Restore, Establish, and Maintain a Great Reputation for Your Agency: 5 Additional Key Strategies
“But we can work on restoring and maintaining your reputation. Let’s start by getting to the bottom of things.” Rodis reassured Carol that despite the sense that the reputation of her agency may have been slipping away, there were things she and the rest of the leadership team could do to help restore and then maintain it.
After conducting a root cause analysis, Rodis met with the leadership team at the agency and discussed five key strategies (See previous article entitled, Restore, Establish and Maintain a Great Reputation for Your Agency: 5 Key Strategies). They are now meeting again to discuss five additional key strategies, all described below.
1. Have a roadmap and set priorities
In a previous article entitled, Turn Your Organization Around, I described, “Establish Clear-Cut Directions,” as one of the strategic steps to transform any agency. As explained in that article, people, in general, need direction, leadership, and management support. Help provide clear direction. Be ready to articulate short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals. Be ready to express strategic, tactical, and operational planning, and establish a culture of concrete structure and planning for long-term sustainability. Do all this, and watch the reputation of your agency grow. Setting priorities is not only for your clinicians and the rest of your staff, but also for your vendors, your funders, sponsors, and any other stakeholders. If you do not have a clear direction for your agency, you will be pulled into multiple directions, and you will risk damaging your reputation.
2. Take a social justice stance
Stand for or against something, but take a stance. Your agency exists to bring value, to make a difference, and to make the world a better place. You are not just one more agency, or just one more organization. You may need to set aside some time to brainstorm and decide on the specific value of your agency, but it is essential that you do. You need to stand for something and you need to show it, if you are to establish a great reputation.
3. Uphold and practice integrity
In a previous article, entitled, Recruiting Successfully: 5 Additional Key Strategies, I mentioned “Promote Excellence,” as one of the essential steps to successful recruitment. I also mentioned that, “Promoting excellence” would require leadership, not just management; coaching, not just administration, and mentorship, not just supervision. I added that promoting excellence also requires the space to reflect and be introspective and one that fosters courage in staff, to be able to say, “I made a mistake” and articulate a plan to do things better next time. And this is how you will uphold and practice integrity. Upholding and practicing integrity starts with the leadership team. As previously mentioned in the article, Turn your Organization Around, leadership involves role modeling, accountability, and making difficult decisions. Upholding and practicing integrity in our agencies starts with us, and this is a key strategy to restore, establish, and maintain a great reputation for our agencies.
4. Seek to innovate
You are bringing values; you have a base and various stakeholders. If you take some time to listen to them, the clients you serve, your clinicians and staff, you will find countless ways to innovate, stand out, and establish and maintain a great reputation for your agency. In a previous article entitled, Social Determinants of Health, Dr. Davidman, a psychiatrist stated, “I notice many things in this waiting area, but one thing catches my attention the most: many clients and patients often stop me to ask for food." He then added, “Until now, I had not given my full attention to the significance of my patients and clients having food available. It is something so small, yet crucial; easy to miss, yet sine qua non for medication adherence. In reality, patients and clients often fail to take their medication due to lack of food.” Only 10% of our wellness, in general, and that of our patients and clients we serve depend on direct medical care. The other 90% depend on the social determinants of health, like food insecurity, transportation, living arrangement, and education. At each SWEET Institute seminar, we ask each attendee to commit to one thing he or she will do differently, upon return to his or her agency, drawing from the collective learning and discussions. You do not need to start big; start with one of your clinicians, and it is based on the needs of the patients and clients you serve. Regardless how you choose to do it, simply do it. Seek to innovate and watch your reputation grow.
5. Keep your history and stories alive
“Not to know what happened before one was born is to forever remain a child,” articulated Cicero, the Roman philosopher. For agencies to restore, establish, and maintain a great reputation, they need to know their history and stories. You and all agency decision makers need to know where you, as an agency, came from, the challenges you have overcome, the lessons you have learned, and how and where you have been able to draw your strengths. Keeping your history and stories alive will allow you to help keep the end in mind, inspire (see previous article entitled, Recruiting Successfully: 5 Additional Key Strategies), and will also help you keep alive the purpose—the why; the vision—the where; and the mission—the what, as described in a previous article, entitled, Turn Your Organization Around.
“We have been losing grants to other agencies, lately. I don’t know what has been going on, but our reputation seems to be slipping away.” Carol, the director of the grant department articulated these words to Rodis, the consultant. “You either move forward or backward. There is no staying still when it comes to reputation. It is one of these things we all have to work at consistently, or else, we start losing it,” responded Rodis. “But we can work on restoring and maintaining it. Let’s start by getting to the bottom of things,” added Rodis. After conducting a root cause analysis, Rodis met with the leadership team at the agency and discussed ten key strategies.
Ten key strategies for you to restore, establish, and maintain a great reputation for your agency.
Treat you Clinicians as you Would Like Them to Treat your Patients or Clients
Decrease your clinician turnover rate
Have a roadmap and set priorities
Take a social justice stance
Uphold and practice integrity
Seek to innovate
Keep your history and stories alive
When would you like to start implementing at least one of these five key strategies? Contact us and let us know how we can help.
For more in this series of articles, check below!
Dr. Sidor is quadruple board certified in psychiatry, with board certification in General adult, Child and adolescent, Addiction, and Forensic, psychiatry. He also has additional training in public psychiatry, in several treatment modalities, in addition to his teaching, supervision, mentorship, coaching, and management, experience. Some of his passions are public speaking, leadership, entrepreneurship, and research, in addition to program development and project management. His overall goal is to empower all health care professionals throughout the United States and globally, towards ensuring the continuity of excellent patient care, while balancing the need to take care of themselves. Dr. Sidor is the main instructor for the SWEET Institute, and he is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University. He is also the past-Medical Director for CASES (Center for Alternative Sentencing and employment Services), and he speaks and writes fluently in six (4) languages—French, English, Spanish, Creole, and has intermediate proficiency in Portuguese and Italian.
Mitton CR, Donaldson C: Setting priorities and allocating resources in health regions: lessons from a project evaluating program budgeting and marginal analysis (PBMA). Health Policy. 2003, 64: 335-348. 10.1016/S0168-8510(02)00198-7.
Holm S: Developments in Nordic countries – goodbye to the simple solutions. In The Global Challenge of Health Care Rationing. Edited by: Coulter A, Ham C. 2000, Buckingham: Open University Press, 29-37.
Boutain, D. M. (2005). Social justice as a framework for professional nursing. Journal of Nursing Education, 44, 404-407.
Fahrenwald, N. L., Taylor, J. Y., Kneipp, S. M., & Canales, M. K. (2007). Academic freedom and academ- ic duty to teach social justice: A perspective and peda- gogy for public health nursing faculty. Public Health Nursing, 24(2), 190-197.
Falk-Rafael, A. (2005). Speaking truth to power: Nursing’s legacy and moral imperative. Advances in Nursing Science, 28(2), 212-223.
Renz DO, Eddy WB. Organizations, ethics, and health care: Building an ethics infrastructure for a new era. Bioethics Forum. 1996; 12:29-39.
Wildes KW. Institutional identity, integrity, and conscience. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal. 1997; 7:413-19.