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Clarity is a key to alignment and action. At times, people feel they have clarity and they do not. People became CEO because they performed very well in roles they have had. At times, the CEO may feel there is clarity and there is not. Others may be reluctant to ask for more clarity because they feel they will not look good. One does not know the answer to a question if a question is not asked. At the end of each agenda item, put this question on the table: “Is there a call to action?” If yes, what is it? Then cover the why, what, who, how, and when.

I read the book “Gung Ho!” by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles. The book describes one leader in an organization who made their area a great one. They did it for their desire to create a great place for those that worked there. This was in an organization that was not on the same page as the leader. You will enjoy the book. I feel every value-driven leader strives to make themselves and their area the best it can be.

Reductions in force happen. At times it is due to technology when a new method makes current processes obsolete. Or, competition can create an environment where less workers are needed. For example, during COVID, hospitals hired many people to check guests’ temperatures when they walked into the building. As things changed, these roles went away. I feel a reduction in force is very difficult in that it impacts trust in leadership. In the case that one takes place, it is important to make sure that there is support for those leaving the organization and work to see if there are other roles the person can fill. With the amount of turnover in an organization, there are opportunities for those whose jobs are being eliminated to fill other roles. This may mean investing in training. Make sure those being let go receive fair severance agreements. I know of an organization that worked very hard at helping those being let go find other jobs. The key is to be open on the why and do all that can be done to help those being let go. Most are unaware they can still access benefits for a short time, which includes mental health services.

92% of managers and 84% of frontline leaders today are saying that a key part of their retention is skill development and career development. Performance conversations need to be more frequent and more individualized than before to show that you’re committed to supporting employee growth in these areas. If there are performance issues, those should be addressed immediately. Then, your mid-year conversations can become collaborative and focus more on support and development than on evaluation. The most vulnerable time for employees to leave is when they’re new in a role. It might not make sense to wait 6 months for the first performance conversation. Focus on showing your commitment early on to let new employees know you’re there for them, you support them, and you have resources to help them. In healthcare, each leader has a different scope of control so the cadence of meetings may depend on whether they have 5 or 50 direct reports. Leave it up to the leader to decide what works for them but at minimum you should be having these conversations every 6 months.