People management is a dimension that has been growing
People management is a dimension that has been growing in importance in the various sectors of the economy and acting as a key foundation in the value generation. In the health sector, the evolution of increasingly efficient and professional practices has contributed to a management with a higher degree of professionalization, humanization, and sophistication. In the new world scenario, people are increasingly at the center of corporate decisions, driven by concerns about the physical and mental health of their employees, suppliers, and customers. Thus, the human dimension is highlighted as a “means” and “end” for organizations. And this tends to remain, since the crisis we are currently experiencing tends to accentuate the importance of the process of humanizing health institutions.
As “means” we see the growing appreciation of professionals whose essence of the profession requires high levels of courage and delivery. Here are not only doctors, most of whom are already well recognized, but mainly nurses and other professionals who work directly in assistance, ensuring and adding to the quality of processes and service provision. As an “end” we see the purpose of organizations and businesses. The younger generations had already been guided by purpose as one of the main motivators of careers in and out of health. The current pandemic serves as a “purpose test” for current businesses, that is, a kind of “acid proof” of the real purpose of organizations and their respective value propositions. We live in a big change in attitude of managers in prioritizing actions, reassessing their plans in the light of human elements who value the collective to the individual, such as concern for the environment, disadvantaged communities and even ethical issues. There will be room for organizations and people without clear purpose.
What can we imagine, then, as the evolution of the health managers’ profile needs? Will everything be the same or will something change? For that, we highlight among many changes, three main aspects that tend to evolve: technology, risk, and leadership. In technology, we highlight the acceleration of adherence to remote processes, such as telemedicine, which has gained ground among professionals and patients. If before they were mostly resistant, in a few weeks, they started to perceive the practice as more efficient, especially in sectors where physical contact is not as relevant, as in some stages of mental health treatment, for example. Professionals who were already skilled in digitizing business and even assistance, today demonstrate less feeling the effects of the pandemic. Biological risk brings with it an increase in the relevance of risk management, given that the current period of great uncertainties related to the spread of covid-19 requires professionals to navigate at all times, evaluating and reassessing changing scenarios that impact the entire business chain of the health company. For this, professionals must be open, not only to new technologies, but also to new modus operandi, which requires a lot of flexibility and speed of learning. Finally, leadership is key to mobilizing people who today have different demands from months ago and who need to receive encouragement and guidance on how to face adversity and continue to deliver. The current scenario, and what we can imagine for the medium term, will be one of many uncertainties and crises. Thus, managers who tend to stand out are those who achieve results – both quantitative and qualitative – in ambiguous and dynamic scenarios. These will be the most valued and important so that society can manage its crises well, which, more and more, will present greater complexity and will occur more frequently. Leaders who constantly read external and internal factors will be relevant in the world of health business. In practice, they will be those who manage to combine the adequacy of their strategic plans with flexibility, agility, and sensitivity to meet constant changes in customer demand and with quality service delivery. In addition, these leaders will bring even more benefits to the health system if they keep their focus on process safety and speed in problem solving, with agile decisions backed by technology and science.
The future of what people health management will look like, therefore, is not clear. What we know is that the skills of crisis management and agile problem solving will be decisive for the evolution of business and technology. What we see today is a transition to a more dynamic market in demand and demanding in purpose. For this reason, the market tends to require health leaders to train their management and operational teams on how to manage risk and how, in a genuine way, to insert a more human look at the business and its surroundings.
Alexandre Rangel Sabbag
Partner at Boyden Global Executive Search