Contracted Environmental Services: an Incubator for Future Leaders

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Much like the rest of healthcare, Environmental Services (EVS) is progressing through considerable change. Measures of performance have changed from more subjective, human measures of cleanliness to increasingly complex data-driven metrics amidst a backdrop of regulatory demands and productivity expectations. In a people driven industry like EVS, these parameters and expectations require a strategic approach involving both improved technology and innovative leadership.

In EVS, much has been made of the technological advancements being implemented to improve patient safety while driving productivity. Some examples include Xanitos’ XRO System, Clorox’s UVDI, an arsenal of innovative chemicals such as EcoLab’s Oxycide and Brutab’s Defender and a rapidly growing pool of throughput data arising out of electronic health records. But as with any tool, it is only as good as the people that use and manage them. These new tools require leaders to possess an analytical yet creative approach such that performance goals are realized. Simultaneously, these leaders must be emotionally intelligent and effective as both written and oral communicators to ensure all members of the EVS and Care Experience team are engaged in the strategies to drive performance metrics.

To attract these future leaders, organizations are realizing that a more traditional approach of simply out-paying the market is increasingly less effective. A more flexible and holistic approach to compensation is needed whereby compensation is viewed as being inclusive of more than a paycheck: career development and advancement opportunities, variety of tasks and challenges, work-life balance and the ability to contribute to a team; further, many employees want to enjoy the structure that comes with established systems but also the excitement that comes with something new. Not many industries can genuinely claim to offer on all of these varied job expectations; but contracted Environmental Services is one.

At Xanitos, EVS Managers utilize both simple (fluorescent markers) and technologically advanced tools (ATP swabs) to inspect quality, but in all cases data is documented and analyzed for patterns. In transitions to new EVS programs, Managers are a part of a “Start-Up Team” to not only establish more productive and effective systems for staffing, scheduling, patient experience and general cleanliness, but also to engage with staff in reciprocal learning to ensure hospital specific demands and nuances are accounted for. This environment, while very fast-paced, fosters the teamwork and creativity that comes in a time-sensitive project. In management, Xanitos leaders are coached and mentored by our own industry specialists as well as health care leaders that Xanitos serves. Exposure to senior leadership is prevalent enabling not only excellent opportunity for mentorship but also influence for those who have the passion, enthusiasm and creativity to capitalize on this opportunity.

Career development is perhaps where the specialist contracted EVS industry, in particular growth companies such as Xanitos, excel the most. Tailored development plans, quarterly evaluations, monthly one on ones, weekly meetings and frequent team socials all feed into a culture of development and advancement. The aforementioned access to mentorship and senior leadership in combination with frequent development and education mechanisms all frame out a philosophy predicated on preparation. While high performing EVS leaders advance quickly based on a combination of their performance and the opportunity that exists within a growing specialist contracted EVS company, the advancement at Xanitos is incremental and cognizant of client-hospital specific needs, preparing both our leaders and hospital clients for continued and sustained success.

Xanitos is working to connect future leaders with the field of Environmental Services through connecting at universities, colleges, job fairs and online with the goal of introducing individuals with interests in hospitality, business and analytics to see the opportunity that exists in this increasingly dynamic industry.

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