Change is a constant in healthcare. Some type of change is always happening—whether it’s a new initiative, updated best practices, or simply a shift in the way things have always been done. And as a healthcare leader, it’s your job to make sure your team is on board with whatever changes are happening.
But that’s easier said than done. Even when you are confident in your direction, getting your team members to feel the same can be a challenge. Today, we’re sharing several tips to help you get your team on board with the change in healthcare.
To explore healthcare leadership topics in greater detail, we encourage you to consider registering for a healthcare leadership online course. These courses offer unique insight, tools, and resources to help you effectively lead your team through change.
Tips to Get Your Team On Board with Change
Now, let’s get back to those tips for how to get your team on board with changes in your healthcare organization.
Explain the “why” Behind the Change
Before you can even begin to try and get your team on board with a change, you need to ensure you are entirely on board with it. Once you’ve bought into the change, take some time to sit down and explain the why behind it to your team.
Why is this change happening? What are the benefits of implementing it? Answering these questions helps you get your team on board by painting a picture of what the future could look like.
Then, once you’ve explained the why, it’s essential to address any potential concerns your team may have about the change. What could go wrong? What are the risks? Addressing these fears head-on helps quell them and get your team on board with the change.
Finally, it’s helpful to emphasize you’re not asking your team to simply go along with the change blindly. Instead, you should encourage questions and open dialogue so everyone feels comfortable and invested in the process.
Get Input from your Team
Once you’ve explained the change and addressed any concerns, it’s time to start getting input from your team. After all, they’re the ones who will be implementing the change, so their input is essential. It also helps show them how valued they are in your organization.
Ask them for their ideas, their suggestions, and their feedback. This will help you create a better change plan and get your team members invested in the process and more likely to buy into the change.
If possible, involve your team in the decision-making process as well. This doesn’t mean that you have to let them make all the decisions (that’s not practical), but including them in the process whenever possible will show them that their voices are heard and that you value their input.
Don’t forget to keep lines of communication open throughout the entire process, too. As changes are implemented, continue to check in with your team and see how they’re doing. This helps you identify any potential problems early on and makes your team feel supported.
Lead by Example
As a healthcare leader, you play a vital role in setting the tone for your organization. So, you must lead by example when it comes to change. If you’re not on board with the change yourself, it’ll be much harder to get your team members to be. So, show them you’re invested in the process and believe in the change’s benefits. This will go a long way in getting your team members to do the same.
Of course, leading by example doesn’t mean you have to be perfect. No one is perfect, and there will inevitably be bumps along the road. What’s vital is showing your team how to effectively deal with these bumps by staying positive, problem-solving, and never giving up.
Remember, as their leader you have the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of your team members. So use that power wisely and lead by example whenever possible.
Encourage and Reward Positive Behavior
Finally, one of the best ways to get your team on board with change is to encourage and reward positive behavior. When team members do something that supports the change or helps make the transition easier, be sure to let them know you notice and appreciate it.
A simple “thank you” can go a long way in making someone feel valued. You can also consider offering more formal rewards, like gift cards or extra time off, for team members who go above and beyond.
Encouraging and rewarding positive behavior helps create a culture of change in your organization. It sends the message that you’re serious about the change and that you expect everyone to do their part. And, most importantly, it helps motivate your team to keep up the good work.
Overcoming Barriers to Change in Healthcare
With the healthcare industry being as unique as it is, there are bound to be some barriers to change. But, with the right approach, you can overcome these obstacles and get your team on board with the change.
Some Common Barriers to Change in Healthcare Include:
A change-resistant culture: There’s a strong resistance to change in many healthcare organizations. This can be due to a variety of factors, including a fear of the unknown, a lack of trust in leadership, and a general feeling that change is unnecessary. Focus on communicating effectively and leading by example.
Lack of resources: Another common barrier to change in healthcare is a lack of resources. In some cases, this may mean a lack of financial resources. But it can also refer to a lack of staff or a lack of time. When facing this type of obstacle, it’s imperative to be creative and to think outside the box. There may be ways to get the resources you need from other departments or from outside sources.
Compliance issues: As you’re well-aware, healthcare is a heavily regulated industry, so there are often compliance issues when trying to implement change. To overcome this type of obstacle, it’s important to work closely with your compliance team and make sure any changes you make align with all applicable laws and regulations.
Leading change in healthcare can be challenging, but many resources are available to help you through the process. This includes books, articles, and healthcare leadership online courses. And, of course, your team members are also valuable resources. So don’t be afraid to ask for help or look for it when you need it.