By Othaniel Williams, CBET
Technicians look to their managers for guidance. They expect their manager to set the example in all aspects of the job. If the manager sets a bad example or has low standards, then the technicians will surely follow suit, and their performance will suffer. By contrast, if the manager sets a great example by maintaining high standards, then the technicians and the department as a whole will excel. In my experience, I’ve noticed that managers with the following qualities effectively pass them on to their staffs and raise the performance levels of the entire department.
Know Policies and Processes
A great manager is committed to excellence by living the policies, procedures, processes, visions, and missions of his or her organization. Knowing policies allows such managers to be better leaders and to set an example for staff under their charge. It will convey confidence to staff that the vision of the hospital or healthcare system is on course to success. Great managers are shining examples of the daily values pertaining to the healthcare’s mission statement. It can be something as simple as a friendly, helpful attitude towards patients, family, and staff members. Or it can be embracing a new process or policy change that came from leadership. It shows a willingness to adapt and improve the entire healthcare system.
Great managers communicate effectively, with direction and clear expectations. This helps employees know exactly what is expected of them, not only for day-to-day duties but to be successful in their careers. Communication between managers and employees is important to maintain a healthy relationship. It may pertain to employee concerns about daily routines, to ethical concerns, or to the employment health of the staff. Communication can be the first step in finding potentially problematic issues in a quick-paced work environment. One excellent way for a manager to get to know a tech or just catch up on what’s going on with the daily work is monthly rounding.
Great managers promote their team, department, hospital, and healthcare system. Most know the adages of positive promotion and its reciprocities. This can range from something as simple as recognizing that one of the team members may have performed a duty that is not in the scope of their daily routines to resolving an issue in a nonclinical department. A thank-you note goes a long way to show appreciation for a job well done. This can lead to a more advantageous working relationship not just in one’s own department, but also between departments and facilities, and throughout the entire healthcare system.
Promote Career Advancement
Great managers also promote career advancement to their staff by continuing their educational opportunities, inside and outside of the hospital environment. That education can be related directly to the job or for overall educational advancement. And managers themselves continue their educations, whether for an advanced degree or a certification.
Great managers exhibit competency in their jobs and the jobs of their department. Competency in their job is obtained by knowing the day-to-day routines, monthly goals, and accomplishments of the departments, hospital, or staff they manage. They can also show competency by being involved in finding resolutions or helpful ideas when goals or problems arise. They can go a long way by showing the willingness to take advice from others around them.
Have a Positive Attitude
A can-do attitude is also essential for great managers. A positive outlook when facing a massive crisis or problem goes a long way to keeping everyone in their charge calm, even in the worst circumstances. The people in charge of making important decisions in an organization have a profound effect on the attitudes of people around them. A great manager lends a hand when work starts to back up or a team member gets behind. It shows that everyone is committed to making sure medical equipment is repaired in a timely manner.
Great managers are proactive and are not satisfied with status quo. They are always looking for the next best solution. It might come in the form of cost-savings practices, ways to raise employee morale, or procedures for ensuring patient safety. A great manager is always looking for ways to improve processes and procedures, streamline work, and be more efficient. He or she will have the insight to look toward the future and its problems and impacts. A great manager is always open to change.
A great manager has an open-door policy and truly practices the policy. Asking for help is difficult sometimes, and knowing that your manager is available to talk and to help makes it a little easier. A manager with a smile is easier to approach and to talk with about any issue, professional or personal.
Whether you are in a management position or not, you are a manager of something. You may manage your departments, your hospitals, your accounts, or several hospitals. You manage your time. We all manage something. And we all report to someone—even managers have a boss. So what can managers do to be a good— no, make that a great—manager? Follow these simple expectations and you can’t go wrong.
It’s important for manager to recognize and display these qualities and behaviors so that they can recognize the same qualities and behaviors in their staff. Within the healthcare facility, biomed wants to be the “go-to” department because they consistently deliver outstanding service. And it all starts with a great manager.
Othaniel Williams is a senior biomedical technican at Baylor Medical Center Garland, Garland, TX.