Hospital leaders are losing physician trust — here's 4 tips to change that

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Nearly a third of physicians lost trust in their hospital's organizational leadership during the pandemic. A 15-year study of 3,200 leaders found four ways for CEOs to earn and retain trust from their staff, according to a June 11 report by Harvard Business Review.

Ron Carucci is the co-founder and managing partner at organizational leadership consulting firm Navalent, which works with CEOs and executives pursuing transformational change. Mr. Carcucci's research has indicated that if executives follow these four steps, they'll be 16 times more likely to earn and keep the trust of others.

Four tips:

Assert your values and live up to them.
CEOs may say they value compassion, but their staff will look at their actions. Mr. Carucci used the example of a car accident: If your first response upon hearing the news is, "How bad is the damage?" instead of, "Was anyone hurt?" your commitment to compassion may appear thin. Your staff will judge your trustworthiness by the extent to which your actions match your words.

Treat others and their work with dignity.
In hospitals, oftentimes clinicians' value is weighed by the work they produce. It's important to treat your staff and their work with dignity. People are more likely to trust managers who are courteous when referring to their work and acknowledge it as a distinct part of what they do.

Determine when it's appropriate to be vulnerable.
Opening up to your staff and disclosing information that helps people learn can gain trust. However, it's not always appropriate to share every detail. Hospital leaders can retain staff trust when not disclosing private information by being transparent about why they can't share those details.

Build an environment of unity in your hospital.
As hospital CEOs take stances on controversial topics and hospitals adopt hybrid work models among some departments, some staff may feel alienated. Hospital leaders should unify their organization by implementing strategies such as turning department rivals into accomplices or making your staff feel safe to bring their whole selves to work.

To read the full list of tips, click here.

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