Lack of effective communication skills in the workplace is often the reason big companies mess up.
Two months ago I visited a relative at the hospital. I was there for about 4 hours. In that short period of time, I saw a whole staff of doctors and nurses working crazy. I mean, you would think the nurses, doctors, and the rest of the staff have never meet or seen each other before.
First, they came to the rooms and rolled the man out to draw fluid from of his lungs. Fifteen minutes while he was away from the room, another nurse came by to look for him. Guess what she came for? Fluid extraction.
We told her that he’s having the procedure done now. “Oh, I’m sorry.” She said.
One hour later, they rolled the man back to the room. Well, just 45 minutes later another nurse that was starting a new shift barged into the room. “Okay. It’s that time again, Sir. We have to take you away for a few minutes.” She politely said. My cousin said, “why”?. The reply was it’s time to draw fluids from his lungs.
“Wait a minute!” My cousin said, “How often you guys perform this procedure?” The reply was, “Every day.” My cousin said, “Dad just had this procedure done on him less than one hour ago. What are you guys doing to him?”
Of course the nurse profusely apologized. She said she is just taking over her shift. Now, mind you they had already overdosed the man with too much medication.
During my visit, I stayed in the lobby of the hospital observing the nurses and doctors. They looked like they were mad at each other. They crossed paths but they never acknowledge each other.
I could not believe what I was observing. I started wondering how many patients got killed that way. I felt sorry for the patients at that hospital.
Here’s what was so amazing: Almost all the nurses that entered the room were very polite and nice. They did their best to offer excellent customer service.
Now, what good does it do to be so nice with the patients and indifferent with their co-workers? You see, you cannot have happy customers without happy employees. To me, it’s like faking being nice. Unfortunately people can sense when someone is not real and authentic.
I remember telling a friend of mine who is a nurse about what I’m sharing here. Do you know what she said to me?
She said, “Those nurses are burned out. They are under staff. They work very long hours and they are under a lot of stress.” I thought to myself, “You gotta be kidding me!”
Do you think a family that loses a significant family member is ready to buy that excuse? Really. If someone is tired or stressed out, does that give them the excuses to kill a human being? I don’t think so.
I’m also curious to find out why is the hospital overworking their staff so much? Oh, maybe it’s because most companies are now talking about doing more with less or lean thinking.
That’s really sad.
Am I missing something? You see, when I talked about effective communications in the workplace, I’m not suggesting some deep bonding. I just want people the stop playing with lives.
How about a smile, a nod, or a quick connection to boost each other’s morale? Is that too much?
Now, am I saying that all hospitals are the same? No. In fact, I visited one of the hospital here in Atlanta where it was completely the opposite. The nurses were smiling, joking, and connecting with each other. By just looking at them, you get a sense that there is a high level of effective communication there.
So, here’s what I urge you to do. Get to know your team members better. Starting tomorrow, make it a point to acknowledge everyone that passes you by. Talk to them. Give them a compliment. Get to know them better.
The reality is, you cannot succeed on your own. You cannot build a big company without people. They are your resources. Let me put it this way for you: The more people you know and connect with, the faster you can succeed in the workplace.