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Top Mistakes New Healthcare Managers Make At Work

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Top Mistakes New Healthcare Managers Make At Work

Landing your first healthcare management job is a huge deal. You’re moving up in the worlds food chain and getting recognized for all of your dedication and accomplishments. However, it takes more to be a top-notch manager than just experience and a world-class resume.

At different points in our career, we’ve all had managers that were honestly, not the best at management. That’s alright that they weren’t, not everyone is cut out for a management position, even if they’re in one. It’s never too late though, if you recently landed a job as a manager at your company, you probably want to be the best manager you can be.

Here are some mistakes new healthcare managers make at work that you should try not to fall into yourself, kind of like the ice cream pictured below:


Management Styles - Acting Too Hastily

A lot of new healthcare managers frequently believe that they need to change things around. They place their mark on their own ideas on every policy, procedure, and rule. If there are no policies and rules, they’re often ready to immediately make new ones. They act on poor performance appraisal data. They immediately favor co-worker friends for key assignments, schedules, etcetera. Sometimes moving too fast is also a blessing and a curse, because in many cases you won't be able 

Management Styles - Acting Too Slowly

On the other hand, some managers act with not enough haste, much like a tortoise. Buying into the way of thinking of, “We’ve always done it that way.” can be very true of a new manager with no management experience or very little experience with the company. Or they're just so ingrained in their antiquated way of doing things that they can't possibly picture a world where this doesn't exist as the one and only best solution for the companies problem at hand.

Failing To Assess Properly In Healthcare

Failing to assess properly in healthcare is a mistake in its own right. New managers need to assess situations within an organization, follow expectations handed down by senior management, and assess the strengths and weaknesses of each employee (with a focus on strengths). New managers are typically charged with solving some specific problems, and you cannot ignore them. You also need to meet with each person below you in your chain of command to get to know them personally, and get to know their strengths and their abilities. By learning their strengths and abilities you are able to make better executive healthcare management decisions and make those in your organization happier in doing so.

Acting On Antiquated Employee Performance Reviews and Data

Performance data is flawed from the start by the bias of the employee reviewers. This data reflects more on the performance of the previous manager than it does on the employees being rated. How well did the manager do? Spending hours reviewing old performance ratings of employees is not an optimal use of your time. Looking at them at a glance for a vision of what your new employee is like is what this should be used for. You need to get out there and make your own judgments and let your employees know your expectations as a manager. That is how you get your personal healthcare business performance data to make comparisons to improve the job.

If the previous manager was promoted because of his or her successful management of your new team, it's okay to ask the previous manager questions about each person on your team as long as you take their responses with a grain of salt. An example of something you could potentially ask the previous manager would be something like: Would you hire this person for your team again?

Not Focusing On Employee Strengths

Many new managers focus on the weaknesses of their employees rather than their strengths. If you have no way to measure their strengths, then interview team members about their strengths. Ask each one where they see themselves best contributing.

Lack of communication skills with healthcare employees

New healthcare managers often like to learn as much as they can about corporate procedures and policies. The managers want to understand everything to the core before they start implementing let alone saying anything to the team they manage. That's why it's important to use your communication skills to communicate with your employees and communicate with them on a regular basis. This gives them opportunities to increase their comfort level with you and have an open door for any questions, comments, or complaints. Harnessing and establishing a good relationship with your employees through communication is a skill a lot of healthcare managers lack, but it's also a skill that can be harnessed and blossom into something truly beautiful.

Ask questions and you will receive answers

Many new managers fail because they are afraid to ask questions. It shows that they don’t know what to do. Some of the most successful managers don’t have that mentality. They ask questions of their bosses, other managers, and members of their team. Don’t forget to ask why.

Rules are meant to be crafted with data

New healthcare managers are often under the interpretation that they have to know the answers right away or make drastic changes to achieve results right away. They often fail to realize their job is to actually coach people to be their very best and not be the manager that can ‘do it all by themselves’. In today’s environment, a manager is likely to be the least knowledgeable in terms of specific job and technical knowledge. The solutions are communicating, asking, and listening.

That’s That, It's a Wrap

The solution to all of these problems is healthcare management training. Good luck with your healthcare management journey, you're going to be just fine.


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