Respect for people has emerged as one of the most important traits that are associated with the leadership needs of the health and social care.
The health care is an industry where the impact of lack of quality is reflected in the health and safety of the patients. Hence, it is very important for the health care industry to have a robust quality management system in the guidance of effective leadership strategies so that the care services provided to the patients (Strömgren et al., 2017). Researchers are of the opinion that the impact of the policy oriented changes brought forth by the national and global authorities have been drastic in improving the quality management scenario of the health care industry. However, along with this change, there has been a change in the expectations regarding the role and responsibilities of the leaders and the context of leadership in the health organization (Carmeli, Dutton & Hardin, 2015).
It has to be acknowledged that in the profession of health and social care, the job roles are often dynamic, overlapping and much more extensive than any other profession. As illustrated by Al-Sawai (2013), while providing health care to the patients the health and safety workers require to invest more efforts and exceed job expectations to ensure adequate care delivery to the patients. However, lack of proper infrastructure, training and many such external and internal factors are associated with the gaps left behind the health care service delivery. Hence, it is very important for the health care industries to have a sound leadership which motivates the employees to excel even when facing stress, burnout and pressure. Many authors have hypothesized the importance of respect in leadership approach, which can act as a potent motivational tool for the employees and helping them push forth and achieve quality outcomes, especially in health care industry (Bolman & Deal, 2017). This essay will explore the construct of respect for people with respect to health care leadership approaches in healthcare and whether it can have a positive impact on organizational performance.
Leadership in healthcare:
For any organizational entity to excel in performance quality and productivity, there is a need for an effective and able leadership approach that motivates the employees to excel their own expectations and in turn excel in the expectation of the organization as well. However, the concept leadership and its importance has found recognition in the health care industry not very long ago, researchers are of the opinion that the need for effective leadership has emerged with the introduction of proper quality management. As argued by Sfantou et al. (2017), effective leadership is essential for strengthening and improving the quality and integration of the care provided to the patients.
By definition leadership can be described as a relationship and behaviour of the individual in order to direct the activities and performance of the group that the individual is leading with the attempt to achieve the organizational goal set (Heifetz & Linsky, 2017). The key attributes of the leaders has been opined by various authors as influencing the activity of the group members, helping them cope with change, addressing their issues and most importantly motivating them. The concept of respect has recently been associated with the leadership quality with the idea that integrating respect for people in the leadership not just improves employee performance but also is a key motivational component which helps the employees enhance organizational citizenship behaviour, which in turn helps them adhere to quality benchmarks voluntarily and improve the performance on their own. Hence, in healthcare, where quality improvement directly reflects as enhanced safety and wellbeing for the patients, undoubtedly it holds extreme importance in healthcare leadership (DuBrin, 2015).
Respect for people in health care:
Respect for people is a very important aspect in society, not just in an organizational context, but for people with individual lives as well. Providing respect to people while engaging with them helps strengthen the connection between the both parties and also facilitate more positive outcome from the interchange between them (Grover, 2014). There is mounting evidence that while facing a conflicted situation, it is crucial for the leaders to take a transformational approach, employing leadership soft skills that will help the group members feel valued and important. On a more elaborative note, it will not only calm the group in the face of a tense situation, it will motivate each of the group members to contribute their fair share voluntarily in order to achieve the shared goals. Similarly, health care is an organizational scenario where conflicts and crisis situations are ever-present; and often the most of performance and quality related errors committed by the employees are due to burnout stress, lack of proper training or understanding of how to address the situation and lack of effective engaging leadership. Authors have mentioned that treating with respect has been reported to be one of the most helpful and motivating traits that a leader can show to his or her group members while addressing conflict or going through a tense situation (Lorinkova & Perry, 2018).
