Angela Crawford

Under the title of ‘Do more of what matters’ was published a blog on the Franklin Covey site. Much has to be learned from the story of Angela.

Last week in our web broadcast, we had several questions submitted that we didn’t have time to answer. We thought we would take the next few posts and answer some of them here. One of our participants, a hospital administrator, asked, “How do you keep employee morale up when you’re asking them to do more with less?”

The answer: Don’t ask them to do more with less.

Instead, ask them to do less of what doesn’t matter and more of what does matter.

Morale has little to do with how hard people work or how tough the job is. People will do extraordinary things and work incredibly hard if they feel their contribution matters. Most of the day job consists of carrying out tasks that somebody has to do. If one person now has to do the tasks of two people, you’re obviously going to burn out that one person. Instead, re-think those two jobs. Which tasks truly add value for the customer? Which don’t? Are you asking people to spend time and energy on things that don’t matter much just because they’ve always been done that way?

Talk with the employee about it. What does the person really want to contribute? What does that person think his or her customer really wants? Then start shedding tasks that interfere with those things.

An emergency nurse in a Chicago hospital who found herself all at once trying to manage one bleeding patient, another who was having a heart attack, and another who couldn’t breathe—well, she quit. Who can blame her? Some situations are just ludicrous.

But another nurse, Angela Crawford, moved back to her homeland of Barbados after many years working in a Canadian hospital. There she found incredibly overworked nurses. But after selling hospital administrators on the continuous improvement philosophy she had learned in Canada, every nursing procedure went under scrutiny. Mentors were assigned to new nurses. Procedures were simplified and bettered. She has sponsored health fairs and other methods for preventing disease, thus reducing the workload.

Today Angela is president of the Barbados Registered Nurses Association. She is known as “the nurse who transformed the Barbados health care system” and eased the heavy burdens of hundreds of her co-workers.

None of this was in Angela’s job description. Like Angela, you can use your own resources and initiative to help your people do more of what matters and less of what doesn’t. And then watch morale rocket upwards.

How can you start to do less of what doesn’t matter and more of what does matter? What else is going on in your organization? We’d like to hear from you.


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