Shared Governance is a model of collaboration in which decisions about practice are made by the people who will be carrying out the work. Our experts offer structures, processes, and education to support your vision for shared governance.
We provide education that enhances staff members’ ability to make the best decisions for your organization, while developing a new level of ownership for their work. We not only support staff members as they embark on increased ownership; we also support the leaders who, more often than not, have to change the way they lead.
Shared governance is a structure and process for partnership, equity, accountability, and ownership. It puts the responsibility, authority, and accountability for practice related decisions into hands of the individuals who will operationalize the decision. It is also a leadership development strategy and a key expression of an organizations culture. Shared governance is not the replacement or elimination of positional leadership, a strategy to support downsizing leadership, or self-governance. Leadership will continue to have responsibility for regulatory requirements, immediate safety concerns, performance management and operations decision such as hiring and staffing. Decisions relating to practice are the ones that should be decided in a shared decision making model.
The benefits of shared governance has been cited for years in stronger staff ownership of data and outcomes, healthier work environments, increased employee satisfaction and retention, better patient experience, and of course the financial benefits tied to all of these improvements. Staff members participating in shared governance also express appreciation for increased autonomy and a stronger sense of meaning and purpose in their work. It is gratifying for staff and leaders to see the accomplishments from council work, and the sharing of data through shared governance structures ensures that data drives practice.
Many organizations start off with strong shared governance structures in place and lose steam over the years. Councils and committees are still meeting, yet it seems as though nothing is happening. Meeting time is costly in financial, human, and time resources. Make sure councils and committees have a strong purpose or goal, and state that goal at the top of your meeting agenda. When building your agenda keep in mind the goals of the group and attach times to each agenda item. This will help the group accomplish the ultimate council and committee goal, to improve the human experience and outcomes.
Strategic planning is an important part of shared governance. High-functioning shared governance cultures engage in routine planning, typically on an annual basis, during a facilitated retreat that includes people from all levels of the organization. This planning meeting is used to determine what is working well, what is not working well, what the councils need to do more of or less of. These tips can help you create and implement an effective strategic plan.
by Amber Orton, MBA, MSN, RN, NE-BC Shared governance councils are often challenged with recruiting new members to replace council members who are due to