Now, in order to understand how respect for people plays into the health care leadership context, it is important to understand what respect entails and how it affects the health care stakeholders. As argued by Martens (2018), respect can be defined as the sense of worth or personal value given to the other person as an overall evaluation. On a more elaborative note, respect is considered as a positive view that one generates of someone of how they act and behave. While providing respect for other people, it indicates giving value to the ideals and principles of another person helping them feel valued and their actions being acknowledged positively. Now respect is a fundamental aspect in health care, respecting patients, their identity, individuality and culture is an integral aspect associated with the care planning and delivery. Hence, it can be stated that when the leaders in the health care industry instils respect for people as a fundamental element of the organizational culture, inevitably it will also enhance the respect for patients as well. Considering the second most important stakeholder, the impact of respect also contains potential to change the performance and productivity of the employees. When a leader listens to the ideas and inputs of the subordinate members, the respect provided by the leader is reflected actively in the perception of the employees. As argued by Collini, Guidroz and Perez (2015), when the subordinate employees are respected by the leader, they avail a sense of belonging to not only the team but also the organization. As a result there will be improvement in the behaviour and attitude of the employees towards the rules, regulations and protocols that have been developed for meeting the quality benchmark and enhance accountability towards the care provided. As a result, when the health care organization has respect for people at the centre of their organizational culture, undoubtedly the health care service delivery will be drastically positively impacted and the wide4r community will also be benefitted (Collini, Guidroz & Perez).
Considering literature evidence on the positive influence of respect for people implemented in the health care leadership, the most of evidence points out the benefits of respectful approach to leadership. As argued by Carmeli, Dutton and Hardin (2015), respect has been highlighted as the engine for new ideas in the organizational context. Respectfully engaging with the employees or team members has a significantly positive impact on creativity and accountability of their performance. It has to be discussed here that the impact of respecting people in the organization has a distinct and drastic change on how the employees perceive their worth in the organization. When the individual ideals and principles of an employee is respected by the leader it helps them relate more to the shared goals and develop a sense of positive engagement and belonging to the organization, and helps them view the shared organizational goals as personal achievement, and it improves employment health and helps the organization easily meet work health and safety standard by respecting the employees as a human and not just a service. As mentioned by Grover (2014), respect for people in an organization can be reflected in the justice, fairness and anti-discrimination policies. Even in the health care industry, the most disrespect and unequal behaviour is encountered by the employees that are culturally diverse or belong to socially disadvantaged groups, if the leadership approach and organizational culture is based on respect for people, it is easier for the employees to implement and follow fairness, justice and antidiscrimination in the organization. As argued by Graban (2016), for a health care organization that is focused on respect, fairness and antidiscrimination, the patients from multicultural backgrounds are treated with respect and dignity as well due to the entire organizational culture being based on respect for people.
Influence of leaders on organizational culture:
Implementing a change in the organizational culture involves a massive impact. It has to be understood that change implementation is a time taking procedure which requires equal efforts and dedication from all the stakeholders involved. Hence, any change in organizational culture can be very challenging to implement. However, the organizational leaders undoubtedly have a fundamentally strong impact on the culture of the said organization by the virtue of their position and their functionality in the service delivery. As mentioned by Yang, Ding and Lo (2016), a successful leader is who can provide an enhanced level or meaning and worth to what they do, and this ability puts the organizational leaders in the position where they can influence the organizational culture with a little effort and skillset. On a more exploratory note, the transformational leadership, which is also one of the most common types of leadership style followed, enlightens leaders to be the facilitators of all positive changes in the organization. In support, Bolino et al. (2015), have argued that the leaders help in creating a space for the employees in the organization where even when handling pressure and occupational stress, the employees can feel empowered, inspired and valued. Leaders are those who instil purpose and belongingness within the employees, the leaders enhance organizational performance by enhancing confidence, reducing fear and discomfort, resolving conflict and mitigating all risks.
