If ever there was a time in healthcare that effective middle managers need to be engaged in the practice success; that time is now. Middle healthcare managers are the first line “go to” person in most practices, clinics and hospitals. They, more even than the C persons, can establish culture, define quality and establish relationships with other employees and patients, not only by how they lead, but more importantly, by their example. They can also facilitate change and create a positive change atmosphere. Engaged (“psychologically committed to their job and likely to be making positive contributions to their organizations.”) middle healthcare managers will do more to keep employees engaged and create a working environment that benefits both the practice and the employee.
So what are the 8 key attributes of a great healthcare manager?
- They know the details of the job, but do not get too bogged down in them. The healthcare business has a great deal of details that must be followed to be successful. These details are processes, technical requirements, payer relationships, customer relationships, and workflow. At any given time have a lot of balls in the air. Knowing how to quickly problem solve and delegate is an important aspect of middle management.
- They have an excellent work ethic – they are consistently at work on time, and work steadily throughout the day at meaningful tasks. (This may sound obvious……sadly, it is not)
- They are good listeners–less focused on imposing their own will than on hearing what others had to say. The ability to listen, actively listen and participate in employee concerns will bring loyalty and attention.
- They are perceptive – able to understand the sometimes subtle issues their direct reports are daily encountering. Being able to know the jobs others are performing helps them to not only set realistic expectations, but also anticipate when they may need additional help or resources.
- They are open communicators – approachable, candid, easy to talk to and available when needed. This skill cannot be over-estimated. The single complaint most often heard from employees is their managers is too busy to listen.
- They possess a calm demeanor – Whether it is a patient or a volume issue, or the provider is behind…or any other number of routine daily stresses, a practice is a stressful place. A really good manager remains calm and knows how to calm others in stressful situations.
- They are genuinely concerned about their direct reports’ well-being -men and women of integrity who care about their employees and can be trusted to keep their word. Integrity is not an old-fashioned word or concept. It is the essence of success.
- They communicate a bold, specific and consistent vision. The vision may come from upper management, but they understand it, totally buy into it and can communicate it by word and deed to employees.
Want to boost your work-force to the next level? Hire a manager that possess the above qualities. You may have to pay them more, but it will be worth it.