Joy-Centered Leadership

What two components contribute most to work satisfaction, engagement, and well-being? Meaning and joy.

Dr. Lee Galuska, Executive Director at UCLA Health, believes that when people have meaning in their work, it brings them a sense of joy. In this episode, Dr. Galuska, and our guest host, Michelle Doran, shed light on the tools and systems necessary to create healthy workplaces where people can flourish professionally and personally. Listen in the hear concrete examples for leaning into work that is full of purpose and how to get proactive about preventing burnout.

Truth You Can Act On

1. Lead Meaningful and Joyful Experiences

Finding meaning and joy is so important for all employees, not just employees in healthcare. Meaning and joy are two components that contribute to our well-being and can ultimately result in being able to flourish as people and professionals. They’re generative, they fuel our fulfillment, our sense of accomplishment as we take on very challenging tasks. Meaning and joy contribute to our satisfaction at work, our engagement, and important outcomes for our patients and our organizations.

2. Customize Resources

One of the things we’re focusing on right now is nurses’ relationships with themselves and how we can support them by making resources available at the times and places that they can easily access them. We have lots of interventions that people can take advantage of at UCLA Health, but sometimes it’s overwhelming to try to wrap your head around, ‘What’s going to help me?’ We’re trying to bring those interventions together in a way that’s easy for nurses to access. Everything from programs for their physical health and stress management, to mindfulness training. We’re working to align and coordinate different activities and really help nurses use them for their own well-being.

3. Create Space for Feedback

We are working on initiatives to make our environments healthier. We are building environments that promote teamwork and the interdependence we have on each other. That includes team training and team building. It also includes training in communication because not everybody has strong communication skills that enable them to be an effective team member, to be able to give feedback, to be able to receive feedback, to provide support, and to provide recognition.

4. Model the Way

I really believe in Kouzes’s and Posner’s work and their book, ‘The Leadership Challenge.’ In it, they talk about five exemplary leadership practices. The first of which is ‘model the way,’ leaders who can actually model what they’re talking about, walk the walk. Also inspiring a vision, a vision of the way things could be if we work well together. Challenging the status quo is another. Challenge the process is the third one. Enabling others to act. It’s about leaders connecting with their people and enabling them to be part of the solution, part of the improvement process so that we can do it together. Once we do that, encouraging the heart is the fifth practice, which is really providing meaningful recognition.


Book Recommendation:

Check out Dr. Galuska’s research on meaning and joy: article one, article two, article three

Listen to the full episode: 175: Joy-Centered Leadership with Dr. Lee Galuska and Michelle Doran


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