Nikki Lewallen

Healthcare Series: Providing Meaningful Connection | Bonnie Barnes

Bonnie Barnes is the Co-founder and CEO of The DAISY Foundation, a nonprofit organization that recognizes excellence in nursing with the DAISY Award. The award is celebrated in more than 4,700 healthcare facilities, and over 156,000 nurses have been recognized formally since the Foundation began.

In honor of Nurses Week, Bonnie speaks on a topic that is integral to the mission of The DAISY Foundation – meaningful recognition. Listen as she describes the steps towards incorporating meaningful recognition into an organization and why it’s so critical to retaining great nurses and combating burnout. 

Sponsor Resources

  • Celebrate National Nurses Week with Wambi – Meaningful recognition fuels everything at Wambi. In honor of nurses, we’d like to invite you to our celebration of uplifting and recognizing the essential contributions of nurses nationwide. This resource hub is filled with workbooks, toolkits, a nurses gift guide, upcoming nurse-related events, inspiring reads, partner initiatives, and a spotlight on the 1st Wambi Year of the Nurse Award. Visit our National Nurses Week Hub today!
  • Interested in continuing the discussion? Sign up to receive Wambi’s newsletter

Book Recommendations

Truth You Can Act On

1. Meaningful Recognition is Personal
Supporting Quote
Bonnie Barnes: “The way that I think about meaningful recognition as it’s been described in the literature is that it’s recognition on steroids. What makes it meaningful is it’s personal. It’s personal to the recipient. It’s specific about what is being recognized for that person or for that nurse. It has a long lasting impact on the person who’s receiving it, it acknowledges specific behavior, and very importantly, the impact it had on a patient, family member, or coworker. It’s relevant to the situation and the nurse’s contribution.”

2. Collect Stories
Supporting Quote
Bonnie Barnes: “When the organization goes out and solicits nominations from patients and families and coworkers, whether they’re written nominations or electronically submitted nominations, they really spread that culture of recognition around the organization. That’s what makes a difference. That’s probably the most important aspect. It’s getting those stories, and it takes building awareness of the opportunity for patients and families and coworkers to say, thank you to make that happen. It’s the collecting of stories and really encouraging rich descriptions of what a nurse has done.”

3. Include Executive Leadership in Recognition Practices
Supporting Quote
Bonnie Barnes: “We have a program dedicated to honoring nurse managers and other leaders. We call it the DAISY Nurse Leader Award. The reason we created it was because we’re well aware that when we started the DAISY Award it was really designed to honor direct-care nurses for extraordinary compassion at the bedside or chairside. But what about those people that are creating the environment where all this compassionate care is thriving? Well, those are nurse managers and other leaders, and we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to express gratitude or to enable the staff to be able to say thank you to their managers. So we created the DAISY Nurse Leader Award. I would say that when nurse managers feel the recognition themselves, when they experience it for themselves or one of their peers, it will never be another statement about, I don’t have time, because once they feel it, they know what a difference it makes.”

4. Leverage Virtual Platforms
Supporting Quote
Bonnie Barnes: “With all kinds of social distancing going on, what I have found has been especially special has been the ability to do these presentations virtually. So now, instead of having just the people in the unit participate, they get hundreds of people on these Zoom meetings. And very often I’m there, which is the most fun thing I get to do is to participate in these Zoom presentations. It’s really wonderful.”


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Monday Fire Takeover: Consciousness with Amy Woodall

Happy Monday! Every Monday we drop some #MondayFire to help you get excited about your week. Amy Woodall, Founder of Conscious Habit and President at Sandler Training Trustpointe takes over to give insight on how to measure your consciousness to move yourself forward. Here we go!

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110: Be an HR Change Agent | James Keough

James Keough is the Chief Human Resources Officer at MacAllister Machinery, Co. With his extensive experience around employee engagement and people strategy, he’s learned the importance of HR in transforming an organization. But you don’t have to be in HR to make a difference.

In this episode, James speaks on a topic that he’s passionate about – change. To find out how you can be a change agent, in HR and beyond, listen to the conversation.

Truth You Can Act On:

1. Be a Nimble Leader
Supporting Quote:
James Keough: “You have to embrace being nimble, as it relates to understanding the reasons for change and the value of change. We can’t help make change until we model the behaviors and the thought processes behind leading change.”

2. Change Your Core Belief to Change the Way You Think
Supporting Quote
James Keough: “We have to be forward thinking and look at the need for change, and how do we help spur change? The only way that we can change behaviors is if we can change the way we believe or think. So we sort of have to get it in our own heads and our own mindset that we have to understand, change ourselves again, the reasons for the value of it, uh, so that we can help spur the process with our internal clients.”

