It’s no secret that healthcare workers perform acts of heroism every day by doing everything in their power to serve and save the health of anyone charged under their care. While we always knew this to be true, we have seen just how courageous and relentless these professionals are over the past year and a half during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While we may have been cheering them on outside of the hospital walls, it was within the trenches that long-standing problems and broken systems were fully brought to light.
Aside from the more obvious issues – like the fact that many hospitals have been understaffed leaving our healthcare professionals grossly overworked and exhausted – one of the lesser-known difficulties is the lack of proper team leadership that plagues the entire industry.
In the healthcare industry, many leadership positions are filled by the most technically skilled individuals in their fields. But do so often omits a proper assessment of their leadership acumen. This disconnect is amplified by the lack of leadership training most healthcare professionals do not receive. I call this the “Healthcare Leadership Gap.”
These professionals quickly find themselves overwhelmed by the responsibilities of management on top of their technical duties. Due to this lack of training, these men and women are expected to learn how to effectively lead their teams on the job with limited resources and in a high-stress environment. This situation can snowball into problems that can negatively affect people under their care, their peers, and their own success.
Here are 4 common challenges healthcare workers face as a result of the healthcare leadership gap.
- No Clear Goals: Healthcare leaders, are you noticing a disconnect between your expectations for your team, their performance, and the outcome? Have you verbally identified the big picture of what your team is working towards? Have you communicated clearly-defined goals for your team and your practice? Without the proper guidance from their superiors, healthcare workers are left to assume what success looks like for them, which may not work in accordance with your plans for the practice. This lack of vision and goal clarity is one of the most prominent roadblocks to success for healthcare organizations.
- Low Emotional Generosity from Leadership: Emotional generosity refers to a company’s core values and how they are exemplified in leadership. This includes demonstrating empathy for employees, consistently embodying clear values, and engaging in community issues with care and time. Due to their lack of leadership training, many healthcare leaders neglect these sentiments and wind up with an uninspired team who doesn’t feel psychologically safe, heard, or understood.
- Poor Patient-Provider Relationships: A recent study from the Annals of Family Medicine suggests that even the nature of the relationship between a patient and their healthcare provider has the power to influence the patient’s health and recovery process. And yet, these professionals are not adequately trained on how to exhibit the fundamentals of emotional intelligence with their patients. They may have the technical skills down, but without the proper coaching, their patients are likely to have a negative experience.
- Unhappy At Work: According to multiple studies, including one from Oxford University, happy employees are noticeably more productive at work than dissatisfied employees. Just as extraordinary leaders can motivate employees to excel in their roles and buy into the workplace culture, those with poor leadership skills often leave their teams confused, uninspired, and unhappy, all of which correlate with low productivity.
The Solution for Closing the Healthcare Leadership Gap
Proper leadership coaching is the only solution for equipping healthcare leaders with the mindset, skills, and resources they need to lead their teams towards success.
Not convinced you need a leadership coach? Try taking my FREE leadership assessment to see just how well your leadership style stacks up against best practices.
About Dr. Wilkerson, PD, MBA, PCC.
Do you want to increase your impact? Do you want to increase profits under your leadership? Do you want to develop and use your abilities to the fullest to better connect with and lead others? Executive Leadership Coaching covers these bases. Dr. Jerrund Wilkerson, PD, MBA, PCC, has more than 30 years of experience as a successful executive leadership coach in Atlanta, around the United States, and internationally.
As a licensed provider and professionally certified coach, he is particularly passionate about helping develop effective leaders in the healthcare community. Dr. Wilkerson has coached and trained thousands of managers and leaders.
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