When you are a healthcare manager, there is a lot more to the job than many people might think. Rather than simply making sure what needs to be done is done, you need to do more – you need to go further, ensuring that not only are things done, but done well (exceptionally well, in fact). You have ultimate control of how well the healthcare facility, or your department, depending on where you are working, runs, and that will have a far-reaching impact if you can do it well, just as it will have a potentially devastating impact if things go wrong.
This might sound stressful, but remember; as a manager, there are sure to be challenges to face every day – that’s what the job entails. Therefore, if you want to do as well as possible and continue moving forward, it’s a good idea to learn how to be a better healthcare manager. In that way, you’ll always be a positive influence and you will find those challenges are easier to overcome. With that in mind, read on to find out how you can be a better healthcare manager.
One of the most important aspects of management in general, as well as specifically healthcare management, is communication. That communication has to be clear and frequent, and it has to make sense. It shouldn’t just be orders for orders’ sake; there has to be a reason behind everything, and that reason should be concisely communicated to get the best results.
The communication between you and your team is crucial. Once a project has been determined and roles received, you will need to check in on a regular basis to ensure things are going well and the results are what you wanted. This is very different from micro-managing, which should be avoided if at all possible (micro-managing is the process of watching every move a team or employee makes and getting involved every step of the way). You need to be able to trust your team to do the job you have asked them to do, but by checking in now and then, you can show them that you are interested and are there to help if necessary.
Plus, regular communication means that your instructions will be easier to understand, and if there are any questions, they can be dealt with before any mistakes are made. This will allow the team to feel empowered but secure in their work, and that’s exactly how a good healthcare manager should make their team feel.
Gain Additional Qualifications
There is always more to learn in any area of life and work, and that is as true for healthcare managers as anyone else. It’s true that to get to the level you have reached, you will have gained a lot of experience and have certain knowledge and qualifications to show for it, but that should not be an end to your education. Any healthcare manager who feels they can stop learning once they reach the position they were aiming for would be making a big mistake.
The interesting thing about healthcare is that it is constantly changing. It evolves quickly, meaning that something you learned during your training may not be relevant today, or perhaps it is still important, but for different reasons. Plus, more and more innovations are coming into the healthcare industry and the general workforce, including remote working and digital collaboration tools, for example, that would be useful for your team – if you don’t keep up to date with what is happening in this regard, your healthcare facility will fall behind.
Although there are many different ways to keep learning, and reading journals and industry-specific news and blogs is a great way to keep abreast of many of the changes, another good idea is to work towards an MBA in healthcare administration. Doing this will teach you many things about, as the name suggests, healthcare administration, but also about leadership and business skills, all of which combine to create an ideal team leader and manager who can progress the healthcare facility or department they are working in to higher levels.
Lead By Example
The worst kind of healthcare manager is one who tells people what to and would never do that work themselves. An even poorer manager is one who tells people what not to do, and then goes against their own rules and does what they would not want their team members to do.
To be a good healthcare manager, you need to be prepared to lead by example. If there is a job that needs to be done, you need to be willing to do it – even if it’s a team member’s task. If there is a rule in place that means your employees can’t do something, you should also follow that rule. If not, your leadership will be called into question, and people will instantly lose respect for you. That means no matter what you ask of your team, they won’t be happy to do it, knowing that you don’t even follow your own rules. In other words, why should they follow them if you don’t?
When you are a healthcare manager, you’ll have a set of principles to guide you and your team to better things. Make sure you always follow these principles and you’ll be able to rely on your team to do the same. This should not be a hard thing to do, and if you find it difficult to stick to your own rules, it is well worth looking at those rules and considering whether they make sense or not. If you need to amend them, it’s crucial you do so – this is not a sign of weakness but is instead a sign that you understand how to lead and manage and that you aren’t afraid to learn from your mistakes and listen to feedback. Again, this will be a great way to lead by example.
Dialogue And Feedback
Relating to the above point, it’s useful to remember that when you lead a team, it’s best to be part of that team and not apart from that team. This doesn’t mean that you have to work on the same tasks as everyone else (it may be something you want to do from time to time, but as a manager, you need to oversee, and being involved in this way might make that difficult), but it does mean that you have to be someone who the team members can rely on and who they can come to if they have a complaint, a problem, or some positive ideas to put forward.
As a healthcare manager, it wouldn’t be a good idea to try to be friends with your team in the same way as they will be friends with one another. This could lead to potential difficulties when it comes to discipline, for example, and you don’t want to be seen as having favourites either. However, being aloof is just as bad; no one will know how to talk to you. You’ll need to find an ideal spot in the middle that works best to be a healthcare manager. Be there for your team, answer their questions and help them when they need additional support, and then leave them to do their job in their own way.
Regarding the feedback you might receive from your team, if you want to be a better healthcare manager, you do need to listen to it. However, this doesn’t mean you have to make immediate changes – or any changes at all. Listen to the suggestions and determine whether the ideas have merit or not. Only implement the ones that will help your department and your team. In this way, that team will know you listen and that you think things through, ensuring that their working conditions are the best they can be.
Get To Know The Team
Although you shouldn’t become good friends with your team members if you want to maintain their respect as a healthcare manager, you do need to know them. Rather than thinking of the team as one entity, the best thing you can do is to understand more about each individual person involved in it. There are several reasons for this.
The first reason is that this will help your team feel appreciated and understood. It will ensure they know their work is important, and that they are needed rather than being a cog in a machine that could be swapped out whenever the need arises. Secondly, it will help you be a better healthcare manager. The more you know about your team, the more you’ll understand what their strengths and weaknesses are. In this way, you can allocate tasks accordingly, making sure that everyone is playing to their strengths.
You could also implement training to improve the areas in which people are much weaker. Put all this together, and you can create a strong, stable, trustworthy team that works hard and gets great results.