When you become the owner, manager or administrator of a home health agency people look up to you for leadership, to clarify, and guide them in the right direction, even if they don’t ask for it they do want it. When I was thrust into a leadership position a few years back, I kept looking for someone who could guide me and show me “the ropes.” I started reading as many leadership books that I could get my hands on. However, what helped me the most was watching leaders and mentors such as Oprah, Tony Robbins, Les Brown, and a bunch of unknown leaders in various professions in action. YouTube is great for having easy access to top leaders in the world.
I found that it was hard to find a person in a leadership position who would take the time to show me the ropes. Huh! I had to learn the hard way through many trials and errors. I finally understood that in some industries there is no emphasis on the concept of mentoring and coaching the” newbies”. You are on your own, especially if you need help in the home health industry.
So many home health agencies are in need of having an experienced director of clinical services on board, that they are now hiring nurses with no experience in home health that can jeopardize the success of the agency. Having the right person and processes in place is crucial to meet the state and federal requirements. Thus, having someone with great leadership skills, experience and knowledge is becoming ever more important in the home health industry.
What about Homecare (Personal care) Agencies?
While homecare agencies are not required to have a Director of Clinical Services, the Manager still need have specific qualifications required by the state regulations.
As a first-time Administrator, Manager, Owner, or Director of Clinical Services, here are a few strategies that any leader can use to be successful.
1. Be a first-class Listener
To be a good listener you must be present. This means to be physically or mentally focused on what is being said and not being distracted by everything that is happening around you. Being a good listener will make you more appreciative of what the other person has to say. You will be more effective in problem solving. Listening to your staff may take a lot of practice, consistency, and effort on your behalf, especially if you don’t agree with what that person has to say. We must remind ourselves of the benefits to listening more than talking. We must not judge the employee who is speaking, and look at the situation from their point of view.
2. Be a Better Communicator
Being a leader who can successfully communicate will be key to your success. Great communication skills should be a required for all agency owners, managers, or administrators. This is one skill that will vastly improve over time with practice.
3. Have a Vision For Your Agency
A great leader should have a clear and exciting vision for the future of their agency. This vision should be clear to everyone working for your agency, your clients, and business associates. What are your goals for the agency? Share those goals with people who matter and can help your goals manifest.
4. Find a Great Leader to Emulate
As I mentioned before, when I first started out on my journey as a leader, I was looking for someone who would serve as a role model and good leader. Of course, there wasn’t anyone in the home health or healthcare industry for me to emulate. Who do you know that is a successful leader as a home health administrator, owner, or manager? Good question huh! Since our choices are very limited, we have to emulate people from other industries to guide us to success and prosperity.
A leader that can demonstrate their commitment to being persistent, honest, take risks, and discover ways to develop creative solutions will be successful in growing a very profitable business.