An organization is characterized by the type of leaders it has and the style these leaders use to manage the organization. Managers play a role of a unifying factor in an organization and, therefore, effective management of a business is an essential element of organization’s success. Better Life hospital is experiencing numerous leadership challenges that need to be addressed immediately. The following section discusses problems that prove poor leadership in the hospital as well as probable ways in which they can be solved.
- The first problem is lack of vision. The best quality of a good leader is his ability to have a clear sense of where he is and where he wants his organizations to be in the future (Witcher & Chau, 2010). Leaders at Better Life hospital lack this characteristic since the hospital does not have a well documented strategic plan. This problem can be solved through training managers of the hospital. This will enable managers to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to be able to formulate an effective strategic plan for the hospital.
- The second problem is lack of a strong leadership structure. The hospital does not have clearly outlined terms of operation for managers. Heads of departments do not know what their responsibilities are and whom they are supposed to report to. This hinders proper decision making and sound operations in the hospital. The hospital should have a well developed organizational structure with clear responsibilities of each worker to limit conflicts.
- The third problem is lack of expert power. Some managers hired in several departments do not possess necessary skills to execute their duties. General manager of the hospital does not have any managerial qualification for the job, neither does he have the charisma that will make his subordinates respect and admire him. Therefore, on-the-job training should be offered to all managers that do not have expert skills in their respective fields.
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SWOT Analysis for Better Life Hospital
SWOT analysis, which is an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of an organization helps its managers to formulate an effective strategic plan that enables the business to develop a competitive advantage over its rivals (Witcher & Chau, 2010). SWOT analysis of Better Life hospital is outlined below.
Better Life hospital started with a high number of patients, which is its strength. However, the number of patients quickly declines due to poor management and service delivery. The hospital also has a strong Information Technology department that if well utilized by the staff. It can help the hospital develop competitive advantage due to reduced operational costs.
The major weakness of the Better Life hospital is its unprofessional management. In order to overcome this weakness, managers that have adequate experience and knowledge in their respective competencies should be hired. It is also possible to train current managers for the smooth running of the hospital.
The growing economy of Abu Dhabi is an opportunity that the hospital should exploit. If the hospital improves service delivery to its customers, it will benefit from the increased wellbeing of citizens, which translates into the affordability of healthcare. Mandatory health insurance policy of the country is an opportunity for healthcare providers.
Threats are caused by other hospitals that provide services of higher quality to their customers for the same price as Better Life hospital. This reduces the number of customers through loyalty shifting and “bad-mouthing”. Another threat is employee-turnover. Other hospitals are trying to win the best employees from the hospital by offering better salaries and good working conditions.
Mr. Karim’s Leadership
Mr. Karim is a leader appointed by the owners of the hospital because of his affiliation with them. He does not possess necessary leadership qualities that could make him able to execute an administrative mandate that he is charged with. Issues concerning his leadership are discussed further.
Not a Team Builder
A good leader must be able to build strong teams. Mr. Karim is not a team leader because he is an absentee administrator who does not know what happens in the organization. He should spend more time with his subordinates and build a strong rapport among them.
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Lack of Leadership Skills
Mr. Karim lacks the knowledge and technical skills for a manager in his position. He is not trained for the job and hence it becomes difficult to command his subordinates. He should undergo managerial training and acquire the necessary academic qualification. This will give him expert power for command.
Not a Motivator
A good leader should inspire his subordinates and make them voluntarily carry out organizational activities (Witcher & Chau, 2010). Mr. Karim does not motivate his employees hence the massive turn-over. He should motivate his subordinates through improved working conditions, better pay, and rewards for good performance.
Issues of Hospital Management
The profitability of a business is dependant on its management. Efficient and effective management structure is absent in Better Life hospital. The hospital has numerous managerial issues, few of which are discussed below.
There is no unity of direction in management activities of the hospital. According to Henry Fayol, there should be one head for one plan (Koontz & O’Donnell, 1972). This means that for the proper functioning of the organization and sound decision making, there should be a well-structured decision-making mechanism. This will help ensure that there is no conflict between administrative and medical committees. This will prevent duplication of activities and ensure smooth operations.
Employees in this organization are poorly remunerated and, therefore, are not motivated. Lack of motivation reduces the effectiveness and efficiency of workers. Low-quality services that the hospital is offering is attributed to poor payments to workers, bad working conditions, lack of training and employee performance evaluation. To motivate employees their needs should be addressed on personal level. Maslow’s’ hierarchy of needs should be used by top managers to address individual needs and motivate employees of the hospital (Hay, 1990).
There is also an issue of lack of team spirit in the management of the hospital. There is no harmony among managers and hence they do not have mutual understanding, which is crucial to succeed in the overall achievement of organizational goals. This is evidenced by the belief that doctors should be left to manage hospitals. The situation can be improved by proper coordination of activities and effective communication with employees. They should be empowered to carry out their operations. There should also be harmonization of administrative and medical committees so that each is assigned with specific types of decisions that they are supposed to make.
