Modernizing Managing Up - Part II: Filling the Gaps With Technology

In “Modernizing Managing Up – Part I”, I explained what the term “managing up” really means and how it adds to the effective performance of the organization. When the staff understands the managing style and goals of their manager, trust is built between the two and objectives are accomplished more readily. I also outlined some basic skill sets that are key to ‘‘managing up”.

In this post, I would now like to discuss some important factors that  complement or negatively effect “managing up” and describe how technology can help fill the gaps.

Clarity of Organizational Objectives and Plans

A staff member working for his or her boss and the boss’ superior cannot manage up when uncertainties in objectives and plans become deterring tracks to success. Questions to ask are: What are our specific objectives and plans? Does the plan explain why tasks matter and what the objectives are for? Do details of the plans include who is responsible and accountable? Is there a timeline to follow? Do objectives and plans adhere to quality standards, regulations and best practices? Unless there is clarity in all these areas, managing up becomes "messing up" in the long run.

Effective Change Management, Process Improvement, Knowledge Management and Communication Platforms

If there are deficiencies or gaps in any of these areas, the good practice of managing up can suffer. Let’s look at a definition of each, as it relates to healthcare.

-Provide a reason the change is needed.

-Give the picture of what will be the result of the change.

-Outline the route that describes how changes will move through the organization.

-Describe the role each employee will play in the change.

  • Process Improvement should be a continual goal, especially for safer healthcare. One common approach, based on the set of principles by the Toyota Motor Company is Lean, which in very simple terms is eliminating non-value added activities.
  • Knowledge Management – is the process of capturing, developing, sharing and effectively using internal and external knowledge.
  • Communication Platforms – TeamSTEPPS defines communication as the structured process by which information is clearly and accurately exchanged among team members.

Questions to ask are: How do you ask people to embrace managing up as a part of process improvement? Is there a common hub where information can be sourced from and where communication can happen vertically and across the hierarchy? Do emails become productive and not time consuming as they should be? Is there enough transparency in the organization to promote a healthy work culture?

Bullying in Healthcare

There are also certain areas that the current managing up practice cannot fully address. The problem of bullying, for example, has increasingly become a significant issue in the healthcare industry. There are numerous reasons why bullying happens, however its impact on the overall healthcare delivery system cannot be undermined.

Bullying significantly decreases productivity and job satisfaction and can be a large contributor to absences and resignations. The cost incurred by bullying problems is estimated at $4 billion a year.  While managing up promotes positive behaviors and discourages disruptive or inappropriate ones, more intensive culture change efforts are often necessary to combat bullying.

When your boss is the bully, working around this problem is a big dilemma. Experts of Risk Management say that the fear factor in the workplace is a complex problem.  However managing up can help address this challenge if a platform is available to document or report bullying incidences. This would allow the impact of bullying to be assessed so appropriate action can be taken accordingly.

It is Time to Level Up on Your Managing Up Practice?

How far are you in your managing up practice as an individual? How about in your organization as a whole? Do you feel like your organization should level up in this area? It is high time to modernize managing up in healthcare with the following technology that can fill in organizational gaps. Such as:

  • A Unified Communication and Embedded Collaboration Platform - facilitates functions and activities as well as having a means of recognizing individuals for their contributions. Not only that, it also means having a way of rewarding completion of operational functions that lead to excellence.
  • Personal Portal to Enhance Organizational Transparency - Objectives and plans are clear when the details are digitalized. Up-to-date information with clarification is just one click away. It's like having an organizational “wiki” that is readily accessible. Communication to and from the management is in real-time. Similar to a “chat box” where team members make up the chat group. The only difference is that in this portal, exchange of messages are formal and done with a purpose.
  • Private Web Portal for Anonymous Reporting of Issues/Problems - Need to report a bullying incident inflicted on you or a colleague without fear of retribution? A private web portal, provides an anonymous way of speaking up and documenting such incidences. This can result in a healthier work culture, while limiting management liability risk and the unnecessary company expenditures that can accompany those risks.

Simply put, modernized managing up bridges the gaps in the current practice and covers all areas that are overlooked. 

We Call This Modernized Platform ManageUP

ManageUP PRM is a company whose vision is to help transform the healthcare industry by way of modernized managing up. Its powerful approach is summed up in these three E’s:

  1. Ensure - ManageUP ensures that you have the leverage to manage up through closed loop communication and transparency. There is less need for guesswork of your boss’ needs and wants.
  1. Empower - ManageUP gives users the resources to accomplish their jobs by setting up clear-cut objectives in advance.  Users are rewarded for staying informed and for timely completion of their tasks. 
  1. Energize - ManageUP energizes employee morale because they see their performance in real-time and their communication needs are met. While managers can easily view individual accomplishments and reward their hard work immediately.

Healthcare staff are given a sense of purpose and belonging and management is applauded for their direct involvement in their staff’s everyday activities.

These three E’s are designed to bring managing up to a whole new level, great enough to unleash the power within each employee and the organization as whole.

The time to level up on your managing up practice is now!