The leadership problem under consideration focuses upon Jackie, the nurse manager, who violates her official duties. In particular, she fails to attend the Joint Commission meetings and ignores her subordinates’ requests for advice and support. Moreover, Jackie develops personal relationships with some employees. This problem can be highly detrimental to the working environment at the facility and for the health outcomes of its clients. Therefore, the management of this nursing leadership problem requires a carefully planned intervention strategy.
The coaching-based leadership intervention strategy will be the most effective to deal with the problem of Jackie’s performance as a nurse manager. This intervention strategy relies on “a collaborative relationship between coach and coachee, oriented toward facilitating goal attainment and individual change” (Zuberbuhler et al., 2020, p. 2). The coach will address this problem by applying a specific range of “emotional, cognitive, and behavioral techniques” (Zuberbuhler et al., 2020, p. 2). The intervention strategy will unfold in several steps. First of all, the needs assessment analysis will be necessary to identify the nurse manager’s skills, which to be improved. Next, a coach professional will be selected based on the required set of skills and expertise. Further, the nurse manager will undergo weekly coaching sessions over three months.
The coaching-based intervention strategy will strongly rely on individual sessions with the coachee. In such a manner, a relationship of mutual trust will develop, thus ensuring Jackie’s psychological readiness for cooperation. The coaching training will provide discussions and consultative support in terms of the coachee’s motivation, time management, the scope of duties, interpersonal, and professional relations at work. In particular, the coach will demonstrate the nurse manager the necessity to improve her performance. For instance, providing examples of best practices and promotions from other departments or facilities will create an internal need for development. As a result, the coaching process will eliminate the aberrations in Jackie’s behavior, preventing her from performing her professional duties appropriately. Pre-project and post-coaching surveys will reflect the overall outcome of the intervention strategy. Furthermore, the nurse manager will prepare and submit a detailed report on the results of her training.
It is necessary to analyze the leadership theory applicable to the suggested strategy. In this context, the coaching intervention will rely on the transformational leadership theory. Indeed, transformational leadership involves “a relationship between the leader and the follower in which they motivate each other to higher levels, resulting in value system congruence” (Xu, 2017, p. 156). Therefore, this theory will be the best option to ensure the effective implementation of the coaching intervention strategy, which requires the establishment of relationships based on trust and collaboration between the mentor and mentee.
One of the essential benefits of transformational leadership theory is its focus on changes. In this context, the coaches are “change agents who use their qualities and personalities to motivate their followers to achieve their goals, to share their visions” (Xu, 2017, p. 156). Another essential feature of this approach is inspiring mentees to accomplish the institution’s ultimate objectives. What is more critical, transformational leadership theory fosters not only mutual trust and respect but also the skills of independent decision-making in its followers. Hence, the sustainability of this strategy is evident, as it will ensure the effective implementation of organizational objectives even after the intervention.
As one can observe, the transformational leadership theory is the preferable approach as compared to other strategies. For instance, participative or democratic leadership is another theory that is also applicable to this situation. Under this approach, all “team members participate in the decision-making process” (Xu, 2017, p. 156). As a result, this theory involves active engagement in the managerial processes. Similar to the previous method, this strategy also relies on mutual relationships of trust between the stakeholders. However, the participative leadership theory will not be as effective as the transformational approach.
Indeed, transformational leadership has a more definite potential to influence organizational commitment and employees’ performance. In particular, this theory will ensure that the nurse manager’s thinking and behavior patterns will change and thus improve the facility’s ultimate outcomes. Besides, participation in the decision-making process, advocated by democratic leadership, will not resolve the problem, since the nurse manager must develop a correct understanding of her job responsibilities. Meanwhile, the skills of independent decision-making, fostered in the context of transformational theory, will improve her performance in the future. The effectiveness of the transformational approach was evident in several similar situations. For instance, it was useful in the scenario when “a nurse often slept on her night shifts” (Xu, 2017, p. 155). Therefore, the nurse manager assumed the transformational leadership role. As a result, the nurse’s motivation increased, and the manager exerted a direct influence on her behavior.
Another vital benefit of transformational leadership is that it can influence both individual and institutional outcomes. Therefore, its impact will not be limited to the professional development of separate staff representatives. Instead, it will provide the achievement of the organization’s broader objectives. In other words, the effective change leadership will ensure the attainment of organizational goals since it will improve the psychological climate at the facility, close the communication gaps, and streamline the management process. As a result, the employees’ performance will automatically advance, and this will improve patients’ satisfaction level, as well as health outcomes and quality of life.
Furthermore, the intervention strategy naturally depends on the existing managerial context. In terms of health care legislation, several institutional policies are of paramount importance. For instance, the organization must adopt “no tolerance policies for behaviors that are known to impact quality” (Salmond & Echevarria, 2017, p. 15). That is to say, the authorities must not overlook Jackie’s underperformance as it affects the quality of the delivered health service. To eliminate this problem, the institution must have a specific algorithm to review the situation, appoint the coaching-based intervention, and evaluate the training outcomes on time. Therefore, a well-defined policy of reporting the results is also essential. Moreover, the checks and balances policy will ensure the collaborative nature of tackling this problem by the division of responsibilities among different stakeholders, including top managers, coaching centers, human resources, and quality assurance departments.
Moreover, organizational change models are no less important. In particular, considering Kurt Lewin’s three-step model exerts a significant influence on the suggested intervention strategy. Hence, the coaching-based intervention strategy will rely on the principles of “unfreezing, moving and refreezing” of this organizational change model (Batras et al., 2016, p. 234). To be more specific, the unfreezing step will create Jackie’s internal dissatisfaction with her current job situation. Furthermore, the moving step will involve the implementation of “training and up-skilling” (Batras et al., 2016, p. 234). At the refreezing stage, the updated organizational practices become “realigned to support the continuation of the change” (Batras et al., 2016, p. 234). In such a manner, one can ensure the durability of the achieved results.
Thus, the suggested intervention strategy provides an innovative approach to the management of the nursing leadership problem. The expected impact of the proposed intervention strategy is accomplishing the overall objectives of the facility, which are a benign working environment for staff, patients’ enhanced quality of life, and improved health outcomes. Through the implementation of the coaching-based intervention, based on the transformational leadership theory, the nurse manager will develop the required level of organizational commitment, which will ultimately resolve the problem.
Batras, D., Duff, C., & Smith, B. J. (2016). Organizational change theory: implications for health promotion practice. Health Promotion International, 31(1), 231–241.
Salmond, S. W., & Echevarria, M. (2017). Healthcare transformation and changing roles for nursing. Orthopaedic Nursing, 36(1), 12–25.
Xu, J.-H. (2017). Leadership theory in clinical practice. Chinese Nursing Research, 4(4), 155–157.
Zuberbuhler, P. M. J., Salanova, M., & Martínez, I. M. (2020). Coaching-based leadership intervention program: A controlled trial study. Frontiers in Psychology, 10(3066), 1–22.