The Association for the Health Care Environment (AHE) wrapped up its annual Exchange Conference & Solution Center today with its conference-within-a-conference. The program featured three talks on management and leadership.

Matt Havens, a keynote speaker who focuses on leadership and connecting generations, broke down three key pillars to leadership in his discussion “You’re Not an Acronym: A Practical Approach to Leadership.”

Havens touched on the growing number of evaluations and acronyms that have come to dominate discussions about modern leadership. In his message, Havens broke down three pillars to both simplify and maximize team performance: Personal leadership style, people and purpose.

It’s important for one to know their own leadership style, Havens says, but equally important not to let that aspect dominate the other two pillars.

“You need to know your style and how you respond in situations, but it’s your experiences that will help you refine that,” he says. “Your people have to know that you care about them.”

Havens advised three ways leaders can connect with employees:

  • Listen intently. Great leaders tend to spend more time asking and listening.
  • Seek feedback, apply it and make adjustments.
  • Recognize employees on a regular basis and in a way that personally connects to them.

When it comes to purpose, Havens gave three roadmap examples that can help keep employees focus on the end goal.

  • Develop a leader’s intent that focuses on the what the goal is and why it should be achieved.
  • Create a BHAG or a big hairy audacious goal, which are longer goals that look five to 10 years down the road.
  • Create a playbook that sets the intentions of the company and forms its culture.

Havens was followed by a panel discussion on reinforcing the strategic value environmental services (EVS) brings to health care operations. The panel included:

  • Patti Costello, AHE executive director;
  • Carol Calabrese, R.N., BS, CIC, senior clinical advisor, infection prevention, Diversey;
  • Fiona Nemetz, CHESP, T-CHEST, director environmental services, safety and security at Northise Hospital; and
  • Mike Bailey, CHESP, MT-CHEST, MT-CSCT, Bailey Consulting Services.

The panel focused on how environmental services leaders can make a closer connection with executive leadership with the goal to demonstrate the value that EVS delivers as a core business strategy, and how it ties into the bottom line.

Maja Kazazic, a keynote speaker, entrepreneur and survivor of genocide, closed out the program with her talk “Positivity and Success in the Face of Adversity.”

Kazazic shared her story and gave participants applicable takeaway lessons, such as the seven building blocks of empowerment, how to build support systems, how to shift perspective to recognize opportunities, and how to unleash the power and potential individually and as a team.

The 2020 Exchange conference will be in Chicago. Visit AHE’s website for updates.

If you missed it, check out coverage of Day 1 and Day 2 of the conference.