Hospital administrators need transformational leaders who can manage personnel crises in order to maximize staff retention and patient satisfaction. Transformational-leader candidates can be identified among students and graduates engaged in managerial studies, as well as among executives in other fields (Rudnick Jr., 2007). Hospitals’ administrative employees and working staff (doctors, nurses) also represent potentially significant sources of transformational leaders. They are familiar with the specificities of health care environments, and with the procedures of their respective health care institutions. While this makes them suitable candidates for hospital administration positions it is not sufficient for managerial positions, least of all for transformational leadership roles. In order to address hospitals’ need for transformational leaders who would bring positive and profitable organizational effects, the hospitals should consider in-service training that develops transformational leaders. With this n mind, Marshall argues for incorporating systematic leadership training of nurses, noting that their current training focuses on educational preparation, clinical practice and professional skills development (2011).
The health care system deals with increasing complexities that combine significant business and financial considerations with the challenges of heath care. The traditional mandates of providing skilled care and treatment that will save lives, ease suffering, be responsible to and for patients, address and ameliorate families’ emotional distress or dissatisfactions, all continue to be essential. In addition, the health care system must also demonstrate business excellence measured in profitability. Corporate concerns of the contemporary health care system include competitive national and international rigors, legal and regulatory requirements, financial shortfalls, personnel shortages and retention issues, human errors, patient safety, and ambiguities of the political environment regarding health-care industry reform. The medical environment is rapidly evolving with new technologies, new medications, and the emergence of new viruses (Marshall, 2011). In this context, health care institutions’ administrations must address their preparedness to meet and solve these many challenges. They need visionary leadership that anticipates and addresses problems and achieves positive effects.
A comparison needs to be made between hospitals that apply transformational leadership with hospitals that do not. Analysis of this comparison should focus on key indicators such as: the working environment; staff morale including levels of stress and areas of dissatisfaction/satisfaction; causes of burnout; employee retention rates; patient hospitalization procedures and conditions; patient satisfaction and loyalty. Previous studies used these variables as indicators to measure the impact of transformational leadership.
Preparing staff to become transformational leaders, and motivating others to find their leadership skills and abilities, promotes an environment of attitude change that could result in positive effects for health care institutions. The urgency of staff training in transformational leadership needs to be addressed, as it is correlated with perceived changes in hospitals’ employees behaviors, including increased staff retention and employee satisfaction, which in turn generate customer satisfaction and loyalty (Worman, 2008), higher profitability and success.