At present, with the COVID pandemic, when there are shortages of medical workers practically in all fields, the issue of managing overtired employees is especially relevant. While as a rule, effective management is enough to keep a department up-to-date and efficient, these times demand a different approach. This paper hypothesizes that the transition from management to transformational leadership will benefit medical workers and patients, allowing leaders to adopt an inspirational approach to managing departments. Built on trust rather than strict norms, this approach enables employees to be guided by their leaders and build professional relations with patients on the basis of mutual respect rather than a rigid clinical framework. The interventional radiology department was chosen as a basis for this supposed transformation since it presents unique challenges in introducing a new system.
The difference between management and leadership has been established for some years now. Scholars assert that management is the art of organizing things in such a way as to create the best working conditions for employees, while leadership places emphasis on providing good examples and inspiration (Algahtani, 2014). Trust and a proactive position are named key elements of leadership, while management relies more on policies and procedures established within departments, which often sap the initiative. Transformational leadership is an approach that allows employers to be guided by the values and emotions of their staff (Northouse, 2018). This approach enables workers to develop their potential when applied appropriately since the management allows some scope for it. Moreover, this approach reduces the level of complaints because the staff knows that the leaders do their best to address employees’ concerns.
Many authors describe the benefits of transformational leadership approach in their works. The article by Steinmann et al. (2018) sets parallels between goal-setting and the transformational leadership approach. The authors state that the transformational leadership approach allows employees to see goals as attainable and make them willing to apply considerable effort in achieving them. Sfantou et al. (2017) trace the connection between transformational leadership and enhancing patients’ care. The authors assert a direct correlation between the quality of care and the leadership style. Their analysis is based on a large number of scholarly works and is highly credible. Su et al. (2021) consider the impact of the transformational approach on the quality of care. Having polled a large number of employees and managers, scholars have concluded that there is a direct connection between leadership and care quality. Transformational style has been found to contribute most to the increase in care satisfaction on the part of the patients. Thus, scholarly sources reviewed serve to support this work’s claim that transformational leadership can be beneficial for departments in terms of increasing quality of work, goal-orientedness, and patient care.
Changing the Department Culture from Management to Leadership
Changing the department culture from management to leadership is a challenging task as for this change to succeed, it should embrace the department as a whole, not some part of its work. Often a good idea can be to start with a vision of the things, a general statement that would find support at the grassroots level of the department (Algahtani, 2014). The idea should be attractive enough for people to want to follow it. Today, the problem of many medical departments is the lack of communication between the staff. Creating a vision of a department that works as a coherent body with everyone involved in a joint business could be just the right kind of vision to embrace. Next, this vision should be fortified by particular measures of its implementation. In the interventional radiology department, the problem is that there is little communication between nurses and the techs, which often results in the situation when nurses are not aware of the full potential of the equipment they use. The idea of organizing some educational meeting with the tech department once in a while is likely to find support at all levels and result in a better patient care. The next stage is to underpin this idea with role definitions and put someone in control of how things are going. Once it is done, the transformational change would be on its way.
Transformational leadership: A Way to Increase the Quality of Service
Transformational leadership serves to increase the quality of service by allowing employees more freedom to make decisions about the patient’s treatment. By placing trust in the staff, the leader delegates powers, and employees are likely to be proud of their role in the department (Northouse, 2018). Thus, more likely than not, they will double-check everything not to let down the leader who trusted them and aspire to improve their skills.
Apart from that, within the vision of creating a department where people work side by side, exchanging ideas and initiatives, one way to enhance the quality of services could be mutual goal-setting. There could be aims to be achieved as a department on the whole and by teams within the department (Steinmann et al., 2018). To better align employees’ vision with the goals, staff meetings could be set to discuss what should be done first. Improving services and reducing the number of complaints could be an essential step in improving the organizational culture when workers are eager to help each other succeed as a whole. Moreover, the competition between departments may prompt workers to try to outdo one another in their quest for recognition.
Transformational leadership: Enhancing Patient Experience
Patient safety and satisfaction are likely to benefit from the change to transformational leadership. Many patients report enhanced customer service after a department converts to the transformational leadership model. It is mainly due to the fact that when the vision of the company’s development is established, patient service is among the things that are in the focus of attention. Transformational leaders seek to grant employees’ wishes, consider patients’ needs and concerns, and envision transformations that would be beneficial for the patients (Sfantou et al., 2017). In the interventional radiology department, there is a lack of communication between patients and nurses. Patients do not always understand how certain procedures are done and how they can be beneficial for them. By setting a culture of communication within the department, transformational leaders promote the knowledge among the patient and the willingness to share this knowledge among the staff. Moreover, many transformation leaders aspire to develop a culture of patient safety, making different teams coordinated. Thus, there is less room for mistake, and patients’ satisfaction grows when they are assisted by other medical workers who work towards a common goal.
Employee Satisfaction as a Way to Improve Services
Research shows that there is a considerable boost to employee satisfaction when leaders apply the transformational approach. Knowing that their wishes will be heard, medical workers tend to be optimistic about work and medical cases they deal with, instilling patients with hope and optimism (Su et al., 2019). Being optimistic about work, staff adopts a more caring attitude to patients and shows more desire to help. Moreover, in case of need, as with the COVID pandemic of today, medical staff are more likely to work overtime for the same salary since they know that their dedication will be appreciated. Transformational leaders allow space to develop the employee’s potential; they welcome questions and initiative and engage in conversation with their staff. Transformation leaders provide guidance and support in working processes and welcome feedback from patients on their staff’s work.
The difference between management and leadership lies in the fact that while managers work by setting frameworks and rules, leaders engage with staff and inspire workers by their example. Transformational leadership style presupposes creating a vision of the development of the department for years to come and setting more immediate goals to be fulfilled. Delegating powers to employees, transformational leaders place trust in their team; they are guided by the staff’s values and aspirations. This approach allows to significantly reduce staff turnover and discontent. Under transformational leaders, patient care and safety are enhanced since staff works collaboratively to achieve better results. In the interventional radiology department, the change from management to transformational leadership will be especially beneficial. It will allow to solve problems of the lack of communication between nurses and techs, improve the quality of communication with patients, and engage all staff members in the processes of decision-making.
Algahtani, A. (2014). Are leadership and management different? A Review. Journal of Management Policies and Practices, 2(3), 71-82.
Northouse, P. G. (2018). Interactive leadership: Theory and practice, 8th ed., [eBook edition]. SAGE. Web.
Sfantou, D. F., Laliotis, A., Patelarou, A. E., Sifaki-Pistolla, D., Matalliotakis, M., & Patelarou, E. (2017, December). Importance of leadership style towards quality of care measures in healthcare settings: a systematic review. Healthcare 5(4), p. 73-75. Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute. Web.
Steinmann, B., Klug, H. J., & Maier, G. W. (2018). The path is the goal: How transformational leaders enhance followers’ job attitudes and proactive behavior. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 2338-2343 Web.
Su, F., Cheng, D., & Wen, S. (2019). Multilevel impacts of transformational leadership on service quality: Evidence from China. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 1252-1258. Web.