“Learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change” – Peter Drucker

We’ve learned a lot over the past few years. The pandemic changed so many things about the way businesses had to operate to survive and serve their customers. We became more flexible, agile, and evolved our business models, sometimes on a daily basis.

The way employees think, feel, and act changed, too. It’s important to recognize that and evaluate your organization moving forward to make sure everyone is still aligned with the mission.

At Urgent Care Solutions, we pulled together our current and future leaders in the company to reflect on what’s happened and plan for the future as part of our leadership training. We began with a deep dive into the culture. The facilitator asked us what it is that we want the company to do for us. Participants were asked to write sticky notes with a word describing what they felt they needed from the organization.

One thing that jumped out was the word family. During COVID, we realized how important family is and that was evident in the answers our staff gave. It highlighted for our leadership that employees want to know their workplace will allow them to balance their work and family.

That feeling is consistent with what employees in most companies say they want, according to a December 2021 survey of 2,000 employees in the U.S. When asked what was most important in their workplace, the top three answers were generous paid time off, flexible/remote working options, and paid family leave.

It’s not just about providing additional benefits, though. Employees say it’s about the way leadership cares for their employees. McKinsey says there are four critical qualities for business leaders that evolved during the pandemic: awareness, vulnerability, empathy, and compassion. These traits need to be part of our leadership style moving forward to meet employee needs.

During the pandemic, many people reflected on what’s most important in their lives and realized that work is just a part of who they are. It’s part of the reason why so many people are leaving their jobs and why it’s so difficult to find workers willing to fill open positions. Companies that can truly reflect what employees want and need will be the ones that benefit.

Discussing Challenges, Making Changes

We also discussed the challenges at work. If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be? Several participants noted their job would be easier if additional training was provided for nurses. As a group, we discussed what was lacking.

Based on the information provided by the staff, we made big, and immediate, changes to the nurse’s training program to help make everyone’s job easier.

This year’s leadership training was a success. We continue to encourage all of our team members to commit to continuing education.

We’ve committed to listening to our team members and evolving our business model to grow our organization together. What are you doing in your company to foster lifelong learning and listen to your employees? We’d love to hear how it’s going!