The biggest cause for ANY relationship failure is lack of communication. Working relationships are no different. In fact, most of us spend more of our waking hours with co-workers than we do our own families! I equate poor communication with a cog in a factory wheel: It may seem small, but a breakdown in any area causes the whole production to shut down.
Some people refer to communication as a two-way street. From my perspective, it’s more like a busy highway with multiple intersections.
In a medical setting, communication involves physicians, managers, staff, patients, vendors, lawyers, accountants, and the list goes on. Although managers may serve as “traffic controllers,” physicians must still maintain good communication with staff. The front line is either attracting or repelling customers, so it’s vitally important that they feel good about what they are selling. Docs, that’s YOU! A simple but sincere “thank you” from a physician has a profound impact on an employee.
Likewise, communication between managers and staff must be well coordinated. The most effective managers have worked the jobs they now supervise; it’s the only way to truly understand the nuances of the job. Managers must be accessible to staff, both physically and psychologically.
Let’s not overlook the obvious – communication between staff members. As a hiring manager, one of my foremost considerations is whether or not the candidate will fit in with his/her co-workers. A harmonious work environment cannot be underrated. Staff who work well as a team are more likely to ask for help and feel comfortable that when they need help themselves, they will receive it! All of this “behind the scenes” communication ensures a smooth work flow and a positive experience for the customer: the patient.