The best managers in any industry recognize the intrinsic value in understanding what makes their workers tick. This is especially true in healthcare, where highly-skilled knowledge workers make up the majority of the workforce. Culture suffers when a manager fails to adapt their style to the individual needs of the workers they are responsible for. But how can managers do this effectively?
How to Manager the Personality Nuances of Your Workforce
Your healthcare workforce is made up of individuals with needs, wants, and priorities that are different. They are not cut from cookie cutters, so healthcare managers must adapt their leadership styles to fit individuals and the team as a whole.
To do this, managers must assess the personalities of the individuals around them. Consider how your communication style should change when dealing with different types of people on your team. Knowing when to be assertive over being passive is just one example of how a manager can change their style to fit the personality of their employee. But what leadership style works best given the personality of your team? Consider these examples:
- Autocratic or authoritarian leaders set rules, procedures, and strict policies. In healthcare, this goes beyond clinical best practices to embrace the most minute daily details. As you might imagine, this style might not work with many of the headstrong doctors we handle! However, this style could be effective with an employee that prefers supervision.
- Democratic leaders engage their workers in the decision-making process whenever possible. They often delegate authority while still having ultimate responsibility. This hierarchy works well in healthcare, where highly skilled frontline workers have the training to make split-second decisions that affect patient outcomes. However, in an administrative back office setting, this approach could backfire.
- Laissez-faire leaders don’t provide much in the way of employee supervision, instead, allowing them to handle their own workload. This works well with self-motivated or highly-trained staff. However, new employees or perhaps less-experienced workers may not benefit from this approach.
- Transactional leaders are common in the business world. These managers set goals and tasks for workers, and when the team achieves them, offer a reward. At the same time, this could work in a unit setting in a healthcare facility, or as part of team building. If you have an employee that is motivated by reward, this is a good way to lead.
- Transformational leaders offer their employees the vision and then build collaboration with workers. The goal is to inspire, lead, and thereby mold the team into something better than they were before. The best CEOs exhibit these skills, both in healthcare facilities and in general business. However, employees that are reluctant to embrace change may not see the value of this approach.
Changing your leadership style starts by understanding your community healthcare workforce. UHC Solutions helps FQHCs and Community Health Centers form more productive teams by connecting them with top skilled clinical and administrative employees. Talk with us today to find out how we can help.