Whether you work in a hospital, private practice, health maintenance organization, government facility, or university, you probably supervise other people. Your behavior as a manager has a direct impact on staff performance, productivity, satisfaction, and tunover. In this article, an expert management consultant examines qualities of managers who motivate, providing proven techniques to inspire those who work for you.
Perhaps the single most important technique for motivating the people you supervise is to treat them the same way you wish to be treated: as responsible professionals. It sounds simple; just strike the right balance of respect, dignity, fairness, incentive, and guidance, and you will create a motivated, productive, satisfying, and secure work environment.
Unfortunately, as soon as the complexities of our evolving health care delivery system mix with human relationships, even the best-intentioned supervisors can find the management side of their jobs deteriorating into chaos. Today’s health care providers face expanding workloads, fewer resources, greater patient expectations, increasing threats (e.g., malpractice lawsuits), and closer scrutiny, especially from third-party providers. The art of healing is being transformed into a business. And like it or not nurse practitioners and physician assistants often find themselves in middle-management roles, with tremendous responsibility and little real authority. Job performance is reflected more in the bottom line than in the quality of patient care. Why, in this environment, do some managers thrive while others burn out? The answers lie in each manager’s ability to inspire trust, loyalty, commitment, and collegiality among team members. The same techniques that work elsewhere in business can bring success in nursing and medicine – whether you’re working in clinical practice, administration, or academia. More often than not, though, the task can be accomplished only by replacing learned behaviors with newer, more effective models.