3. Tie the Change to the Why
Supporting Quote
James Keough: “It’s really important that you understand the payoff about change. And you have to really think about that, because you’re asking people to change their posture maybe from a historical standpoint like,  ‘I’ve always been this way. It’s always worked for me. Why should I change?’ So you have to really focus and think about that why question in order for people to be willing to go through the discomfort, sometimes the conflict, that can be associated with change.”

4. Know and Honor the Culture
Supporting Quote
James Keough: “It’s really understanding culture and ensuring that you are looking at all aspects of culture before working to spur change. So there was an experience where there were several failures that occurred in trying to spur change because of not really having the best grasp on what was the framework of that culture and where did the roots start? An important thing with change in companies is that you have to understand where those roots are in culture because many of the companies haven’t changed for a number of years.”

Book Recommendations

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Monday Fire Takeover: Drama with Amy Woodall

Happy Monday! Every Monday we drop some #MondayFire to help you get excited about your week. Amy Woodall, Founder of Conscious Habit, takes over to give insight on how to handle workplace drama and remind us to own our 50% of the problem. Here we go!

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Healthcare Series: Getting Back to the Basics | Michelle Mahaffey

Michelle Mahaffey is the Chief Human Resources Officer at Community Health Network. She has a colorful background and career journey, transitioning to the healthcare industry at the beginning of the pandemic. 

In this episode, you’ll hear Michelle share her unique perspective on the difference between a healthy culture and an engaged culture, and how leaders need to model the behavior they want to see.

Tune in to hear her view on making sure employees feel supported.

Truth You Can Act On:

1. Separate Health and Engaged
Supporting Quote:
Michelle Mahaffey: “You really kind of have to separate out healthy and engaged at first and then bring them back together. When we think about being healthy, each one of us is an individual and we’re responsible for our own health. But as employers, we do have a role, and we can’t make our employees take care of themselves. But what we can do is we can reassure them that we support them and taking care of themselves. We can provide resources and programs. We can support them in utilizing those resources and programs, and that is huge as an employer”

2. Model Wellness Behavior
Supporting Quote
Michelle Mahaffey: “It’s not just saying to someone take care of yourself. That’s not enough. We, as leaders and managers, have to model the behavior. We have to make it okay and actually something that we’re proud of them for. So, model behavior by taking time off, and I mean, actually take time off, you know, like, don’t jump on every single conference call or team call while you’re on vacation, because your employees expect that that’s what they’re supposed to do. So model the behavior and engage in healthy activities outside of work, and then share it with your team.”

3. Re-evaluate Job Scopes
Supporting Quote
Michelle Mahaffey: “Coming out of a pandemic is actually a really good time to do a sanity check on what it is that we’re asking our employees to do. Are the jobs scoped appropriately, both from a responsibility perspective, from a time perspective? Have we asked people to do what used to be 40 hours of work? Have we asked them to do that in 30 hours so they can do something else for 10 more hours? That happens over time. It happens when we go through cost-cutting measures. It happens naturally as people get better with their jobs, too. But are we doing that appropriately?”

4. Communicate Clearly and Regularly
Supporting Quote
Michelle Mahaffey: “We have got to communicate with people. It’s not just sending an email. It’s not just sending a video. It’s not just posting on a website. It’s not just having one-on-one communication. It’s all of those things in the way that makes sense for your workforce and your employees, because we’ve got to make sure that they know what’s going on and that we care about them and they hear the message. Make sure that employees understand the mission of the organization and that they feel they understand, see the connection between what they do every day in their jobs and that it has an impact on the organization’s mission.”

Sponsor Resources

  • – Wambi is about human connections. We view feedback as the fuel for interpersonal growth and are always striving to achieve the highest versions of ourselves and to lift others up along the way.
  • The Resilience Workbook – Strengthen your organizational resilience and align team goals with The Resilience Workbook,  a free 12-page resource to mitigate clinician burnout. Download it here.

Book Recommendations

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Monday Fire Takeover: Ego with Amy Woodall

Happy Monday! Every Monday we drop some #MondayFire to help you get excited about your week. Amy Woodall takes over to give insight on how to think about and control your ego. Here we go!

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Monday Fire: Schedule the Uncomfortable

Happy Monday! Every Monday we drop some #MondayFire to help you get excited about your week. Here we go!

Our question for you today:

How can you schedule the uncomfortable in your day? 

