5 Strategies to Resurrect Leader Starved Health Care Teams

Heath care is undergoing significant changes that will require innovative and skilled leaders. In fact, integrated health care teams are being formed and piloted to provide quality patient care at a reduced cost. Skilled leaders that can bring a multidisciplinary group of individuals together will be in demand. However, what can you do if your teams are leaderless? Furthermore, all members of a team are potential leaders. This article will present 5 strategies that you can implement to move the teams forward.



Strategy #1 Build Trust

Trust is essential if teams are to work well together. The leader sets the tone and example for trust. The team members must step up to the plate and build an atmosphere of trust. Define trust and what that behavior looks like for your team. Teams must practice behaviors that promote trust. Trust is promoted when team members treat each other with respect.

Strategy #2 Understand the Differences Among Team Members

All health care professionals have different work and communication styles. Therefore, it is important that teams understand those differences if they are to work together more effectively. Administer a behavioral assessment which describes the differences between individuals. Debrief the assessment in order that teams understand themselves and other team members.

I use the Birkman assessment. The Birkman method is designed to help teams discover, clarify and align strengths; build self-awareness of individual strengths, motivators, underlying needs and stress points; develop strategies for improvement; and encourage individual and team accountability.

Strategy #3 Establish a Culture that Values Leadership Development

Setting up a health care culture that values the learning journey is critical. Often when a health care organization is told to cut costs, the first thing that gets cut is training. Don’t be tempted to cut training. In fact, expand training. Be creative in providing leadership training opportunities. Investing in the leadership skills of team members will pay deep dividends in the long run. The leadership potential of the team members will show up. They will be motivated to support the organization and move the team into the future. Rotate the members of the team into various leadership roles. Let individuals shadow other leaders.

Strategy #4 Allow Individuals to Work in Their Strengths

Every individual has particular strengths. One individual may be good at data analysis and another at idea generation. Ensure that each team member explores their strengths. Assessments are available to discover strengths. When health care teams work in their strengths, results are impressive. Members of the team that work in their strengths are motivated and enjoy going to work e