Residential Care Needs Good Leadership

"A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his fair share of the credit," -APA: John C Maxwell

A respected leader motivates and encourages the staff to help increase the revenue, enhance and expand the reputation of a company, and influence the future success. Research concludes that organizations will promote ethical conduct if the behavior is modeled by the leader. One way to encourage and promote ethical behavior is to maintain an open door policy, take action when and where needed, demonstrate and encourage ethical behavior.

As leaders, we must roll up our sleeves like Alexander the Great, and march our troops into battle.

"Lead by example," is a directive many leaders often hear. As we review historical leaders whom had successfully gained the respect of teams or forces, we find common denominators. The common factors include integrity, high morals, ethics, and honesty.

In 2005, The Ethics Research Center found that more than 50% of workers observed unethical behavior in their places of employment. According to a survey conducted by the Ethics Resource Center in Washington D.C., they concluded that 40% of employees who filed complaints were disappointed by management's response.

Respect, is a term that defines a feeling of admiration, towards someone whom another may find influential. For this reason, one cannot demand respect, as that would be impossible, as a sense of admiration gained by action.

People, whether they are our employees, co-workers, patients or part of an interdisciplinary team, honor and respect honesty. Respect by one's team will inspire motivation and conquer success. It's better for a leader to admit not the answer or solution, as opposed to losing credibility with the team.

Instead, if a leader admits, "I don't know, I don't have the answer," the team will admire the leader and find her trustworthy. With trust comes respect, influence, and loyalty. Having confidence in a person in charge, yields higher performing organizations.

Why Fear Abolishes Motivation

If employees feel underappreciated and replaceable, their work diminishes. If a leader uses fear, to imtimidate or dismiss something an employee's ideas and suggestions, the team head is seen as Gestapo.

Instead, a supervisor should use appreciation to help a member of staff to feel pride in one's work, the team becomes more productive. And, in the long run, the company becomes more successful and earns more profit.

In healthcare, the staff are the frontline brand of a hospital and long-term care facility.

Currently, I lead a fantastic team. Before my supervision, the staff experienced excessive turn over. Foretunately, like the team, I came up through the ranks the hard way and knew what they faced.

Steps to Implement a High Performing Team

  • Construct a "train-the-trainer" program with certifications
  • Work side-by-side with each, teaching the skills needed like answering call lights and medication administration
  • Pair up experienced team members with the newer ones
  • Assess each person's abiliites and skills
  • Approach each worker as a contributing colleague and an equal partner
  • Explain the importance of each task and why the job matters
  • Clarify the purpose of state regulations
  • Explain the importance of continued learning
  • Develop personal skills portfolios

After some time, I quickly gained their respect and admiration. They learned why and how their work contributed to the facility's success.

Astonishing Results - Transformed Severe State Deficiencies

  • Lessened turnover
  • Improved skills and education
  • Increased quality care
  • Respect and admiration
  • Heightened productivity
  • Gained state compliance
  • Increased resident safety

The front line can increase revenue. Motivated employees depend upon a good leader.

Administration has the responsibility to build high performing staff and teams.

Sources: Jan Thibodeau, International Association of Business Communicators Research Foundation, 2006, Wichita Business Journal, 2000, Based on 2000 National Business Ethics Survey, First Principles: Substantive Ethics for Healthcare Organizations, Eva C. Winkler & Russell L. Gruen, 2005

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