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109: Celebrate Accomplishments BIG (and Not Lose Momentum) | Larry Olsen

Larry Olsen, is an international speaker, author, podcast host, executive coach, and the CEO of Aperneo, an achievement acceleration company. 

Larry has years of experience working with Fortune 50 companies, championship teams, and entrepreneurs to establish their vision and sense of purpose. He is passionate about providing quick, actionable guidance on breaking ingrained, ineffective habits that hold individuals back. His best-selling book, Get a Vision and Live It, help people learn how to change their attitudes to align with their visions.

In this episode, Larry talks about recognition in different forms, sustaining momentum without slowing down, and the importance of a clearly communicated vision.

Truth You Can Act On:

1. Know the Difference Between Praise and Recognition
Supporting Quote
Larry Olsen:  “The difference between praise and recognition is one is very global and the other is very specific. So when I say, ‘Thank you. You did a great job today.’ That goes in one ear and out the other, but if I say, ‘On thatjob, the way you articulated how we were going to resolve their situation was just spot on. You’ve really got talent there. Continue that.’ And the reason behind that, if you get into the psychology, praise is something that we’ve heard our whole life. Recognition is where we really get into kind of the Skinnerian philosophy, and that is that reinforce the behaviors that you want to continue to see in your organization. And that’s why it’s so important that we’re talking about what we’d like about what they did as opposed to where they fell off.”

2. Thoughts Become Predictors
Supporting Quote 
Larry Olsen: “If we learned a bad attitude, we can learn one that brings out the best in others and is in alignment with the values of the organization. And pretty soon what happens is all of the correction that’s made in the company is relative to what the organization decided it wanted to stand for relative to its treatment of others and how it stands out in the community. That’s the whole answer to this whole celebration when I have the right attitude.”

3. Regularly Communicate a Clear Vision
Supporting Quote
Larry Olsen: “When you go now corporately and you take all of these individuals who are trying to figure their life out, and you as a company, create something greater than itself. And that’s the accomplishment of this vision and what it’s going to do. It’s going to allow each individual to fulfill their sense of purpose and their vision. And this is where onboarding and alignment comes into play is now they get to ask themselves, can I fit in this company? Because the company is clearly articulated. Here’s our sense of purpose and here’s our vision, and unfortunately those words have gotten a negative attitude because most people use them and don’t understand what they mean.”

4. Wallow in Your Accomplishments, Not Your Shortcomings
Supporting Quote 
Larry Olsen: “Why is it when things go right we don’t make a big deal about it? Because we expect it, don’t we? We expect it was supposed to go that way. And so what we have to do is we have to unwind all this conditioning of going through 12 to 18 years of education on how important the right answer was. When we were little in school, we get the papers back and they had everything circled in red. So as adults we end up focusing on apparently to get better in life you focus on what’s wrong. Well, that is not the case at all. Once we understand the biology and physiology of the human species, that that is absolutely backwards. And so when there’s an accomplishment, we’ve got a wallow in it.”

5. Rest is Critical to Keeping Momentum
Supporting Quote 
Larry Olsen: “Most of us aren’t in a position where we can do any meditation at work, but all meditation is is doing something other than thinking, and we need to do that so that we can refresh. We know that we can’t work out for an hour straight without being a little exhausted. We take little breaks in between the different exercises, but someone will sit in front of a computer all day long and not even breathe. So structure it for the individuals in the organization, but have them be the ones who design it for you. Don’t you get this great idea and then throw it at all your people. That’s a big mistake that leaders make, and the thing for leaders is to take those time outs.”

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Monday Fire Takeover: Growing, Even When It’s Hard with Jason Cochran

Hi again, everyone! This is Jason Cochran with Dulead. 

Wouldn’t it be great if we all could just grow and develop when life is mostly rainbows and unicorns? If that were the case I think we’d all sign up for that reality right now! The truth is that sometimes our moments of transformational growth occur after bad things happen to us in life.

But don’t just take my word for it. This concept is an actual psychological phenomenon discovered by two renowned psychologists, Richard Tedeschi and Lawrence Calhoun, in the mid 90’s. 

They called it Post-Traumatic Growth.

Simply put, it’s positive psychological change as a result of adversity and other challenges that leads to a higher level of functioning. 

And believe it or not, it can actually change our DNA….like flipping certain switches on or off. We now know this through epigenetic studies.

