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Why Leadership Coaching is Necessary in Healthcare

Palmer Barefield May 9, 2023 6:42:37 PM

Due to an excessive amount of pressure and nearly limitless demands, being in healthcare requires its employees to have an undeniably high level of tenacity. But despite compounding stress of the industry, resources offered from organizations to alleviate them are limited at best, causing detrimental problems throughout healthcare organizations. 

Organizations are experiencing problems such as severe burnout and turnover at alarming rates. Additionally, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, more than half of healthcare clinicians report symptoms of burnout, and many are contending with insomnia, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other mental health challenges. All of that said, tensions are high in healthcare and it’s costing organizations millions of dollars, affecting clinical staff morale, and ultimately jeopardizing the quality of patient care.  

Although burnout resides within the individual, it’s up to the organizations to provide the necessary support to combat it. The pandemic exacerbated physician burnout; however, it was prominent long before then. Employees are being stretched very thin; being asked to do more with less with dwindling metrics of support – leading to an overall disconnect between hospitals and their staff. 

 Luckily, there are readily available resources that can and do make monumental differences in the way employees address overwhelming feelings that come along with their occupations. It’s paramount that the needs of the leaders in healthcare are recognized and met to establish a long-lasting impact on their work lives, the health of the organization, and patient experience. One resource that has proven to be effective is leadership coaching in healthcare.

A Vital Need for Coaching in Healthcare

Despite ample healthcare industry concerns, it is possible to create a healthy, enjoyable workplace for healthcare workers and organizations alike. To do so, the key is to define the complications that many leaders are facing in the industry today. 

4 Barriers of Healthcare Leadership

  • Workforce shortages – According to the Healthcare Dive’s article  focusing on healthcare labor trends, an alarming 52% of nurses (according to the American Nurses Foundation) and 20% of doctors (Mayo Clinic Proceedings) say they are planning to leave their clinical practice. The staff shortage is a direct result of decreased wages and increased demands. 
  • Workforce burnout – Burnout amongst healthcare professionals can happen as a result of any number of factors, but most commonly, burnout is a consequence of being overworked.
  • Performance pressure – When it comes to responsibilities in healthcare, mistakes are unacceptable; forcing healthcare leaders to work under an immense amount of pressure that creates a profound amount of stress.
  • Prioritizing patient care on top of everything else – It goes without being said that the pressure medical professionals face is unlike any other. People’s lives are at stake, which might make it easier for a physician to forfeit their work/life balance in order to tend to someone else. 

With leadership coaching, professionals have an opportunity to alleviate these obstacles by providing an external perspective that’s directly aligned with their goals and career path. Workplace coaching provides navigation during times of  intense pressure by sharpening emotional intelligence and establishing mindsets to recognize skills and challenge limitations.

Benefits of Leadership Coaching in Healthcare

Ensuring these challenges are confronted appropriately is in the hands of the organizations, which calls for an investment in resources. Luckily, leadership coaching has proven to provide benefits for both the healthcare leaders and its organization. 

For healthcare leaders, coaching improves skills such as communication and collaboration through self-directed exercises and teachings to guide self reflection. Additionally, leadership coaching aligns priorities with individual values; strengthening emotional intelligence and making it easier to make real time decisions. 

Another benefit healthcare professionals seek to gain from leadership coaching is the ability to practice a healthy balance between work and life, which in turn leads to reduced stress; allowing leaders to perform more efficiently. All of these benefits reduce turnover and burnout rates, which in turn boosts productivity, enhances workplace culture, and increases employee retention.

What to Look for in a Healthcare Leadership Coaching Platform

While they may share similarities, no two healthcare organizations are the same. So when it comes to choosing a leadership coaching platform for your organization; do your research. It’s important to thoroughly understand what would be the ideal choice for your leaders. Consider factors such as ease of use and convenience. Know what expertise coaches across platforms have to reassure relevant coach to leader alignment. Choose a platform that reports back on performance data and analytics, so that you can track the impact coaching is having on your organization. Lastly, find a platform that takes a customized approach, so your leaders can build skills, while keeping organizational goals and competencies in mind.  

Healthcare Coaching with Valor

At Valor, we develop people to transform organizations. Through our science-backed, 1:1 digital coaching platform, leaders have total access to self-directed learning and teachings, as well as their expert performance coach to help them develop the skills and mindsets necessary to perform in high-pressure situations. Valor coaching is entirely confidential, and coaches are matched with leaders based on an in-depth 360º assessment, to adequately align coaches and leaders based on experience and career path. Learn more about the benefits of coaching and how Valor could be right for your organization.

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