Being a leader in a hospital setting requires a particular set of skills. Your responsibilities can range from being knowledgeable about health care regulations and laws to displaying empathy while communicating with a patient to making crucial on the spot decisions that impact your entire team.

Hospital leadership development is a process that requires training based on diverse methodologies, comprehensive health care concepts and information that will benefit various medical professionals.

5 Components Of A Hospital Leadership Development Program

This guide covers five of the main components a hospital leadership development program should include.

1. Pre-Training Assessment

Before starting a hospital leadership development program, all participants should evaluate their current leadership capabilities. Doing so collects data that can be used throughout the program to develop a plan of action and showcase growth.

360 degree feedback is recommended during this phase. It is the process of participants getting feedback from subordinates, supervisors, and colleagues along with completing a self-evaluation.

Going through this process is beneficial because participants get an idea of how their leadership skills are based on their perception and that of others within the hospital setting.

2. Address Strengths & Weaknesses

Once the pre-training assessment data is complete, you should analyze it to determine the strengths and weaknesses of individuals in the hospital leadership development program and the group as a whole.

Understanding the biggest struggles of the group and individual participants allows you to better tailor the program to their specific needs.

Once strengths and weaknesses are uncovered, a plan should be developed to improve their weaknesses and highlight their strengths. 

The action plan should be specific with goals that are SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely.

3. Mentoring & Coaching

Incorporating mentoring and coaching into a hospital leadership program is a vital component of the process. 

Mentoring is especially important for new leaders because they can develop a long term relationship with someone who has more experience.

Participants can feel comfortable using what they learn in the leadership development program in a safe environment with the support of someone who can provide direct non-evaluative feedback.

While mentoring is beneficial for new leaders, having a mentor can be helpful for hospital leaders throughout various stages of their career depending on their experience and goals.

Coaching varies from mentoring in that a coach works with leaders more formally on accomplishing specific goals over a short period.  

Adding mentoring and coaching components to a leadership development program improve relationships and increase overall retention rates because employees feel they have the support they need to be successful. Continuous feedback and ongoing support is also part of creating a welcoming environment where leaders feel free to take risks.

4. Interdisciplinary Approach

With so many medical professionals partaking in hospital leadership development, it’s crucial that you be able to incorporate as many of them as possible.

This requires that some topics be general enough to help all hospital leaders while being specific enough to address issues experienced by a smaller fraction of the population.

Many leadership programs offer personalized learning tracks to address the needs of various hospital members. Based on a participant’s leadership position and strengths/weaknesses, he or she can complete the work that will provide them with the best results as they strive to reach their SMART goals.

5. Apply Knowledge

It isn’t enough to be taught about best leadership practices. To transform information into action that becomes second nature, participants must be taught how to combine their knowledge and training with business strategies.

This requires a combination of training based on real-world scenarios and observed on the job training and in which feedback is provided.

Hospital Leadership Development Post-Assessment Evaluations

Just as a pre-assessment is performed, a post-evaluation should also be given to document growth and improvement in those who complete the hospital leadership development program.

The post-assessment can help decide the next step for participants. If they demonstrate significant improvement, they might need to continue with a mentor for a bit longer to ensure they maintain their growth. 

If they don’t show considerable improvement, they might benefit from completing a more intensive training program or working with a coach for an extended time to help address their weaknesses.

Moving Forward With Ongoing Hospital Leadership Development

The process of hospital leadership development is not a one and done experience. Once a participant completes the program, they have the option to return to the beginning with a pre-assessment and complete each step again.

Leadership development is a skill that will always need to be refreshed as hospitals evolve, laws change and patients have growing expectations. The medical industry will continue to progress and will always need competent leaders to help make each transition a smooth one.