It turns out there are 4 primary factors that often lead a person to experience post-traumatic growth:

  • Brutally honest optimism – this is having a reduced sense of helplessness by confronting the most brutal facts of your current reality
  • Perception of Control Over Events – this is regaining control through primary control (taking action to change a situation) or secondary control (changing your orientation to the situation)
  • Coping Style – the best approach is acceptance and positive reinterpretation
  • Strong Sense of Self – this is making sense of your story, even the parts that suck

So why is this topic so important to me?

Well, I’ve experienced post-traumatic growth in my own life. When I was 10 my grandpa took his own life. This set me on a path to become a psychologist.   Three years ago I came up a day short of delivering a hand-written letter to my mother before she passed away from cancer. I had the letter written to give her at our Christmas celebration…but she slipped into a coma the night before I saw her. The letter now sits on my desk as a reminder everyday to not be a day late in doing what’s most important. This inspired me to help co-found a software company called Dulead that focuses on helping people become the best version of themselves, including showing appreciation on a daily basis.

I still live with the grief and regret every single day. But those four factors (brutally honest optimism, regaining control, accepting and reinterpreting, and making sense of my story) all helped me to take that pain and do something positive with it.

It’s my small way of trying to help folks not come up a day short like I did with my mom.

Whatever your story is, we’re all unique in how we adapt and respond to traumatic events. But there are some common signs that often point toward post-traumatic growth in your own life. Here are a few:

✅ Deeper appreciation of life

✅ Deeper relationships with others

✅ Seeing new possibilities in life

✅ Discovering personal strength

✅ Spiritual change

I challenge you today to pause, be thankful, and reflect on the #growth you’ve experienced during some challenging times in your life!

After all, the hardest times can often lead to the greatest moments in our lives!

Monday Fire Takeover: Why Work? 4 Principles of Connection with Jason Cochran

Hello again, everyone! This is Jason Cochran with Dulead.

Do you ever wonder why humans work in the first place? Yes, we all need a certain amount of money to do things, but that’s not at the core of why we get up in the morning to offer our best efforts most days. And it’s not because of perks either. In their book, The Why of Work, Wendy and Dave Ulrich state that people find meaning when they see a clear connection between what they highly value and what they spend time doing.

So it turns out we really aren’t that complicated. We’re all hard-wired to desire meaningful, purpose-driven work. Leaders – this is why we need to get ridiculously simple in order to become more effective with our people strategies. And the 4 Principles of Connection model I helped create gets to the core reasons for why people want to work and offer their best.

The 4 Principles of Connection™️  model focuses on healthy connections to self, others, role, and the organization. And there’s a core rhythm of employee and leadership experiences which help strengthen these connections leading to #fulfillment, #meaning, and #purpose from the work people do.

Let’s briefly go through each principle and some example experiences for each:

Principle #1 – Connecting to Self:

  •  People want to work for organizations that help them develop as a whole person – not just in the rote skills of their job
    • Examples:
      • Dream Manager programs
      • 20% Autonomous time
      • Pursuing and achieving goals
      • Wellness programs
      • Encourage personal branding

Principle #2 – Connecting to Others:  

  • People want to work where they’re accepted for their authentic selves and where they experience a level of connection with the leadership and their team that creates strong bonds
    • Examples:
      • Mentor programs
      • Onboarding experiences
      • Frequent, meaningful recognition and appreciation
      • Essential Skills Coaching (Empathy, Humility, Emotional Intelligence)

Principle #3 – Connecting to Role:  

  • People want to work where there’s clarity around their role and importance in the ecosystem and that their contributions matter
    • Examples:
      • Stay Interviews
      • Advancement Paths
      • Opportunities for Professional Development
      • Role mapping including target behaviors and alignment plans
      • Special projects

Principle #4 – Connecting to the Organization:  

  • People want to work where they know the greater whole, of which they’re a part, is doing important work in the world – especially their own communities
    • Examples:
      • North Star/Core Identity
      • Service projects
      • Employee Stock Ownership Programs
      • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion experiences

And here’s the beautiful part of the 4 Principles of Connection. It isn’t just the right thing to do for your people – it’s the smart thing to do for your organization. In doing so you’re moving the levers which drive employee engagement, hone your culture, and strengthen your employer brand.

Bear in mind, the most important customers are your internal ones…your employees. It all starts with them. They decide every day whether they’re bought into the organization and what it stands for and the work that is accomplished.

So leaders – let’s make things ridiculously simple and focus on the levers that matter – the 4 Principles of Connection. When you get it right for your people, they get it right for the organization and the external customers.

Let’s go forth and nurture these healthy connections in your organizations!

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