In our industry, our success depends on developing, maintaining, and championing lasting relationships with our self-insured clients, TPAs, vendors, brokers, and maybe most importantly, our coworkers. We’re only as strong as the people on our team and to be successful, you need people you can depend on. So how do you build an effective team? Here are some key components to consider:
- Put the right person in the right position, know each team member’s strengths
- Value your teammates and their unique contributions
- Check your ego at the door
- Give credit for their ideas and successes
- Make sure you have shared goals
- Consistently provide feedback
- Trust your team
- Be flexible and responsive
- Adapt your communication style to match your team’s individual differences
- Be open and receptive to ideas and input from your team
- Transparency is critical
- Invest in your team members, get to know them individually, find out what motivates them and help them continue to develop their skill set
Once you have established an effective team, make sure to cultivate relationships to keep it strong. Clients and employees remember productive interactions and associate that positive experience with your organization. Fostering teamwork is part of creating a work culture that values collaboration. This culture of teamwork creates opportunities to work together and use all available resources and skills to reach common goals.
One of our more recent innovations was to create a Client Consult team, staffed with managers who are experienced and well versed in collaboration. We have been able to work effectively with our external clients to save them money on their problematic claims. It’s not one person’s success that proves our effectiveness, but rather working together with coworkers to deliver a quality product to our clients. As a result of this team’s work, they have been instrumental in retaining accounts and increasing the visibility of what makes our organization unique and among the best in the industry.
Communication is one of the foundational pillars of this team. Sharing timely updates while working independently at the same time is essential. More importantly, maintaining a good interpersonal relationship forms people into a team. Team communication is a bridge that links each team member, and it creates a collective identity It fosters a sense of belonging and helps team members work together as a unit. I would encourage you to set a precedent for sharing ideas and welcoming new perspectives. No idea should be off-limits. Listen without judgment and foster an environment where it’s okay to respectfully disagree, apologize, and admit mistakes without negative ramifications. This is how innovation and great teamwork happen.
Relationships are not built overnight or by sheer will. They take actual work and dedication. Knowing your value and more importantly, knowing the value of your team can lead to successful and long-lasting business relationships.
*The views and opinions expressed in the Public Risk Management Association (PRIMA) blogs are those of each respective author. The views and opinions do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of PRIMA.*
By: Patty Reinecke, RN, BSN, CCM, MSCC
Senior Medical Consultant, Midwest Employers Casualty
Summary of Qualifications
Patty is a certified case manager with 23 years of experience directly handling workers’ compensation claims.
Patty is responsible for working in concert with internal and external team members to employ the most effective cost containment measures to medically stabilize claims. She reviews and interprets medical data to ensure all treatment is reasonable and necessary. She also projects future medical costs based on current diagnosis and treatment and develops partnerships with external third party administrators, attorneys, employers, internal analysts and attorneys to develop a plan of action to bring cases to successful resolution. Patty evaluates Medical Set Asides (MSAs) to ensure the allocations are accurate to prepare for settlement of workers’ compensation claims.
Midwest Employers Casualty
Senior Medical Management Consultant, August, 2008 – present
Missouri Baptist Medical Center
Manager, Workers’ Compensation Department, December 2003 – August 2008
Broadspire (formerly Kemper National Services)
Senior Regional Supervisor, February 1997 – November 2003
Onsite Case Management, June 1994 – January 1997
Certified Case Manager (CCM) #021861
Medicare Set Aside Certified Consultant (MSCC) #1043
Maryville University, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, May 1993
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