Leadership and Human Resources in Healthcare

In the healthcare context, the process of decision-making depends on the participation of not only leaders but also the staff who represent one of the most valuable assets for organizations. Human resources may often challenge leadership in healthcare as the shortage of employees or their improper distribution within organizations creates additional issues that leaders need to address. Therefore, the problem of insufficient and inefficient human resources has been chosen for exploration to determine its impact on leadership within the decision-making process in the healthcare context.

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The increased workload and the shortage of human resources at healthcare settings may lead to increased tensions and conflicts among workers and the decreased opportunity to establish a friendly and effective environment between supervisors and the personnel (Ghiasipour, Mosadeghrad, Arab, & Jaafaripooyan, 2017). When work is unequally distributed, the chances of healthcare practitioners’ burnout increase as they are faced with high expectations that they cannot fulfill (Jaeger, Bechir, Harouna, Moto, & Utzinger, 2018). This is challenging for leaders when they plan organizational change or want to bring their team to a new level of performance. Without cohesion in the practice setting and positive relationships, ensuring the success of their organizations is a complicated task.

Employee empowerment becomes one of the key tasks for leaders in instances of increased workload and severe burnout. According to the study by Mudallal, Othman, and Hassan (2017), nurse leaders should contribute to improving work conditions and empowering employees to decrease the feeling of burnout, reduce the rates of turnover, and enhance the overall quality of care provision. High levels of burnout and subsequent conflicts that arise as a result of it are caused by unsatisfactory work conditions, such as work overload, the unfair treatment, the lack of control and resources, as well as unsupportive and uncooperative leaders (Mudallal et al., 2017).

In intensive care units, the levels of burnout are high because healthcare practitioners are subjected to a much stress and a great variety of responsibilities. This means that more attention is required for supporting nurses at high-intensity settings by increasing both informational resources to improve practitioners’ satisfaction and the skills of their leaders.

Another component contributing to the challenges of human resource refers to inappropriate pre-enrolment and on-the-job education of the personnel. Training courses to ensure the effectiveness of the personnel at healthcare organizations are often not enough and not suitable for the needs of organizations (Ghiasipour et al., 2017). There may be cases in which the staff is not informed about their duties or administrative rules, which causes significant problems in terms of communication and work process.

Leaders are expected to resolve communicational issues among employees, and when there is a lack of understanding regarding their responsibilities and the alignment with organizational rules, managing such relations is complicated.

Inappropriate motivational mechanisms at healthcare facilities represent another human resource challenge that limits the capabilities of leaders. Such factors as the “disproportionate remuneration, appointment, and promotion to the personnel’s performance, ignoring individual differences in applying motivations, and also unstable and inadequate bonuses” cannot stimulate employees to the desired level (Ghiasipour et al., 2017, p. 96). When leaders do not pay enough attention to the methods of motivating their subordinates, it is unlikely that the latter would exhibit the desired level of performance and engagement necessary to meet organizational objectives.

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Besides, with the wide diversity of staff in regards to their social class, educational levels, and income, it is hard for leaders to ensure that all workers are on the same level of motivation. While the high variety of perspectives in the healthcare setting enhances the delivery of care, it is challenging for leaders to consider the needs of every worker (Ghiasipour et al., 2017). Therefore, leaders in the healthcare profession should be attentive to the motives and needs of diverse employees to ensure that they bring the desired level of expertise to the process of caring for patients.

In summary, it is essential to note that in the decision-making process, leaders heavily rely on human resources as they are the ones to implement the designed organizational changes. In settings where leaders do not give the necessary level of attention to the needs of their workers, it is unlikely that the decisions that they make will be implemented successfully. When employees are unmotivated or lack engagement, they are unlikely to be effective participants in the decision-making process.


Ghiasipour, M., Mosadeghrad, A. M., Arab, M., & Jaafaripooyan, E. (2017). Leadership challenges in health care organizations: The case of Iranian hospitals. Medical Journal of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 31(96). Web.

Jaeger, F. N., Bechir, M., Harouna, M., Moto, D. D., & Utzinger, J. (2018). Challenges and opportunities for healthcare workers in a rural district of Chad. BMC Health Services Research, 18(7). Web.

Mudallal, R. H., Othman, W. M., & Al Hassan, N. F. (2017). Nurses’ burnout: The influence of leader empowering behaviors, work conditions, and demographic traits. Inquiry: A Journal of Medical Care Organization, Provision and Financing, 54, 1-9.

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