Every person alive today is facing unprecedented circumstances. We can’t use our experiences to guide us on what we should do. We can’t offer words of wisdom to our children. Even my 100-year-old grandmother cannot offer advice. Our lives have profoundly changed in a very short time.
But we can still find a roadmap to navigate through these strange times if we broaden our scope and look at every hardship we have overcome as a guide. Think back: tough times have either brought out the best in us or the worst in us. In today’s crisis, the one thing we can control is whether we will dig deep and find our best, or let fear control us and bring out our worst.
It’s normal during these times for humans to snap into survival mode and adopt an “us vs. them” mentality (whoever “them” is for you). But the best of us get through it with the help of others, not by treating others as “them.”
The best in us will treat others as if they are teammates. Yes, that includes our family, especially the kids since school is closed. It also includes our staff, our patients, grocery store workers, gas station attendants, vendors… simply everyone.
It’s easy to “team up” with our coworkers, patients, and loved ones. It’s not as easy to unite with everyone else and not unusual for us to put everyone else into the “them” pile – just look how many grocery store workers were mistreated these last few weeks. After all, the presence of “them” helped us direct our anger at something.
Here’s my invitation to you: start treating “them” as your teammates. Social distancing doesn’t mean emotional distancing. On the contrary, the farther apart we are physically, the more we need to stay connected with each other. In business, now more than ever, this concept of connecting, partnering, and collaborating is the secret to surviving this impactful healthcare crisis.
I want to share a shining example of such a partnership as a solutions provider with The Beryl Institute. ImageFIRST Healthcare Laundry Specialists has been a partner with the Institute since 2016 and, like other solutions providers, we were looking forward to participating in the 2020 Patient Experience Conference. During a recent call with my contact Russell to talk about the unavoidable need to transition the conference to a virtual event, I was struck by the level of caring and concern he showed during our initial chat. The conversation started with Russell asking about my family and our health. He continued by asking, “How can we get through this together?”
To me, these words reflected how I’ve always experienced The Beryl Institute: caring, compassionate, supportive. I felt like a teammate. Switching to a virtual conference was not going to be easy, but Russell made it abundantly clear that the Institute valued its partnership with ImageFIRST above all else. I was personally grateful for such a collaborative and caring approach to this change.
Strong partnerships are the backbone to survival during tough times like we are experiencing today. Currently, the healthcare landscape is unrecognizable, with non-emergent facilities closed, temporary overflow hospitals opening, and a flood of patients expanding the need for more scrubs, clean curtains, and reusable isolation gowns. That is why we at ImageFIRST have worked with each of our clients to accommodate this increased need, ensuring we can provide safe, sanitized linen and uninterrupted service to them during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Emergency situations can often lead to new relationships, and that is what ImageFIRST has experienced during the crisis as well, and another great example of partnership in a challenging time. Teaming up with many new healthcare providers who are struggling, we have been able to keep up with the heightened linen demand of our healthcare customers to keep the heroes on the front lines safe; clearly an example of “better together.”
Finally, as a healthcare solutions provider in our new existence, ImageFIRST is making the health and safety of our associates and customers a top priority by increasing our infection prevention processes. Through teamwork and partnerships, patients and staff can be confident their linen is as clean and safe as possible.
At the end of the day, there is no “them.” Starting now, why don’t we begin treating the people in our lives as teammates so we can work together to get to the other side of this crisis. Let’s dig deep and bring out our best, so we get through this together – socially distant, yes, but united!
Magali Tranié is the Executive Director of Marketing for ImageFIRST Healthcare Laundry Specialists. Magali has been partnering with internal and external customers for over 20 years, building strong relationships and mutually beneficial programs. She has worked with local, national, and global teams towards common goals and has been called a “consensus builder.”