ALTIUS is back with the second installment of our Fantasy team series. To adequately discuss “team selection” through recruitment and retention strategies, we must first delve into the art of coaching: the good, the bad, and the misconceptions!
Whether you are a hospital executive or department/service-line manager, it’s a high stress/big reward position. Leaders are the face of operations, setting the tone and establishing expectations. Healthcare leaders, like a head coach, are responsible for:
- The development and execution of strategies – this aspect of leadership is critical to successful operations as it gives staff the “play book” by which to perform. Well defined practices eliminate confusion around roles and responsibilities, allowing employees to confidently and effectively contribute. A strong leader will routinely review improvement plans, communicate changes, and seek insight/feedback to reinforce a positive “team” environment. Success and stability attract and retain the best talent. Therefore, coaches with solid “play calling” abilities ultimately strengthen team selection
- The Good: Leaders have the ability to shape operations and develop staff
- The Bad: Leaders have to make the tough decisions when it comes to the direction that improvement strategies take and are ultimately responsible when they fail
- The Misconceptions: Leaders work alone. In reality, collaboration is key! Strong administrators rely on the input of their staff to guide decision-making, creating a healthy work environment
- Cost management – the head coach of any professional team is acutely aware of their recruitment budget, selecting players for each position based on skill, potential, and work ethic without “breaking the bank.” A strong healthcare leader is no exception. Hiring a “star” has its advantages, but the goal is to build a solid team where individual talents benefit the whole
- The Good: Leaders have the authority to reward the successes of their team through recognition as well as monetarily by way of wage increases, bonuses, etc.
- The Bad: Whenever a decision is made, there is a cost associated for which leaders are accountable. When a new hire or management tactic does not work out, it is the administrator that has to course-correct
- The Misconceptions: Successful recruitment/retention comes down to dollars. While remaining competitive in terms of salary is important, in actuality more candidates are attracted to opportunities that offer greater work/life balance, career growth, and an environment where they feel supported both personally and professionally. Leadership has the ability to positively influence all of these aspects
- The physical and emotional well-being of the team – a good coach leads by example both on and off the field. The respect that they receive from their peers, staff, players, and the public is equal to that which they give. Talent and experience may have earned them their position, but the manner in which they lead enables them to keep it. In healthcare, the role is much the same. Leaders are tasked with effectively and empathetically managing the “roster.” They need to be heavily involved, highly visible team members offering staff the flexibility and support to operate at their best, thus making employment more attractive to current and prospective employees
- The Good: Leaders have the greatest influence on implementing meaningful change. They have the ability to update antiquated practices and create new programs that focus on improved safety, mental health, workflow, and employee satisfaction
- The Bad: When a team member struggles, it is the leader that carries the weight. They are responsible for addressing concerns, providing timely solutions, and re-establishing balance which comes with a lot of pressure
- The Misconceptions: A top-down approach is best for creating workplace stability. While having a defined reporting structure and dedicated decision-maker is essential, this outdated management style no longer produces successful outcomes alone. Now collaboration and open communication amongst the entire team to guide management directives is essential to developing practices that are better structured and more well received
- Making sure the proper equipment and resources are available – the old adage “there is no “I” in team” speaks to partnership, but also to the importance of a strong support system. A head coach does not lead the team alone. There are assistant coaches and team captains that provide a “boots on the ground” approach to management, serving as direct resources for addressing the immediate needs of the team and offering specific expertise to help expand the players’ skillsets. In addition, ensuring that the proper tools are available for the timely, safe, and successful execution of each team member’s role is equally critical to building confidence and positive morale. Equally, having an appropriately layered reporting structure in healthcare provides stability and offers employees growth potential which is appealing to any new hire
- The Good: Leaders have support that they can rely on for help with day-to-day operations and trust to be the liaison between administration and the staff. This serves to distribute some of the management responsibilities and allow for a wider span of control
- The Bad: Capital purchases pertaining to equipment and software upgrades/replacements are very expensive with an extremely slow approval process. Inefficiencies often result as staff are forced to implement work-arounds and/or even complete redundant tasks in order to maintain workflow
- The Misconceptions: New equipment/systems are better than the old. While further automation can be a big time-saver in healthcare, there is still a steep learning curve for staff until they become proficient at using the new tools at their disposal
Stay tuned for our next segment, where we will discuss “red zone” performance, breaking down the best practices for consistently meeting and/or exceeding operational and financial goals. To learn more about our services, reach out directly at [email protected] or visit our website at www.altiushcg.com.