PUBLIC HEALTH LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT ESSAY

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PUBLIC HEALTH LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT

INTRODUCTION

The report identifies critical leadership and management challenges and solutions and provides evidence to support the efficacy of the stated suggestions. The success of this analysis and discussion is facilitated by the experiences encountered working in middle management in a public health non-governmental organization (NGO) which is planning to expand from 20 to 50 staff members in a two-year period. According to Goleman, “Asked to define the ideal leader, many would emphasize traits such as intelligence, toughness, determination, and vision” (Goleman, 2004). Thus, Goleman seeks to outline that there are essential traits that are neglected when describing effective leadership and management. One of the most significant of these features that are mainly ignored is emotional intelligence. Managers and leaders who are considered as emotionally intelligent are performers and have the necessary skills to solve various challenges in the workplace. It is imperative to note that expanding public health NGO involves various challenges. For instance, increasing the number of employees from 20 to 30 means that the welfare of the additional employees must be ensured. As well, the stress that is encountered by these employees increases. Thus, the report analyzes these and other challenges and suggests the most amicable and recommended solutions to these problems.

LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT CHALLENGE

There are several goals of managers in a given organization. One of the major goal of managers is to achieve high performance. The achievement of this goal ensures that the organization provides quality products and services to the customers. However, managers are categorized into different levels. The report mainly deals with the middle level managers who play vital role in enhancing the performance of the organization. one of the roles played by the middle level managers is to organize the organization employees with the objective of enhancing resource utilization. To achieve this goal, these managers (middle level) assess the goals of the organization and its effectiveness. As a result, they report to the top managers the necessary changes that can be implemented to enhance performance and service delivery. In addition to the above, middle level manager make various decisions concerning products and services. Finally, these managers involve in various activities categorized as planning, organizing, leading, and controlling (Conner, 2006)

According to Moodie, “leadership is about maximizing our own potential as public health practitioners, and maximizing our sense of worth and meaning that we draw from our lives; and optimize the potential of others and the sense of worth and meaning they draw from

their lives” (Moodie, 2016). One of the most crucial challenges that is faced by managers and leaders in the contemporary society is the management of change. As a middle-level manager in the public health NGO, the expansion from 20 to 30 employees is a form of change that calls for effective management. Gardner asserts that “In a society capable of renewal, [leaders] not only the future and the changes it brings but believes they can have a hand in shaping the future” (Gardner, 2012). Thus, this is a clear indication that leaders and managers should try as much as possible to be effective in the management of change. One of the reasons for the increment of the employees in this organization is to enhance service delivery to the patients. Managing a large number of employees, however, is challenging since the organization was used to the initial number of employees (Conner, 2006).

The next challenge associated with the expansion of the number of employees from 20 to 30 is the reconfiguration of roles and responsibilities. Each public health professional within the organization must be assigned the duties and responsibilities to carry out on a daily basis. In addition to the above, these employees must be assigned a station or place of work. For instance, the nurses must be assigned the places to take care of patients. There are some nurses who are responsible for providing care for the children, the old, and others take care of the disable. This is a challenging task since the leaders and managers must sit down and assign each employee the roles and responsibilities. As well, the leaders and managers must ensure that these roles and responsibilities are conducted as expected (Dixon-Woods, McNicol & Martin, 2012).

According to Gardner “Public health leadership includes a commitment to the community and the value for which it stands” (Gardner, 2012). Thus, it is crucial to understand that the community does not only involve the people living around the public health NGO but also the larger global society that is affected in one way or another by the health care. Therefore, the first challenge that will be faced by the expansion of the organization is that leaders must ensure that the new employees are committed to the community. For instance, all these employees must ensure that they conform to the social justice policies. In addition to the above, as the employee seeks to be committed to the social justice the goals and objectives of the organization are not compromised (Vest & Gamm, 2010).

The other leadership and management challenge that will arise due to the expansion of the number of employees is conflicts of interest. It is profound to note that employees have different backgrounds and their values differ in one way or another. Howard asserts that “diversity of perspectives and values creates, on one hand, a rich, uncommon culture that links professionals from diverse backgrounds but also, on the other hand, a frequent “collision of worlds” concerning ends and meets (Howard, 2009).

Therefore, such a challenge calls for leaders and managers that are in a better position to amicably solve issues relating to conflict of interest. An example of a conflict of interest that is potential to occur in the public health NGO is the working time. Some of the added employees may prefer working in the day while others prefer working in the night shift. Thus, conflicts of interest at the assigned time to work by the leaders will be a vital challenge that must be addressed with immediacy (Brownson at al., 2010).

