Friday, February 15, 2008

Recognition Crucial for Recruitment and Retention Efforts

The department head meeting yesterday was very interesting. Apparently, NO ONE from the command has gotten any formal recognition (NAM, COMM, even LOA) for the part they played in the Frank Cable mass casualty. The Commanding Officer (CO) said, "Well, there were over 200 people at Naval Hospital involved in the incident. We can't give everyone an award."

When one of the department heads said, "Well, the Frank Cable managed to give 113 awards to sailors for THEIR role in the incident," the CO said, "That never happened." Then the Public Affairs Officer cleared his throat and said he could provide the article from the Pacific Navigator.

Rumor has it that the command was submitted for a UNIT award and it was turned down...even though we were lauded throughout the Navy for our medical care.

And they wonder why there is a recruiting and retention problem for Naval Hospital Guam.

In the CO's call yesterday, he showed us two books that were passed out at the Surgeon General's conference: "Made to Stick" and "The Second Rule." I read the first and would like to read the second (I think it's on my wish list….just haven't had justification to pay for it because I have so many other books in the queue). I would recommend the CO read a few other books. My suggestions? "The Carrot Principle," "It's Okay to be the Boss," "It's Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy," and "First, Break all the Rules: What the World's Best Managers Do Differently."

All of these books state definitively that recruitment and retention efforts fail or succeed at the supervisor level and that recognition is what people crave most.

The CO can say, "Naval Hospital Guam gets kudos from all over the Navy," but until he puts his money where his mouth is and we see awards for people other than those who donated "multiple off-duty hours" to coordinating the Navy Ball (give me a break), he has no credibility for me.


ThomCarr said...

Mary K, thanks for the current book list.

As a survivor of “broad banding”, pay-for-performance demonstration projects and mediocre performance appraisals, I was composing a note for my new boss on the “virtues” of performance appraisal systems with qualitative and subjective standards. Since we just started a “reorg”, he asked the team to “…capture everything you are doing to possibly become part of your evaluation…”

I was “Googling” for the third R of the Human Resource Development and Management Model. I recalled Recruitment & Retention from my graduate-work days, however could not recall the third. Most recent HR postings may mention the term “3Rs”, but did not elaborate and in other cases only discussed Recruitment or Retention without mentioning the third “R” or used another terms such as “Relocation” or “Retirement”. Which did not strike me as correct.

I then found Joseph E Wherry’s [“busy”] web site that provided the model I recalled. To double check, I “Googled” the 3Rs spelt out and found this post.

You and those books are correct, most humans crave “Recognition” even if it is just a timely heart-felt pat on the back, a “That’a’Boy” or a “Thank You” which only costs a few moments of a supervisors and “Leaders” time and does not costs much “$$$”.

When you soar with the eagles, from time to time, there are bound to be a few turkeys flying in the flock. Being human, we all, periodically, slip in to mediocrity, just flying along with the flock rather than soaring. “Recognition”, by our peers, supervisors and leaders, encourage us all to soar from time to time. The lack of “Recognition” encourages us to leave the flock to seek what we “carve”.

If we are not recognized by our supervisors and leaders in front of our peers, not just for our “outstanding” and “superior” day-to-day performance. But also for meeting the required expectations of a position, the day-to-day random acts of kindness we pass on to a fellow human and meeting the challenges of day-to-day life; we become disaffected and disinterested in the organization and team we work with, it becomes just a “job”, not a passion. Even the most highly motivated of “the Best and Brightest” need a pat on the back once in awhile, even if is for just “showing up”. However, our peers, our team and our organization must perceive that that “Recognition” as being fair and equable.

I volunteer with a local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), “Engagement” and “Recognition” of some the cornerstones of the volunteerism, though most volunteers will tell you they do it without any expectation of “reward”. In the middle of last year, our new Fire Chief of our paid Fire Department initiated an ambitious project, Smoke Alarm Verification and Utilization (S.A.V.U), the distributing of fire safety literature, testing of smoke alarms for residents and installation of new batteries or smoke alarms, if needed, in all dwelling units in the city. What is unique about the program, is the Department not just “handing out” smoke alarms, they are visiting each dwelling unit in the city, testing and installing them, free of charge, if needed.

Given the size of our city, this is an enormous and costly task. One Saturday a month, the Fire Chief places five to ten units out of service for about seven hours and has them rally at a pre-designated neighborhood fire station. In addition, a call is also broadcasted for neighborhood, community and citywide volunteers to assemble at the rally point too, where they are paired with firefighters forming teams and crews, briefed and trained on how to distribute literature, testing of smoke alarms and installation of new batteries or smoke alarms.
The teams and crews then saturate the neighborhood going door to door asking for permission to test the dwelling units smoke alarms.

Throughout the day, the “White Shirts”, the Fire Department leadership, including the Fire Chief rove the neighborhood approaching each team and crew and thanking the volunteers and the firefighters, alike and equally, for their participation in the event and ensuring everyone has what they need. At the end of the day, at demobilization, again the “White Shirts” individually thank each volunteer and firefighter for their participation in the event. This attention to a time consuming detail, “Recognition”, will lead to the overall success of the project, in my opinion. Too many “bosses” overlook this detail and wonder why their projects are overdue and over budget.

Again thanks for the book list, now if I can find some time to read them.

PS: Have the webmaster of the Hospital’s WebPages check the HTML code, while the Guam may begin Navy Medicine's Day, the year is “hard coded” on some of the pages, so it appears you are in a time warp :>

Thom Carr

ThomCarr said...

This is "private message", since you do not have link post a message to your email.

I came across an article that may interest you,

Deborah J. Persell and Susan Speraw (March 2008) Toward a Theory of Homeland Security Nursing

It is ironic I "stumbled" across your blog. For one of the tasks that has assigned me is the “care and feeding” of members of the National Nurse Response Team Central (NNRT-C)

Given my back ground, will need a little help with at task, your blog will help. < my public profile - -