3 Ways to Develop Effective Healthcare Leaders
Leadership development in healthcare should be an intentional effort that provides current and future leaders the opportunity to learn and grow. It should also advance the organization by focusing on growth, performance, and emotional intelligence and help leaders become more empowered, confident and innovative.
A Gallup study from 2014 indicates that only 10 percent of new managers actually possess the skill to manage. Though many may have the necessary traits, few have the unique combination of talent needed to help a team achieve excellence in a way that will significantly improve a company’s performance. When placed in manager roles, successful leaders engage teams, retain top performers, and sustain a culture of high productivity. They also help employees overcome their weaknesses and fears and push them to do harder, better and more important work.
Here are three best practices you should consider to help guide you toward developing and engaging more productive, successful leaders.
1. Use Assessments to Find Leadership Potential
While employers tend to invest resources into developing their workforce talent—whether through training, mentoring, or 360-degree feedback—many haven’t taken the next step in finding employees best qualified to become the next generation of leaders, says freelance writer Drew Robb in a SHRM article. “A growing number of organizations are turning to online assessments, simulations, web-based games and exercises that measure an employee’s skill and competencies to determine his or her leadership potential.”
These technologies can help flag future leaders based on broad criteria such as employees’ propensity to assume bigger-picture roles, to navigate complexity and to be motivated by achieving results, says Matt Paese, Vice President at Development Dimensions International (DDI). “They may also uncover aspects of an individual’s readiness to lead by capturing his or her experience, behaviors and personality,” Paese says.
2. Prepare Employees for Leadership
Whether leaders are born or cultivated, leadership development programs can be used to educate employees on leadership skills, styles and requirements. Training events, for example, are held to develop new, current and future leaders in the organization, says Regina Shupe, a national speaker and author for the Studer Group, a healthcare performance improvement firm. “The curriculum aligns to the goals of the organization and focuses on the skills and knowledge leaders need to be successful in meeting such goals.”
Leadership development programs also help leaders learn how to deal with managerial stress, rapidly changing work environments, and high workplace demands, says Nick Davis, Business Psychologist and Director at Davis Associates, in a TLNT article. Deploying such programs in healthcare can help leaders navigate through the ever-changing landscape and enables them to respond effectively during tense situations.
3. Offer Opportunities for Growth
Development doesn’t end when leaders assume their positions. Employers should invest in their leaders and provide them with the necessary tools and resources to advance their skills and career. Robyn Melhuish, contributor at Hppy, recommends meeting with leaders individually to determine which skills they want to strengthen, which topics interest them, or what type of education would be most beneficial to them.
Western Missouri Medical Center (Warrensburg, MO), for example, hosts one-day, quarterly Leadership Development Institute (LDI) seminars supplemented by monthly educational Lunch and Learn events, which allows them to gain access to the latest, most effective leadership strategies with their peers in a more interactive and meaningful way.
Great leadership leads to trust, respect, value, and healthy communication. And each outcome connects to the overall goal of building a more productive and engaged workforce—resulting in better clinical outcomes, lower turnover, and less medical errors. How does your healthcare organization foster leadership development? Please share; we’d love to hear from you!