Managing employee stress is the other key challenge associated with expanding the organization. employee stress is defined as the way in which their minds and bodies react to changes affecting them directly or indirectly. For instance, the leaders and managers may pressure the employees to enhance their performance in service delivery to the patients. There are several issues that may contribute to the increased employee stress in the organization. Firstly, teamwork is the main issue that has contributed to the high level of stress in a health organization. Some of the employees may find it difficult to interact and cooperate in teams. Others may find it a hard task to collaborate with the team leaders. The other issue that contributes to stress in organizations is a supervisor. The role of the supervisors is to provide quality guidance and support to the employees. However, some supervisors may carry out such roles in a harsh manner leading to the stress of the employees (MacKay at al., 2004).

The workload is the other factor that contributes to employee stress in public health NGO. Sometimes the number of patients that need to be treated or need health consultation may increase. This will result in increased workload for various employees and lead to stress and depression. The other issue that leads to stress in the workplace is fairness, especially from the leaders. One of the most significant challenges faced by the leaders and managers is to ensure that they act with integrity in all their duties and responsibilities. For instance, leaders are expected to be fair when carrying out evaluation and rewarding the increased number of employees. In this public health NGO, some of the employees may feel that they are not treated fairly during evaluations and rewarding (Brownson at al., 2010).

In addition to the above, other work stressors that the employees must find amicable solutions include involvement, challenge, and compensation. Involvement challenges that are faced by the leaders involve the quality of communication and employee input. Leaders must ensure that communication between all the stakeholders is effective and efficient. To achieve this, leaders must ensure that all the factors hindering effective communication are amicably solved. The challenge is concerned with the amount of stimulation and the problems that the employees face when executing their roles and responsibilities. For instance, in the public health NGO employees such as nurses may lack adequate facilities to conduct their roles. As such, this increases the level of work stress, and leaders and managers must ensure that such a situation is resolved (Moodie, 2016).

The way employees are compensated within the organization is another crucial source of stress. It is imperative to note that compensation of employees regarding payments and benefits must be conducted in a fair and recommended manner. As a result, leaders have the challenge of formulating these compensation policies. In addition to the above, these policies must be reviewed on a regular basis with the objective of enhancing employee satisfaction and level of performance. When the employees are not satisfied with the compensation, they may end up being stressed up, and their performance substantially decreases (Fernandez & Steffen, 2013). Thus, this is another challenge to the leaders since they must ensure that the organization productivity is always improved (MacKay at al., 2004).

LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS

One of the most recommended solution to the challenges that are faced by managers and leaders in the public health NGO is to effectively carry out their management roles. It is imperative to note that management is involved with four vital tasks namely; planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Firstly, it is profound that managers and leaders plan well all the activities within the organization. In the planning role, managers and leaders ensure that they choose the organizational goals and courses of actions to best achieve the goals. In such a case, the expansion of the organization from 20 to 5o will not lead to problems such as stress and poor performance. This is because the new employees will be oriented to the organizational goals and the tasks that they are expected to carry out to ensure that these goals are achieved. These plans will also ensure that all the roles and responsibilities are assigned equally to the employees. This will play a vital role in reducing work stress and enhances performance (Howard, 2009).

The next task that must be carried out effectively by managers and leaders with the objective of amicably solving organizational challenges is organizing. Organizing involves establishing task and authority relationships that allow the employees to work together to achieve the goals. One way of enhancing this that leader must ensure that employees work in teams. The advantage of working in teams is that performance is enhanced since employees combine skills and efforts. Working in teams as well plays a crucial role in enhancing communication between the employees and other stakeholders. For instance, a team is a crucial and essential platform that is used by the employees to air their grievances. If there are employees that the feel that the leaders are unfair regarding evaluation and rewards employees air such issues that lead to stress in groups. Employees that feel that they are stressed by workload, challenge, involvement, or compensation as well report their issues in groups, and amicable solutions can be reached (Meese & Ortmeier, 2004).

The third task that is vital in solving leadership and management challenges is leading. One of the key roles that should be played by the leaders and managers is to motivate and inspire the employees. The most significant an applicable way of motivating employees is to reward them. For instance, employees that perform extraordinarily in the public health NGO should be rewarded. Rewards such as increment in salary, promotion, and taking such employees to trips are a vital way of motivation. This is one way of solving issues such as stress, lack of job satisfaction, and poor performance. Therefore, leaders and managers must ensure that the right policies for rewarding employees are developed and implemented (Huston, 2008).

