I've had the pleasure of hearing Liz Jazwiec in person- she had the audience spellbound, and at the end of the session all of us were ready to go back to work and put her ideas into action. I bought the book so I could follow up with my managers, and we've been reviewing one or two chapters each month when we meet for our leadership meetings.
This book has the same upbeat, honest sytle that she uses in her presentations. It's so effective because initially she was a manager who didn't believe that customer relations were important. In fact, her boss had to threaten to fire her before she came around. Since her staff admired her character and dedication and didn't want to see her fired, they embraced customer relations with her in a very short time.
This is a realistic, funny, entertaining book about real changes that can be made in the workplace when people are held accountable for their actions. Since it takes place in a hospital setting, you might think that she had an easy job of "preaching to the choir". Not so! Those of us in health care have seen so many of our colleagues burn out after years of stress, long hours, working holidays, etc. Liz' message is a strong one- we need to remember the reasons we chose to be in health care in the first place. Sure it's high stress, but we all knew that before we started. It's also a noble, unselfish profession that is worth while, that changes people's lives, that helps people get through very trying circumstances.
Here's an example: managers never have a problem counseling employees who are late to work because staff are expected to be accountable for their punctuality. Why then do managers have such a hard time holding staff accountable if they pass some trash in the hallway without picking it up (if the hospital has made that an expectation)?
Another example: every hospital wants to be an open, friendly place so there's usually an expectation that everyone will greet everyone with a smile and a simple greeting. When Liz took someone aside for not following that practice, the nurse said something like, "Give me a break- I'm too busy saving lives". Liz's instant reply: "Not in the hallway you aren't!".
This book is not just for nursing directors or managers, and not just for health care. It's equally valuable to anyone who manages janitors, clerical staff, security staff, or anyone else in a service-orientated environment. If you're in any sort of leadership position, buy this book- it will be the best book you read all year!