Category: Zen Living Written by Danna Beal
As we emerge from the pandemic many organizations want to return to normal. But changes in attitudes, motivations, and goals for employees and their desires for workplace environments have changed in ways that few could have been predicted.
The Great Resignation and Quietly Quitting are results of many people during the pandemic having the chance to reevaluate their lives and how they want to work. Many have decided they want a better work life balance. Ben Granger, chief workplace psychologist at Qualtrics, reports CEOs are very concerned and don’t know what to do about it. Gallup’s recent estimate that a full 50% of the U.S. workforce can be considered quiet quitters.
Though some believe these trends are tapering off, Bill George, executive fellow at Harvard Business School, former CEO of Medtronic, and author of his newest book, The True North: Emerging Leaders, along with co-author Zach Clayton, say that the Baby Boomers have been running businesses for the last 30 years and this approach will no longer work. We must now consider the needs and views of Gen X, the Millennials, and Gen Z. In this competitive job market, if employers want to recruit and retain the best employees, they must have a culture where the best people want to work. He says truly caring about employees is one of the most important qualities a leader must have.
A couple months ago, I gave a presentation for a global organization. The CEO had required employees to return to the previous standards of a 40-hour, on-site work week, with fairly strict dress codes, and very little flexibility. Although this company pays well, the recruiters said they were having a hard time recruiting new employees. Employees today want a hybrid work environment, conducting some or most of their work remotely and having flexibility in their work week. If you have a negative or restrictive culture, it can be easily discovered on sites such as Glassdoor.
We need to refresh our viewpoint and update our perspectives in this new time in the history of business. I have spent twenty years describing the hidden dysfunction and ego drama occurring in the old style of management. But the days of top-down decisions without regard for employees’ input will no longer sustain a business or an organization. CEOs should be concerned of the new trends, and they need to address them. And although in healthcare, many of the positions require face to face interaction, employees still desire flexibility and some autonomy over their work requirements.
However, a new problem is emerging in the hybrid work environment. A Bloomberg article reported about 85% of managers worry that they can’t tell if remote employees are getting enough done, while 87% of workers say their productivity is just fine. Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella calls this problem the “productivity paranoia” with undesirable results—like managers spying on employees. “There’s a growing debate about employee surveillance, and we have a really strong stance—we just think that’s wrong,” said Jared Spataro, a Microsoft vice president.
What are the traits and competences needed by healthcare leaders?
In a study published Sept. 19, 2022 in the Journal of Healthcare Leadership, 25 leaders across New York City-based Weill Cornell Medicine and New York (N.Y.) Presbyterian Hospital systems were interviewed. The researchers asked what they consider the most effective competencies for healthcare leaders.
According to this survey, these are the top ten “competencies healthcare leaders need”:
- Ability to create an open environment that invites collaboration and communication.
- Ability to uphold the institution’s shared values.
- Ability to build teams and gain trust.
- Ability to make executive decisions.
- Being mission-driven and upholding the institution’s integrity.
- Leading with high emotional intelligence.
- “Competent administration”: having specialized skills, seeking training, learning on the job, leading through uncertainty.
- Subject matter excellence.
- Technical skills, including finance, operations, and negotiation.
How to be a leader with the traits and competencies needed in today’s environment
It’s interesting to note that the technical skills in finance, operations, and negotiation are listed last. Most of the traits listed are what were previously considered “soft skills.” I call these traits the BE LOVE model of leadership. Here are suggestions for how you can embody some of the traits listed above:
- Inviting communication and collaboration
Be approachable and truly listen to what others would like to contribute. You do not have to know all the answers, act superior, or be in control. An authentic leader understands that people on the frontlines know and understand what is needed and the organization will grow with their input and collaboration. Do not be a” yes” person or one who seeks validation and flattery from employees. Narcissistic leaders are ineffective, destructive, and damage all open communication and collaboration.
- Building teams and gaining trust
Trust is essential in creating a culture where people work at their highest potential and work well with each other. Gaining trust begins with expressing trust in your employees. When Microsoft discovered that the surveillance of employees destroyed trust, they took a strong stance against it and eliminated their surveillance software. In your healthcare organization, you can exhibit trust by giving people what they need, eliminating micromanaging, and allowing people to make mistakes. If employees feel fear or distrust from leaders, they do not perform at their highest, nor do they contribute their ideas. And they may secretly be looking for a new job.
- Upholding the institutions integrity
Upholding the institutions’ integrity starts with integrity within oneself. Integrity is of course, honesty, but it is more than that. It is an inner consistency that can withstand assaults, criticism, and even temptations. It is doing the right thing when no one is watching. Only you know if you have internal integrity, and it is essential for the wisdom and clarity to lead others. Leaders with integrity never compromise their values.
- Leading with emotional intelligence
Beginning in the late 90’s, emotional intelligence (EQ) has been identified as an important aspect of leadership—more important than IQ. Yet it has not been a part of the top-down method of the baby boomers’ style of leadership. Emotional intelligence can be developed and requires leaders to understand and connect with other people on a level of compassion and affinity. It means genuinely caring about people, not just what their skills can provide a company. People with emotional intelligence care about the whole person—i.e. interests, family, and hobbies.
Self-awareness is my personal value above all others. Until you know and understand yourself, you cannot lead others. False or deceptive leadership fails in the face of crisis. Only through deep self-awareness can one reach the fullness of life, leadership, and courage. Self-awareness requires the ability to be truly present—to be aware of things as they are—not as you wish they were. Self-awareness is a strength and ability to embrace and face the unknown and to go forth each day with the power to deal with whatever comes. Meditation and mindfulness lead to self-realization and self-awareness. Enlightened leaders commit to slowing down and taking the time to meditate daily to reveal fears, weaknesses, and strengths.
In summary, leaders can no longer dictate to employees and expect them to behave like machine parts. Leaders in the new environment of today’s business climate need affinity, compassion, and respect for all people. Organizations with these kinds of leaders will successfully ride the waves of changing times.
Danna Beal, M.Ed. has spoken to audiences throughout the United States and Canada. Her seriously profound and critically important message will shift your perspective of the workplace and give you the steps to:
Rebuild relationships and infuse the workplace culture with trust, respect and compassion.
Illuminate the barriers and unravel the internal conflict between employees that prevent engagement, teamwork, performance, and commitment.
Develop and unleash the inner and authentic power of Emotional Intelligence in leaders and employees through a “Personal Restoration Plan—The Inner Path to Authentic Power.”
Create a safe environment where mistakes are allowed and high performance grows.
Replace fear-based management with Danna’s “BE LOVE” model of leadership, the foundation that elevates respect, collaboration, high performance, and success. 425-785-2862
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