The fourth task that should be effectively conducted by the leaders and managers with the aim of solving leadership challenges is controlling. Controlling of the employees involve establishing accurate measuring and monitoring how well the organization has achieved its objectives. Leaders who carry out effective controlling prevent issues such as stress caused by workload, unfairness, and compensation in the organization. For instance, the evaluation and monitoring systems will ensure that the performing employees are rewarded and promoted. As such, this is one way of killing unfairness and in the long run, performance is substantially improved. Effective controlling as well ensures that roles and responsibilities are assigned in an effective and efficient manner (Goleman, 2004).

The other challenge that was faced by the leaders and managers is cultural diversity. This is whereby employees differ in perspectives and opinions due to their variation in backgrounds. One way of amicably solving such issue is to encourage the employees to work in teams. In such teams, employees will share ideas, knowledge, and tasks and this is vital in enhancing interaction. As such, they will learn to value each other’s opinions and perspectives. In addition to the above, leaders should encourage employees to stick to the organization culture. Organization culture stipulates the way in which employees should carry themselves. Values such as integrity, commitment, honesty, adherence to the code of ethics, and social justice are enhanced by this culture. Thus, this is the best way of amicably solving issues associated with employees differing culture (Fernandez & Steffen, 2013).

Finally, that successful leaders and managers in public health should be effective in driving results in an organization. Such leaders and managers should possess the skills of getting the employees focused on the goals and objectives stipulated. These are the type of leaders who are not frightened of reminding the employees their progress in relation to goals and objectives (Folkman, 2016). The other recommendation is that successful leaders and managers should possess collaboration skills whereby all the employees are encouraged to work as a team. One of the crucial challenges that is faced by most leaders in an organization is the competition for resources. In an organization with poor collaboration service delivery is poor, access to information is poor, and work often gets stalled. However, effective leaders ensure that collaboration within the organization is enhanced with the objective of promoting a productive healthcare environment (Derue at al., 2011).

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, public health leadership and management involve various challenges. Some of the common challenges discussed include management of change, conflict of interests, stress management, and cultural diversity. The major potential work stressors include teamwork, workload, supervision, challenge, fairness, compensation, and involvement. However, leaders and managers must initiate various strategies to solve all these challenges. Some of the most crucial ways of amicably solving these issues include effective leading, planning, controlling, and organizing. In addition to the above, leaders and managers must ensure that they motivate employees, encourage teamwork, and use rewards and incentives. All these solutions will ensure that all the challenges that are faced by leaders, managers, and all other stakeholders in the health care sector are amicably resolved.

REFERENCES

Brownson, R.C., Baker, E.A., Leet, T.L., Gillespie, K.N. and True, W.R., 2010. Evidence-based public health. Oxford University Press.

Conner, D.R., 2006. Managing at the speed of change: How resilient managers succeed and prosper where others fail. Random House.

Goleman, D., 2004. What makes a leader? Harvard business review, 82(1), pp.82-91.

Gardener, J. 2012. Leadership theories and principles. Jones Bartlett Publishers.

Dixon-Woods, M., McNicol, S. and Martin, G., 2012. Ten challenges in improving quality in healthcare: lessons from the Health Foundation’s programme evaluations and relevant literature. BMJ quality & safety, pp. bmjqs-2011.

Derue, D. S., Nahrgang, J. D., Wellman, N. E. D., & Humphrey, S. E. 2011. Trait and behavioral theories of leadership: An integration and meta‐analytic test of their relative validity. Personnel psychology, 64(1), 7-52.

Folkman, J. 2016. Top 9 Leadership Behaviors That drive employee Commitment. Retrieved from http://zengerfolkman.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/ZFA-9-Behaviors.pdf

Fernandez, C.S. and Steffen, D., 2013. Leadership for public health. Novick and Morrow’s Public health administration: Principles for population based management, pp.241-265.

Huston, C., 2008. Preparing nurse leaders for 2020. Journal of Nursing Management, 16(8), pp.905-911.

Howard, K. 2009. Leadership in public health. Journal of Cancer Education, 24: S11–S18.

MacKay, C.J., Cousins, R., Kelly, P.J., Lee, S. and McCaig, R.H., 2004. ‘Management Standards’ and work-related stress in the UK: Policy background and science. Work & Stress, 18(2), pp.91-112.

Moodie, R., 2016. Learning about self: leadership skills for public health. Journal of public health research, 5(1).

Meese, E. and Ortmeier, P.J., 2004. Leadership, ethics, and policing: Challenges for the 21st century. Prentice Hall.

Vest, J.R. and Gamm, L.D., 2010. Health information exchange: persistent challenges and new strategies. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 17(3), pp.288-294.