When it comes to landing a new position, culture fit is crucial. Whether it takes days, weeks, or months to land a position with a healthcare organization that fits your ideal work environment, most candidates are willing to hold out to find the right fit. However, interim leaders do not always have that option. In the world of interim leadership, clinical leaders are expected to hit the ground running without being afforded several weeks of orientation like their permanent counterparts might otherwise have had.
And while the circumstances of interim leadership are great for expanding one’s leadership skillset, the nature of interim leadership itself means that there probably won’t be a 100% match between the candidate and healthcare organization every time, statistically speaking. Because of this, below is a quick outline of steps interim leaders can take when faced with a culture fit mismatch:
- Locate the problem. Identifying the problem when it comes to culture fit can be challenging in that an organization’s culture is intangible. Unlike looking for a budgeting error or performance issue, culture is often not as well-defined or clear cut. Because of this, it can be useful take the time to identify exactly what it is about the department or organization’s culture that you are struggling to mesh with. Is the hospital less hierarchical than you’re used to? Or do employees seem to constantly ask you for feedback because they’re used to continuous feedback and you’re not? By identifying these gaps between the kinds of cultures you’re conditioned to and that of the organization, you can better define what the exact challenges might be and how you intend to overcome them.
- Build rapport with your teams. As every interim leader knows, building rapport with your teams is crucial for a successful interim assignment. By taking the time to get to know those around you, you demonstrate that the success of the organization is important to you which can help you to get employee buy-in should you need to make difficult changes.
- Check-in with leadership. In order to ensure that your interim assignment is on-track, it’s essential to check-in with the individual you are reporting to from time to time. More often than not, these conversations tend to focus on deliverables. However, regular touch-base meetings are a great opportunity to bring up any questions you may have regarding the culture of the facility. They were new to the organization once too, and more than likely have been in your shoes. So, if you have questions regarding how best to approach specific challenges with teams or departments, they can be a great resource to get feedback from. After all, they want to help you succeed because your success is a success for the organization.
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