Is Leadership in Healthcare Different?

Although senior roles across any large organization or business share many similarities, some fields stand out as different. In healthcare, many different skills are needed than can be found in other occupations.

In fact, to effectively hire senior roles in areas like infection prevention and oncology, it’s worth looking at the unique challenges that recruiting and developing these leaders entails.

It’s obvious why healthcare would have unique needs in its hiring and its requirement for leaders. As an industry, there is nothing quite like it. Practitioners are presented with challenges and risks that might be unimaginable for other fields.

For instance, healthcare is exceptionally highly regulated. That means that surgical services, as an example, must be aware of rules and hoops that leaders in less regulated fields simply need not know. On top of advanced medical knowledge and leadership and business strategy, that means that these successful candidates should also be aware of a wide range of difficult to understand and occasionally arbitrary government regulations.

Any one of these fields might take years to master. All three together require candidates who are incredibly skilled.

It is no wonder, then, that 50% of leaders and managers are estimated to be incompetent. Many of us work with people like this even now. And HR surveys show that only about 25% of leaders are excellent or good.

Why does this happen? Because balancing practical and emotional skills is a significant challenge and leaders can often have difficulty. In healthcare, where the stakes are even higher, and lives may be on the line, these complexities spell out a particular set of needs for senior leadership.

Additionally, each field of medicine can be so different that the senior leadership of a team must be evaluated on an individual system. For example, a social work manager and a nurse manager may share many similar responsibilities, but they also likely differ drastically in specific skills.

The downside is that senior leaders spend so much of their career developing solid skills that they lose knowledge of the broader organization of which they are a part of. That means they may not be thinking strategically about revenue or collaborating with other departments and roles.

Recruiting and engaging top leadership staff is where NHS Solutions excels. We offer interim healthcare leadership specialists. We know that needs vary from client to client, and our team of professionals are experts in their field. Learn more now.

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