Dr. Shadid should be trained to develop management skills to become an effective administrator. He might have a good command of medical field, but being a leader calls for more than knowledge of the discipline. His assertion of “doctors for medical issues” is vague and not motivating for his subordinates. His role should be clearly defined so that he does not interfere with decisions made by the administrative committee.
The statement “doctors’ best to manage hospitals” is not realistic. Dr. Shadid is the best example to disqualify this statement. He is an impediment for the structuring of hospital’s operations. He holds back the implementation of key projects on the premise that they are expensive. This has a negative impact on the hospital because employees will not be motivated to perform effectively without comprehensive insurance cover in a hospital environment.
Effective leadership also requires good communication and team building. Doctors are preoccupied with medical concerns and may not be able to address issues of employees.
Human Resource and the Quality Officers
Human Resource department and Quality officer should be supported to ensure effective discharge of their duties. These departments have qualified personnel and thus are capable of performing better. External interferences in the actions taken by HR department should be discouraged. Dr. Shadid should be discouraged from influencing decisions relating to employment and remuneration. Personnel manager should also be availed necessary resources so that he could carry out employee training and development activities (Koontz & O’Donnell, 1972). More staff should be added to the quality department so that it could raise standards of services that the hospital provides. Quality assurance manager should also undergo periodic training to be updated and well informed regarding the needs of customers and legal requirements.
Medical industry is a critical and delicate service industry because it deals with human healthcare. This calls for highly trained and experienced employees. Experienced staff members should be retained in this hospital because when they quit, public confidence in this hospital is adversely affected .
Employees can be retained by ensuring that their needs are catered for. This can be done through improving their working condition, better remuneration, giving them incentives and rewards for better performance, and training them (Koontz & O’Donnell, 1972). These practices ensure that they are satisfied with their jobs.
Better Life hospital has many stakeholders. Customers of the hospital including patients and suppliers are the most important stakeholders of the hospital. Patients are sources of revenue to the hospital. Therefore, the service that the hospital provides to them should give patients value for their money. Suppliers should be given fair terms of trade. Employees of the hospital are also stakeholders that play a critical role in ensuring continuity of operations. Their terms of service should be improved as discussed above. Other stakeholders include the community, government, and competitors. Corporate social responsibility fosters strong positive relationship with the community. Competitors should be given a fair playing ground to compete fairly.
Competencies and Strategic Objectives
Different employees have different competencies in an organization. Competencies should be identified among employees and matched with tasks they can perform with efficient and effective utilization of available resources. These competencies, after they have been identified, should be integrated with strategic objectives of the hospital. Objectives should be presented to individuals, who are would be directed towards achievement of common organizational goal (Koontz & O’Donnell, 1972).
Personal Opinions on Restructuring
If I were a management consultant, I would recommend a total overhaul of the top management of Better Life hospital. I would advise owners to hire qualified and experienced general manager through rigorous recruitment process. Only those with proven success records would be given opportunities to work in different departments. In order to ensure success of restructuring process, some personnel would be retained but would have to undergo intensive training. This would bring a new face of management that will be efficient and credible.
The hospital would be rebranded through change of vision, mission, and objectives. This would be followed by publicity and advertisement with great emphasis on endorsements. I would use credible and famous healthcare providers and celebrities to promote my brand. Physical outlook of the hospital would also be improved through changing colors, slogan, and other symbols to create an image of a leader in healthcare provision.
To evaluate customer satisfaction, there would be suggestion boxes installed in appropriate places within the facility and in immediate surroundings. A short-code line would also be put up so that customers could send their complaints, compliments, and views about the new Better Health hospital. I would also suggest the use of Internet services like email, FAQs section on the hospital’s website, and social media like Facebook and Twitter.
Mr. Mansour’s Leadership
Mr. Mansour’s type of leadership can be described as democratic. He holds open door consultation and is free and open to talk to the staff and address their issues. This is the kind of leadership that inspires subordinates to go an extra mile and sacrifice for the sake of attaining organizational goals (Soin, 1992). I would recommend that Mansour be appointed as the general manager of the hospital. Since he is liked by the staff, his leadership would unite employees. A united staff means cohesion and minimized conflicts in the organization.
Training and IT Services
Since Information and Technology department has done well in improving communication and electronic management systems, I would recommend to train the entire staff on the effective use of technology. Marketing manager should base his marketing activities on the SWOT analysis of the hospital. Environment scanning should be done. Market research should then be conducted to detect gaps that can be exploited for competitive advantage of the hospital. Advertisement will then be tailored to increase the market share of the hospital. Publicity should also be based on the vision, mission, and strategic objectives of the hospital (Koontz & O’Donnell, 1972). Marketing manager should, therefore, undergo periodic training in order to exploit useful contacts he has to increase returns of Better Life hospital.
In conclusion, management of any organization influences its success or failure. Effective managers will utilize the scarce resources of the organization and maximize returns of shareholders’ capital. Managers should, therefore, possess desirable qualities of a good leader so that their subordinates could be inspired and take challenges as motivation.