The Propel Principles

Six Step Program Proven to Drive
Optimal Performance in Healthcare Settings

The PROPEL Principles

PROPEL initiatives regularly increase staff engagement 40-80%

As patient satisfaction and HCAHP scores become even more intertwined with healthcare facility reimbursement, there is a clear focus on the relationship between the healthcare staff and the patient. Surveys grade extensively on the communication and overall satisfaction the patient receives from his or her healthcare provider.

The PROPEL Principles are a set of tools to reboot problem areas your organization or staff may be facing that would lead to low satisfaction scores. The PROPEL Principles are designed to reengage your staff and ensure the highest satisfaction between patients and their healthcare provider.

PROPEL is a 6-step program proven to drive optimal performance in healthcare settings 

  • Passion – High performing leaders maintain their passion by envisioning what they need to do to feel overwhelming positive when they leave work each day.
  • Relationships – The best leaders develop small teams of highly engaged staff to help them achieve their goals because they recognize they can’t do it alone.
  • Optimism – High achievers maintain a growth mindset that enables learning from setbacks, differentiating them from low performing leaders who punish people who have made honest mistakes.
  • Proactivity – Top performers know and use their strengths, those “at my best” abilities hardwired in their brains, to successfully respond to challenges.
  • Energy – Leaders who sustain their ability to utilize positive practices convert stress into energy, which they replenish on daily basis.
  • Legacy – High performing leaders are devoted to making a meaningful difference in the lives of other people, which cultivates devoted followers

The PROPEL Solution:

PROPEL teaches people to personally maintain a high level of positivity, thereby helping the 50% to 75% of healthcare providers who report symptoms of burnout. With more staff having higher levels of wellbeing, they are able to collaboratively identify solutions and work diligently to implement them.

When everyone from the C-Suite to the bedside can PROPEL performance:

  • Passion is sustained because everyone shares the same values.
  • Relationships become the greatest source of satisfaction at work.
  • Optimism prevails because having a positive mindset is rewarded.
  • Proactive use of strengths is taught, deployed and reinforced.
  • Energy management is expected by maintaining work-life balance.
  • Legacy brings meaning and purpose into the workplace.

3 Keys to Success with PROPEL:

#1: Improve Leader Satisfaction and Success

Healthcare leaders are typically trained as providers, not leaders.

  • Value “evidence-based” practices.
  • Too often given little leadership training.
  • Benefit greatly from learning “best practices” of effective leaders.
The science of optimal human functioning identifies essential leadership skills.
  • Demonstrates how people can consistently perform at their best.
  • Research conducted by Positive Psychologists at top universities:
    • Martin Seligman and Angela Duckworth at U. Pennsylvania
    • Barbara Fredrickson at U. North Carolina, Chapel Hill
    • Teresa Amabile, Susan David, Tal Ben-Shahar at Harvard
    • Kim Cameron, Center for Positive Organizations at U. Michigan

#2: Align and Engage Leaders and Staff

The Problem

2016 Gallup employee engagement survey:

  • 1 in 6 employees admit to actively thwarting the efforts of other staff trying to provide high quality patient care.
  • More than half of employees refuse to step in to stop bad behavior.

Studies show 65 – 85% of hospital improvements fail or produce minimal change

  • 2 of 3 staff lapse into “learned helplessness” when improvement efforts fail.
  • Most negative staff ‘tip’ the majority of their coworkers into disengagement.

The PROPEL Solution

PROPEL teams are small groups of highly engaged staff who share their leader’s passion for providing high quality healthcare.

PROPEL Teams enhance their own performance using the PROPEL Principles:

  • Passion for high performance
  • Relationships that are collaborative
  • Optimism that is infectious
  • Proactive use of people’s best qualities
  • Energy replenishment to prevent burnout
  • Legacy generates joy by improving the lives of coworkers

PROPEL Teams learn how to become positive “influencers” to counter active disengagement.

PROPEL teams recruit disengaged coworkers to achieve a “tipping point.”

  • Vast majority of staff commit to delivering high quality healthcare.
  • Most negative staff lose their platform and either get on board or resign.

PROPEL initiatives regularly increase staff engagement 40 – 80%:

  • 83% L&D unit
  • 48% SICU
  • 62% ED
  • 71% Inpatient Psychiatry
  • 66% Prep/PACU
  • 51% Med/Surg unit
  • 68% Oncology outpatient clinic
  • 89% Transplant Case Managers

#3: Create a Culture that Sustains High Performance
The PROPEL High Performance Improvement System teaches people in healthcare organizations how to follow a 7-step cultural transformation process:

  1. Maintaining emotional awareness
  2. Developing win-win solutions
  3. Creating implementation plans
  4. Taking action
  5. Learning from setbacks
  6. Celebrating success
  7. Sustaining positive behaviors

The Problem

High performing teams must maintain a ratio of 5 positive interactions for every negative exchange.

Given that emotions are contagious, working in settings immersed in human suffering makes it difficult to achieve and sustain that level of functioning.

Rapid change cycles and overwhelming demands create high stress levels:

  • 46% of MD’s report having burnout symptoms. (Mayo, 2016)
  • 75% of hospital RN’s say stress is affecting their physical and mental health. (American Nursing Association, 2015)
  • 65% of hospital leaders see improvement initiatives fail. (HIMSS, 2015)

When teams fall below a 3:1 ratio of positives to negatives, it becomes a struggle for people to engage in possibility thinking – making it difficult to find solutions.

Bring the PROPEL Principles to Your Organization

Talk to Dr. Tom Muha:

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