I have had a number of requests for me to discuss the qualities that define an exceptional staff person. The following is an excerpt taken from our SOS Employee Manual and clearly outlines employees’ behavioral expectations. Feel free to include it as part of your handbook.
Accountability and responsibility. These qualities manifest in punctuality, performing duties in a consistent and efficient manner, an “I can” attitude, paying close attention to detail and following through on all given tasks. Doing things well is a step toward doing things better.
Commitment and contribution. We expect that each team member should be committed and contribute to the goals, ethics and philosophies of this team and give 100 percent toward these ends. Teams are much stronger when each member is dedicated to being supportive of another.
Compliance. All staff (and doctors) must follow all compliance regulations and receive necessary training to the level of their involvement with regard (but not limited) to several areas. These include radiology certification, Medicare, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, medical waste requirements, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Cooperation. When people help each other freely and voluntarily, there is a spirit of teamwork that can conquer a multitude of problems. When we do not cooperate, we create the potential for the whole system to fall apart. Employees should know there is nothing that we would ask them to do that we would not do ourselves.
Communication. It is important that open communication exists within this team in order to share ideas, information, news, instruction and feedback. All of this sharing can improve performance. Assumptions, ESP thinking (when you “think” you know what the other person is thinking before really knowing) and failure to listen can all cause a breakdown in communication, which can be destructive to a team. Before disputing what others say, get the facts. There can be a giant gap between what is and what is perceived.
Courtesy. Courtesy and caring for others appear in many forms. These include maintaining a friendly attitude; refraining from criticism; being accepting, tolerant and non-judgmental of others; showing respect; lending a helping hand; and being open to another’s perspective.
Goals and growth. Goals are essential for team and personal motivation, and they help build success-oriented individuals. They serve as a stimulus for life. Where there are no challenges or goals, neither will there be significant accomplishment. There will only be existence. Realistic goals are those that are beyond your grasp but within your reach.
Honesty and understanding. Successful teamwork thrives on honesty and understanding. Trusting others and honoring your word at all times are qualities we admire and count on.
Positive attitude. Almost everything we do reflects our attitude. If we are selfish, we will be suspicious of others. If we are of a generous nature, we are likely to be more trustful. If we are honest with ourselves, we won’t always anticipate deceit in others. If we are inclined to be fair, we won’t feel that we are being cheated.
Professionalism. Professionalism involves not only the way you look but the way you act. Staff can demonstrate this in a number of ways. It may be through a neat appearance and appropriate attire, good common sense, being fair to others, knowledge and not allowing personal problems to affect the competence of your work. Staff can also show maturity, discretion and maintain absolute confidentiality at all times in and out of the office.