existing systems.  

Reflektive has provided that unique platform to formally recognize, encourage and highlight excellent performance, attitude and core values.  The best part is that it’s quick and free for me to give “shout outs.” Those mean a lot to the team, especially when I tie them to specific goals, metrics and or values. It’s also very meaningful to see this great “wall of encouragement” build for each associate throughout their tenure.

Has Reflektive helped with your own personal career development?

My personal career has been enhanced since we started using Reflektive. I tend to be a positive leader, but I have always struggled professionally finding the right time, place and format to compliment my team. Reflektive frames and legitimizes my positive style well while I become an example to other managers. I always believed healthcare, like hospitality needs healthy, happy associates to really care for others.   

As someone who is busy managing clinicians in the field, what was it like integrating real-time feedback into your day-to-day?

Reflektive implementation was super easy, and intuitive. Real-Time Feedback integrated right into our email. I got the concept right away. It was also super helpful that our corporate core values were embedded into the input screen to always guide and tie our encouragement back to a specific core value. This really brings them to life and keeps them alive on an ongoing basis with tangible examples.

Giving more meaningful encouragement has also liberated me to correct associates more readily knowing I have already built positive equity with them.

Just as important has been the newly-integrated key objectives and annual reviews.  I used to dread these functions, but now they are greatly streamlined and organized for me to take only 20 to 30 minutes at a time to complete on a regular basis.   

What advice would you give to other healthcare professionals who are considering managing their teams with Reflektive?

Do it! Listen carefully to the Reflektive orientation. It helps each employee hone their “complimenting skills” to be most meaningful and impactful to the individual, team and culture.

Until Reflektive orientation, I didn’t realize how important it was to stop for a minute to formulate each compliment so that they tied to specific outcomes, metrics, goals, attitudes, and or values.

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Also, pay attention to when you compliment publicly versus privately. This is a great feature as some people are just embarrassed with any public attention. In that case, is better to compliment them privately.

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