In today’s Healthcare Technology Management (HTM) environment of staff shortages, budget restraints and constant changes in technology, it can certainly lead to turmoil and frustration in the workplace. Managers must be able to adapt their leadership style to manage a chaotic environment that includes constant fluctuations and changes in health care technological advancements. They need to determine the best strategies to overcome obstacles and lead their team to achieve success in this complex and unpredictable environment.
Change can be very disruptive and a sudden need for upgrades in health care technology, restructuring or downsizing can ultimately have an impact on the stability of the team and the organization. Managers should be prepared to anticipate changes in this very competitive environment and consider new strategies and processes. They also should be prepared to address anything that may arise at a moment’s notice.
It is not simple to suddenly change direction for an entire department. However flexibility and focus on the vision and the goals of the organization allow managers to inspire and ensure the conditions allow the team to perform and achieve success.
There are many things leaders can do to better prepare for change. A good leader must possess the skills and ability to anticipate and manage change. Leaders have various backgrounds and experiences, but most share similar skill sets.
Excellent leaders are self-confident, organized and have strong values. Passion, commitment, decision-making ability and strong communication skills are critical to be an effective leader. These qualities help inspire and facilitate the team to accomplish their responsibilities and are especially important during periods of change or transition.
Managers should utilize strategic planning skills to anticipate change, too, which should align with the vision, goals and budget of the organization. Amid change, managers may need to reconsider priorities to ensure the team can accommodate and achieve success in an efficient and orderly manner.
To assist leaders in determining potential changes, it may be helpful to consider some of the following:
• What new technology improvements are needed in the department or the organization that impact the overall workload of the team?
• Are there new systems or processes that need to be adopted and do any of the employees need training to adapt to the new technological advances or processes?
• Consider the expectations of the staff, patients and other customers. Are enhancements needed to assist your department’s support of them? Whether physical or technological modifications, think of features that will improve customer service.
• It is equally important to assess the impact of changes and adapt the appropriate resources to accomplish the initiative. Consider whether a major project has the appropriate budget, time and resources to handle the necessary changes.
• If training is required, request that the new technology includes manufacturer training for an individual and the entire team.
One key to facilitating success in a changing environment is to motivate yourself and your team. Make a positive difference by focusing on what is important. Exhibiting a positive attitude and maintaining integrity at all times is very important, with the end-goal to include improved customer service and team performance. Leaders who demonstrate sincere enthusiasm can motivate their teams to achieve success and overcome many challenges, especially when the team is included in the planning and incorporation of the necessary changes.
Effective managers are able and willing to respond professionally to different perspectives of their team. Solicit and utilize the experience of your staff. It is important to remain open-minded and communicate to your team with sensitivity and respect. Their diversity of generations, experiences and opinions can be invaluable to the acceptance and success of a major project initiative.
Be prepared and stay motivated even in the face of obstacles or setbacks. Remain flexible and willing to adjust your plan when necessary. Sometimes you may need to take a detour along the way, but don’t get discouraged and let this throw you completely off course. Stay committed and keep going.
Successful leaders are proactive and create a strategy that will include a clear plan of action with a list of priorities, timelines and resources. These effective managers will devote a significant effort to lead the team through the chaos, resolving problems and producing results by involving everyone in the change initiative that allows them to succeed.
Adapting your leadership style to manage today’s challenges will ensure success in facilitating your team in this complicated and consistently changing HTM environment.