From the September 2021 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
By Amanda Hansen
In order to successfully manage a team, leaders need to remember the word “manage” is a verb.
And more than that, it’s an action verb. Management is not supposed to be a passive experience or title one earns with tenure. There is no magic managerial dust you can sprinkle over a group of people to turn them into a successful, trusting, and competent team. It takes work, intention, and active leadership.
I have made it a personal mission to ensure my company is a place where people want to work, rather than a place where people simply go to work. I firmly believe a company is only as good as its people, and if we want to excel for our customers, we must have employees that excel.
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Here are five areas I focus on relentlessly in order to successfully manage teams:
Create a remarkable culture –
Many years ago, while serving a mission for the LDS church, I lived in Mongolia and learned the cultural expression, “nadad chukhal gedgee medrüüleerei,” which translates to “make me feel important.” In Mongolia, this isn’t just a thoughtful adage — it’s a way of life. Because when you make people feel important, you’ve met their greatest emotional need — to feel accepted.
It’s important to note that culture isn’t a given. Managers must consistently and diligently work on it and strive to keep it exceptional. And once you’ve built a great cultural foundation, it’s critical to address any threats — a toxic employee, staff turnover, or burnout — in real time. Hold people accountable and be clear on what you will and won’t tolerate. It takes years to build a great culture, and it can crumble in an instant.
Empower employees –
Nothing stifles productivity like being entangled in a proverbial ball of red tape. When employees feel like they lack the authority or resources to reach their potential, they disengage. But when they’re empowered to find solutions and keep going, they do. Employees who feel supported and encouraged are not only more motivated and creative, they’re also likely to be more loyal and committed to the company. Even better, empowerment is contagious. Empowered people empower people.
Train and develop talent –
Training employees is so much more than handing them an onboarding document on their first day and telling them, “Godspeed.” Because best practices and industry standards evolve, training should be a continuous process. Beyond the basics of how to perform a specific job, proper training and professional development increases employee engagement, productivity, retention, and ultimately company revenue. Employees who are trained and offered opportunities for professional development feel invested in by their company, which makes them more loyal in return. It also gives managers an opportunity to identify unknown skills an employee might have and address any weaknesses.