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.org – 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.

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