As discussed by Matta et al. (2015), the leaders have the power to manipulate the thought process of their followers, by the use of idolizing influence, the leaders can motivate and inspire the followers to envision the shared organizational goal as their personal goals as well, changing the perceptions of the employees completely and changing the organizational culture as well. Hence, the impact of leaders and their leadership style on modifying the organizational culture cannot be ignored; and when implementing change in the very core values of the organizational culture will also require active effort from the organizational leaders. There is mounting evidence that the behaviour and principles followed by the leaders are reflected on the behavior and attitude of the followers as well. In case an organizational leader incorporates respect for people in the very core ideals of his or her leadership approach, inevitably resecting others will be a strong influence on the organizational culture. As a result the stakeholders will also respond positively to the change and the change implementation on the organizational performance will be smooth (Jones Christensen, Mackey & Whetten, 2014).
Impact of respect on organizational performance:
Measuring the performance of the organization is a vital process of monitoring the organizational progress, the organizational performance measurement comprises of actual performance outcome or result measurement and then comparing it to the intended goals of the organization (Scott et al., 2018). The organizational performance measurement basically involves a top-down approach of setting performance criteria. Now the impact of an organizational culture that centralizes on the concept of respect for people involving both the staff and the consumers on the organizational performance is extreme. For an instance, taking an example of an organization that is focused on the transactional leadership lacking the core value of respect for people, the organizational performance will be based on the personal gains of the employees. As discussed by Hickman and Silva (2018), when there is a blatant lack of respect for others in an organizational culture and in the approach of the leaders, it is very difficult to instil the concepts of organizational citizenship behaviour among the employees. Elaborating more, organizational citizenship behaviour is the key to better performance and employee engagement, a voluntary effort from the employee towards better performance and meeting the organizational goals. Such behaviours can only foster in an environment where there the dignity and identity of the employee is respected and their voice is heard. For a transactional leadership approach in an organization, the respect is missing along with the opportunity for the voice of the employees to be heard. There is no scope of development of a sense of belonging and attachment to the organization with a considerable impact on the job satisfaction levels of the employees as well. Hence, the organizational performance for each employee is affected radically, and the cumulative impact of it has a deleterious impact on the overall organizational performance (Yang, Ding & Lo, 2016).
On the other hand, for an organization that has respect for people as a core value of their organizational culture and the leadership approach, there is radical positive impact on the organizational performance. Authors have illustrated that the respect provided to each and every employee regardless of their position, designation, functionality or performance, helps in fostering a positive employee engagement in the team members. Now respecting the employees by the organizational leaders encompasses not just respecting their identity or cultural dignity, respect extends to giving the opportunity for the team members to voice their ideas and grievances along with having shared decision making. As illustrated by Lorinkova and Perry (2018), having a valid say in the decision making helps the employees to be a part of the organizational success and it motivates them to enhance the level voluntary efforts enhancing their personal performance quality and productivity. As a result the impact of this heightened organizational citizenship behaviour cumulatively results in improved organizational performance and meeting the intended goals easily. The importance of high attachment and organizational citizenship behaviour among the employees of the health care organizations is very important as it relates directly to the health and safety of the patients receiving care. Hence, it is crucial for the leaders in the health care organizations to instil respect for people in the organizational culture so that the employees providing care to the patients provide utmost effort and dedication to their job roles perceiving organizational success of higher quality care as their personal gain (Yang, Ding & Lo, 2016).
On a concluding note, it has to be mentioned that the health care industry is undoubtedly a public service sector that experiences the most of the demand. This is a profession where the employees are also expected to invest far more efforts and engagement than any other organizational sector. With the additional stress of burnout and ever-increasing quality improvement guidelines, it is crucial for the health care leadership and organizational culture at play to be respectful and fair to each employees. This essay has illustrated successfully and ion accordance with best practice evidence the impact of respect for people instilled as a core value in leadership style and in turn organizational culture. The evidence suggested that respecting the employees enhances their attachment to the organization and inspires them to voluntarily improve their practice without the added burden of pressure, which is essential for safety and wellbeing of the patient that these employees serve. The role of leaders in facilitating this organizational culture has been also explored and evaluated in the essay. It can be stated from the evidence explored that the leaders hold a position of tremendous influence, they can in fact make or break an organization. If these leaders can modify their leadership approach with respect and idolizing influence, implementing positive change can be easy and smooth, even for an organizational sector as dynamic and complex as the health care industry.
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