We know we have amazing staff and service providers, but there aren’t many opportunities to publicly display our affection for VHA’s best and brightest. So when VHAers got the chance to respond to Care Team Supervisor Stacie-Ann London’s Change Day Ontario pledge to “provide the best care by being mindful to the needs of the client”, they flooded the public website with 48 likes and 25 glowing comments from her colleagues to help her win “most liked pledge” in the Ontario-wide health care initiative. That left us wondering what her “secret sauce” is to motivating and inspiring her team. We chatted with Stacie to find out…
Your team clearly loves you! What makes you such a special supervisor?
My staff really appreciate what I do as a supervisor and a colleague. They recognize the support I provide. For example, the Monday Motivation quotes that I send out each week are very uplifting for them. Most of the staff work independently in the community and their supervisor is not always there. The motivational quotes help my team know that I’m there for them. I know what they’re experiencing. I know they had a hard weekend, but this is how we look forward into the next week.
What do you include in the Monday Motivation messages?
I send out an email every Monday that consists of:
- A thank you message and acknowledgement for working the weekend.
- What’s trending – upcoming meetings, health and safety items in our community, etc.
- Uplifting motivating quotes that staff can relate to.
- The weather report for the week, so that they can have their gear ready for winter days.
Sometimes I also send out a message on the weekend to acknowledge that my team is working and I’m there for them. I use communication as a tool to help my team work effectively. I need them to feel supported and acknowledged during their working hours.
When you’re in management, you need to feel connected. Even though you’re their supervisor, you need to use empathy, patience, and great communication skills. I also preach a lot about mindfulness. Being mindful of clients, being mindful of how you provide care, how you communicate, what conversations you’re having. It’s not just about being professional, but about being mindful of the individual that you’re caring for.
One of the comments on your Change Day pledge said, “Stacie is the centre of happiness and joy.” How does that define your personality?
I’m a strong believer in positive outcomes, and that positivity radiates as joyfulness. I meditate, I pray, I exercise, which are all very important in keeping your joy. On a daily basis you listen to numerous complaints, and those complaints can weigh heavily on your mind and affect you as an individual because you’re not satisfying a need. If you don’t protect your own joy by maintaining your positivity, you will get caught up in what’s happening around you. You need to stay centered in order to maintain your positivity.
I tell my staff – Even though you may be having the worst day with your own problems, when you cross that threshold of your client’s home, you better start smiling. When you smile, you allude that sort of joy to them. You are walking into a client who has medical problems, no family, they may not have enough food, they may be struggling, and you come in to make a difference. Smile!
What’s your secret to staying happy and joyful?
I get up at 5AM, and for 45 minutes I listen to positive affirmations such as “I am prosperous, I am amazing, I am blessed,” etc. I also journal a lot. I’m a great believer that in order to have great outcomes, you need to be thankful and grateful for everything. When I write in my journal, I’m always thankful for VHA and my staff, for my other supervisors, for leadership. My gratitude translates to the universe as good things.
When I was young, my mom was my most positive influencer. She always talked about the power of positive thinking. She would tell me, “Be positive, and look at things from a perspective of positivity. If you’re having a problem today, think of a solution and all the positivity that goes around the problem.” That’s what helps me deal with my problems. If I have a problem, I try to quickly solve it, but I also look at the problem from a different perspective. Always ask yourself, “What can I do best? How can I be mindful of the situation? What actions can I take to solve it? What can I learn from it?”