By Arif Khan Director of Facilities at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
Inclusion starts by recruiting people from all walks of life, then training our leaders to build an all-inclusive team. Since joining Crothall more than a year and a half ago, I’ve sought to bring in a diverse team of experienced professionals to help run our business. I believe a team consisting of people from different genders, ages and backgrounds will bring a wide variety of viewpoints and solve problems more quickly, ultimately benefiting our clients.
In my experience of being a Regional Director of Operations in the past, I’ve overseen our operations in 10 MedStar Health hospitals in the Baltimore-Washington D.C. region. Our leaders consisted of 47 directors with approximately 40 percent coming from diverse backgrounds. Putting together the right mix of people was not only to serve the hospital better, but also benefited from being able to experience vast perspectives from each other. For example:
- The young managers could learn from seasoned people who have the right experience;
- Older directors could learn from young people about technology and different ways to get goals accomplished; and
- Everyone could learn from people of different genders, which may enable them to see the same problem through a different lens.
To build a diverse management team, I’ve leaned on my network built during 30 years in our industry and 20 years as a Maryland resident. In addition, Crothall’s talent recruiters have found strong candidates and we’ve even tapped into utilizing LinkedIn to help attract others, enabling us to continue bringing in top-notch talent.
Getting Promoted from Within
We remain vigilantly focused on finding and promoting talented people from within our company who are seeking a long-term careers. When opportunities arise in the organization, everyone competes, opening up these roles for those with diverse backgrounds.
I understand how people can become frustrated if they may not get promoted as quickly as they would like. It was sometimes difficult in my career to break through the glass ceiling; so I use my experience to help others by speaking to them about their concerns, and offering my help and mentorship wherever I can.
I also try to engage with them on a regular basis so they can understand the organization’s needs and have opportunities to make important contributions. My agenda focuses on the strategies and outcomes for five key areas – finance, operations, growth, quality and communications. By talking to our associates regularly about these topics, people have an opportunity to learn and share their ideas that can ultimately help to move us forward and grow as a company and as people.
Communications Skills Are Critical
Over the years, I’ve invested a lot of time in improving my ability to communicate well. My best advice for those with diverse backgrounds seeking opportunities is to not only learn more about your specific area of expertise, but to learn how to effectively communicate your ideas to others. Why is that?
Everyone in our company is here because of their expertise in a specific line of work; but not everyone can convey their knowledge in a thoughtful, persuasive and effective way. I’ve found it’s often the people who communicate their ideas more clearly and effectively, are likely to be the ones to produce more and find the ear of their supervisors.
Even today, I work hard at making certain that my messages are clearly communicated and understood. No matter the group size, I always make a point to pause and ask people if they understood my questions or communication. I find it reassuring to learn that they do, and that is a testament to the focus and work I have put in to build on my communication skills and style. I also make it a point to show our clients I care. When I meet with hospital administrators, doctors or others; I always ask what else they may need from our team. This helps to ensure that we are continually keeping the avenues of communication alive and drives towards developing even stronger partnerships.
No doubt I will continue to focus on my people by learning about them and listening to their stories and messages. Above all; communications is the most important role in helping continue to build an inclusive organization.
Join our Team
Looking for meaningful work helping people? Check out available team member or management opportunities to join the Compass One Healthcare and Crothall Healthcare family. We believe in providing exceptional patient experiences and are proud of the opportunities we have each day to help people and serve alongside world-class clients.
Crothall is a proud part of Compass One Healthcare and Compass Group USA.