4 Keys to Building Winning Teams in Healthcare
Healthcare relies on collaboration. Each role in the healthcare organization plays a vital part in a patient’s care, and when people work together well, the organization thrives. Building winning healthcare teams is key to an organization’s success, even if it’s not always easy to do, especially at scale.
“With all of the turmoil in healthcare in general, such as insurance changes, regulatory changes, cost-cutting and new technology, it can be a very distracting and challenging environment, which means working as a team has never been more important,” says Bill Mugavin, Senior Consultant and Account Lead of FlashPoint, a business consulting company that works with healthcare organizations.
Here are four best practices on how to build winning healthcare teams.
1. Hire Up
One of the best ways to add to the team is to hire people who raise the bar for everyone else, says Susan Gilell-Stuy, a corporate executive coach. “The goal is to constantly boost the talent pool, create ongoing intellectual diversity and learn from each team member’s knowledge and expertise,” Gilell-Stuy says. Every hire is an opportunity to improve the team, department and organization as a whole.
Healthcare HR leaders can explore using personality assessments and other tools to identify the qualities and skills that will elevate the teams you have. Adding people with strong skills and abilities can put those teams on a path to improvement.
2. Establish a Leader
Teams need leaders. A leader may step forward if one isn’t named, but when building teams in healthcare, department heads and managers should establish leaders on teams to ensure they work more efficiently and are accountable to one person.
When picking a leader, look for someone who can see the big picture. “A leader thinks big and lets their team call the cadence,” Gilell-Stuy says. Leaders need to see how the team fits into the organization and then identify the best ways to use its strengths. They’ll need to serve as an advocate for team members, but also step out of the way as they’re striving toward their goal, Gilell-Stuy says.
3. Set Shared Goals
The purpose of a team is to get everyone working in the same direction. “Before people can work together effectively, they need to have a shared sense of purpose or direction. Shared hopes boost effective collaboration,” says Don Maruska, a business coach who focuses on improvement. These goals may be set by the team leader, department head or other manager.
Aligning team goals with the goals of the organization can help boost performance. Maruska recommends taking the time to have team members talk about their hopes for the organization as a whole and why those hopes are important to them to get a sense of how the team can work together more effectively.
4. Facilitate the Process
One of HR’s strengths is making sure processes are clear and efficient, and that can help with building winning teams. HR can help a team understand its purpose, ensure everyone has the training they need, encourage healthy dissent and conflict, and foster camaraderie and cooperation through team-building exercises. Once the team has some successes under its belt, HR should communicate those successes throughout the organization, Mugavin says.
Building teams takes time and effort. But putting in the work to get it right can help healthcare organizations achieve greater success down the road.