Facility directors are always looking for ways to improve their facilities and provide better care. But oftentimes, you lack time to evaluate opportunities for improvement. Do you consider yourself a great facility director? Even if you do, there are always opportunities to set yourself (and your facility) apart.

Many times people think that in order to improve, they need to employ an innovative new idea, or an expensive overhaul of their procedures. But oftentimes directors are unaware that they can improve their skills and their facility’s competencies by brushing up on some basic management principles. So here are several tips on how to become the best leader possible for your facility.

Collaborating with Your Management Team

A director’s initiatives are usually enacted and supported by their management team. They are in the unique situation to provide feedback and offer ideas. If you view your management team as a resource and collaborate with them, you will be able to accomplish more than if you were on your own.

In Senior Living Executive’s Executive Focus Groups series, they convened a panel of executive directors who suggested that management teams each manage “their own areas, while at the same time sharing responsibilities,” (with the director have final and ultimate say).

Using a collaborative approach will also help you with feelings that you have to “manage alone”.

Listening to Staffs’ Needs

The recession has turned many staff members’ lives upside down. Even if healthcare jobs are secure, family members and other loved ones may have seen the economy turn their livelihoods topsy-turvy.

This can oftentimes impact their workplace performance such as unexplained tardiness, inaccurate or incomplete work, etc. That’s why it’s important that an you consider all angles to the employee’s life, listen to his/her needs,  and take extenuating circumstances into consideration.

You should also conduct an annual analysis of benefits and salary structure. If you find that your facility is paying less than competitive wages, it may be time to raise them. Although the current economy isn’t ideal for offering bonuses, providing raises or additional benefits can help with employee morale. This also lets your team members know how seriously you take their work – and how important their retention is to your facility’s success.

The Art of the Decision

Facility directors are faced with decisions every day. Some of these decisions are absolutely critical to the future of your facility, as well as to the lives of your patients and livelihoods of your employees.

No matter the type of decision, how you approach it can make it easier to settle on an outcome. To help you make better decisions, we suggest this approach:

  • Don’t make a decision instantly, if at all possible. Instead, sleep on it, in order to confirm for yourself that it was the right one.
  • Understand that, if needed, you truly can make a great decision on a moment’s notice. We, as humans, are hard-wired that way.
  • List your options. What are the different permutations of the decision?
  • After you’ve listed options, list all possible outcomes and weigh the likelihood of each outcome.
  • Think about which outcome will elicit the most resistance, whether internally or externally.
  • Pretend you’ve made one of the possible decisions. How do you feel about “having made” it? Then pretend you’ve made another of the possible decisions. How do you feel?  Pay attention to your gut after you’ve looked at all logical outcomes/options.
  • Devise a “Plan B” just in case.
  • Make the decision and evaluate the outcome. If it appears to have been the “wrong” decision, adjust and then learn from the experience.

Do you have some favorite or go-to steps you follow when you need to make a big decision? Are there any other tips you could offer directors to help them be better?

We’re truly enjoying providing these blog posts for our Snelling Medical clients and candidates. We hope you’re finding them helpful. If you have a topic you’d like to see covered, send us a message!

NOTE:  A full-color, downloadable PDF is available.  

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