The health care industry can be extremely complex and fast-paced. From changing regulations to an ever-shifting business environment, health care organizations need knowledgeable and level-headed health care administrators to keep operations running smoothly. As a developing health administration leader, you will be required to handle complicated managerial responsibilities on a daily basis. In order to be a successful health administrator leader, here are a few key management tips to follow:
1. Learn how to communicate effectively
The ability to communicate effectively is one of the most important traits any health administrator can possess. Every organization, from high-level government agencies to family-run small businesses, requires a certain level of communication between those in charge and the employees who work for them. Without this degree of communication, projects, tasks and responsibilities will fall through the cracks or people will make mistakes.
As a health administration leader, you must be able to clearly and concisely convey your message to your staff, coworkers, clients and superiors. Communicate deadlines, assignments, praise and criticism as directly as possible. This way, everyone on your team will know what is expected of them and what they should accomplish moving forward. Otherwise, employees may grow confused and eventually resentful because they are never positive about their accomplishments and outcomes.
2. Invest in your teams
Many health care leaders must possess necessary interpersonal skills in order to succeed. This type of emotional skill set involves a couple of different skills categories, which are relationship building and delegating. In order to invest in your teams, you must first be able to build and foster meaningful relationships with them. This does not mean you must be friends or very close with all of your staff. What this does entail is that you are able to collaborate, listen and generally work well with others.
Instead of simply telling your staff what to do and then moving on, you should take time to identify what individual skills your personnel have and what they specifically have to offer your team as a whole. For example, you may recognize that one of your nurses is particularly gifted interacting with patients’ family members or another is highly organized and would be well suited for running the front desk. Essentially, investing in your teams is all about taking time to learn their strengths and interests and then tailor your management style to accommodate these factors.
The ability to delegate means that you trust your staff enough to accomplish essential tasks in order to foster department-wide growth. After all, you cannot do everything on your own, which is why you must take a step back and allow your employees to do their work. This will allow them to grow into their role and teach others in the future.
3. Think critically and be decisive
Being a health administrator means that you are the one to make difficult decisions about hiring, finances, health care strategies and more. As a manager, you cannot afford to become indecisive because you have an entire team, department or organization depending on you. This is why the ability to think critically, especially under pressure, is so essential for developing health care leaders.
Not all decisions will be easy to make, either. The health care industry is experiencing massive changes regarding regulations and standards, which is why you may encounter unpopular situations throughout your career. Despite this challenge, you must remain strong and not back down from what you believe is right.
4. Set reasonable and actionable goals
An essential trait of being a good leader is the ability to set reasonable and achievable goals for your team. All your best efforts may feel aimless or that they are not contributing to the overall growth of your organization without goal setting. Therefore, establish objectives and both short- and long-term goals for your department in order to push your team toward success. Yet, don’t just set these goals, you also need to create actionable steps in order to reach them. Evaluate everything from working conditions to workplace satisfaction levels to available resources in order to know exactly what it will take to reach your department’s goals.
5. Measure and track everything
From marketing to health care, every industry now heavily relies on metrics and analytics to drive growth and make smarter decisions. You must measure everything at your organization or in your department in order to benchmark your progress or recognize weak areas you need to improve on. After all, you cannot know what you are doing right without tracking what works and what doesn’t. There are plenty of data-driven tools available you can leverage at your health care facility. Choose one that is right for your specific operations and long-term goals.
6. Lead by example
As the boss, your employees will look to you for how to react in certain situations, or how they should handle various difficulties they encounter. You are likely the face of your department, which is why everything you say or do may be under scrutiny by your peers, employees or superiors. For example, if you are frequently agitated or don’t treat your workers with respect, you are setting a negative tone for your entire department.
You cannot expect your employees to do their best if you are not willing to do the same. Therefore, pay attention to how your actions and words are perceived to others. Understand that the best leaders did this by creating a good example for their employees to follow. While no one is perfect, a large factor in becoming a great leader is learning how to inspire and win over the people around you. Take time to become a strong and evocative health administrator leader for your department.
If you are interested in advancing in health management and leadership, you should consider pursuing an online Master of Health Administration degree from the University of Cincinnati. Whether you are already working in the health care field or hoping to launch a successful administrative career, an MHA may be the right choice for you. Contact us today to learn more about our intensive curriculum offerings.