The importance of effective healthcare leadership is too hard to ignore. As the world deals with the risks and uncertainties brought by the pandemic, healthcare institutions need influential leaders to inspire teams, improve productivity and help achieve organizational goals.
Healthcare leaders are usually responsible for putting procedures and policies in place to keep things running smoothly and ensure the care provided is consistent. They may also be responsible for tracking and providing feedback on staff performance and listening and acting on patient feedback to ensure high-quality care.
In this article, we’ll talk about the steps you can take to become an effective leader within the healthcare industry.
Engage in honest and open communication
Poor communication is a significant issue within the healthcare industry. According to a recent study by the Joint Commission, 80% of serious medical errors resulted from healthcare professionals during patient handovers. When healthcare leaders cannot communicate effectively, the efficiency of each procedure can take a toll and potentially result in additional costs or even death to patients.
Healthcare leaders must work with team members, patients, and other healthcare professionals. Therefore, it’s important to know how to communicate effectively with all of these various parties in order to express your ideas and goals clearly.
For instance, if you are a senior physician, your role may involve working with your facility’s administrative team. In that case, you must communicate well across departments to ensure all members work toward facility goals.
Your organization and its employees are a reflection of yourself. Your team will follow if you make honest and ethical communication a fundamental value.
It is, however, worth noting that you will need to customize your interaction and communication style to suit each situation and member when working with your team. This means taking the time to determine which communication style is preferred by each team member. Through this process, you can increase employee engagement as you work toward a common goal.
Communication is not a one-way street. As a healthcare leader, you must learn to give your team members the attention they need to establish trust quickly. When you sit down to talk and genuinely listen to the thoughts and feelings of your team members, you can make them feel heard and more accountable for their work.
Know when to delegate
The importance of proper delegation is no longer an option in achieving effective healthcare leadership. Recent data shows that 79% of employees quit because of the lack of appreciation and recognition within the workplace.
As a healthcare leader, you must understand your team member’s strengths and weaknesses to prevent employee turnover and increase job satisfaction.
When used effectively, delegation can help leaders save time and provide other benefits such as the following:
- Allow healthcare leaders to concentrate on more challenging tasks
- Create a strong working relationship with teams
- Promote the most effective usage of staff
Assigning your team member into a healthcare task without training and equipping them with the right skills to succeed can be a recipe for disaster. For effective delegation, you must provide your employees with the skills they need, such as training them in using hospital management systems, so that they can take the initiative on tasks and drive them forward.
You can also provide your own demonstration of a task. By letting your team member watch how you handle healthcare processes, you can ensure that they can take over seamlessly.
Seek professional growth opportunities
Continuously seeking opportunities to grow professionally is another way of becoming an effective leader.
Like it or not, the healthcare industry does not run on autopilot. Now and then, innovative technologies and processes emerge to ensure better healthcare. You must constantly update and develop new skills to stay on top of these changes and remain competitive in a cutthroat industry.
So, how do you seek professional growth opportunities? Do you need to attend cross-country healthcare leadership seminars? Do you have to leave work for a while?
Not necessarily. With technological advancements, you can now seek growth opportunities in the comfort of your home.
These growth opportunities can range from getting certified online or pursuing an MBA in healthcare management at a prestigious academic institution such as Walsh University.
The advantage of online MBAs in healthcare management is that they allow you to seek advancement opportunities without stepping back from your job.
With their busy schedules and many responsibilities, a healthy work-life balance is hard to pull off for many healthcare professionals. When you add education into the mix, balance can become even more of an afterthought.
With online MBAs, though, healthcare leaders can balance their priorities since they can attend a class at a time that does not interfere with their professional commitments. This is because online MBAs are flexible and designed to suit your schedule and not the other way around. As a result, you can maintain an active social life and perform work duties easier while working towards enhancing your leadership skills.
Since you have complete control over your learning, you can move quickly through your coursework and get your degree sooner. The online nature of these courses also lets you easily review topics that weren’t clear and ensure you can master them before moving to the next one. This can be especially critical as a leader since you must lead by example and demonstrate self-confidence with your work.
When leaders believe in their abilities and commit to using their skills to achieve organizational goals, they can inspire their team members to follow in their footsteps.