Original Publish Date: October 4, 2022
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":
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:
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., lives in the Seattle, WA area where she is an international speaker, retreat/workshop leader, executive coach, and author of the upcoming book, “The Illuminated Workplace: Shining Light on Workplace Culture.” She has spoken to thousands of businesses and conferences and has been on countless radio shows, podcasts, and webinars discussing “Enlightened Leadership” and “Workplace Culture” based on her book, “The Extraordinary Workplace.” Her audiences and clients have included: Seattle Science Foundation--Spine Surgeons Grand Rounds, Swedish Hospital and Medical Groups, Kaiser Permanente Grand Rounds, Oakland, CA, AHRA, Orlando, FL, Federal Aviation Administration, Overlake Hospital Perioperative Conference, Radia, numerous physician practices and hospitals. Her website is www.dannabeal.com.