How One Dynamic Leader Guides a Team of Industry Experts

Cultivating and managing a team of industry experts can be difficult, but here are several tips to get you started.

Lai Davis

Achieving role alignment is a goal of many employers and employees alike. Companies thrive when positions are filled by people who are not only suited for the role but passionate about their work. As employees align to their roles, they are able to focus on an area of interest, utilize their strengths, and grow their skills to become competent and confident industry experts. Employees who are fortunate to be in positions that intrigue them and maximize their strengths are often more productive, engaged, and overall satisfied with their work.

Managers who help employees find role alignment have achieved the first step to cultivating a team of industry experts, which leads to role specialization. This is a valuable asset, especially in highly regulated industries. It helps organizations maintain steady growth, reach goals, and improve efficiencies that otherwise may be difficult to achieve over the long run.

Our caregivers are industry experts and the key drivers of our success as a team and company. They bring their unique backgrounds, perspectives, skills, and knowledge to guide strategies and help us deliver a stable member experience.

Industry experts in Pharmacy Services

Managing a dynamic team in a changing environment can be challenging work. I have years of experience in a healthcare vertical that requires almost constant evaluation of changing guidelines. When it comes to prescription benefits, the pharmacy laws that need to be followed are significant. Regulations go beyond those outlined by state and federal agencies. They include laws set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

In Pharmacy Services, we work to provide high-value prescription benefits at an affordable cost. Collectively, we work to operationalize and implement goals, service standards, workflows, and procedures concerning pharmacy services to ensure consistent and seamless experiences for our members.

To create a stable member experience, we equip our teams with the information they need to better serve our members and answer questions when they arise while adhering to the regulations. We do this by aligning employees to roles that utilize their strengths and interests and then consistently train them as they develop into industry experts who are knowledgeable in specific areas of competency. By providing them with room to grow, support from leadership, and a fulfilling role, they are available to contribute to our mission and vision by helping members understand how to use their prescription drug benefits effectively and wisely.

Managing industry experts

Being a manager requires collaboration, honesty, integrity, and courage. Here are six tips for becoming an effective manager of industry experts and large teams.

1. Lead with honesty, integrity, and empathy

As a manager, you are in the driver’s seat of your team and department, and they rely on you for direction, feedback, advice, and support. Exemplify honesty, integrity, and empathy in your work by doing what is right for your team, your organization, and your customers and clients.

2. Create a thoughtful team environment

The team environment is created and cultivated by the manager and leader. Those on large teams can often find it hard to speak up with their thoughts and share feedback related to projects and tasks. Value your employees and their contributions by creating a safe and collaborative environment—whether that is in the office or remotely.

3. Consider your management style

As a manager and leader, it’s important to understand your default management style and how it influences team dynamics. Additionally, understanding how each team member prefers to be managed can make communication and collaboration easier. I am a collaborative manager and encourage my teams to have daily and weekly huddles and meetings to plan, develop, and discuss operational needs.

4. Communicate frequently and clearly

I manage multiple teams that oversee a variety of functions within Pharmacy Services such as member services, claims, coordination of benefits, preauthorization, and quality assurance. It is easy for information and details to falter, leading to either misinformation or lack of information. This is counterproductive when striving for efficiency and progress. Frequent check-ins keep caregivers informed and empowered with the right communication and information to effectively contribute to projects and tasks.

5. Set clear expectations

A value at Select Health is Accountability: We accept responsibility for our actions, attitudes, and health. Setting clear expectations for your team and then holding them accountable is essential. Where teams are large, clear expectations and accountability become even more important. All employees, including industry experts, should be responsible for their processes and outcomes.

6. Be courageous, ask questions, and offer feedback—routinely

It can be easy to side-swipe routine feedback, especially if your team is comprised of industry experts who are excelling at what they do and may even have more knowledge in certain topics than you as a manager do. However, frequent feedback on the teams’ and employees’ performance can keep both running efficiently. Ask questions when appropriate to gain understanding and clarity; it’s a great opportunity to learn from your team and provide guidance and advice when needed.

Cultivating a team of industry experts can positively impact goals and outcomes, transform company culture for the good, and increase employee engagement. Being a leader of high-performing teams requires you to guide your employees to find alignment where their passion intersects with skills. Investing in your employees is rarely a bad idea, and you can start by supporting your employees’ journey to becoming industry experts.

Related: Maintaining a Culture of Compliance in a Remote Environment

Related Articles