United Health Group Inc.: Servant Leadership, Leadership Communication

Introduction

Discrimination at workplace is one of the biggest challenges that has limited our ability to achieve some of the strategic objectives at this company. United Health Group Inc. is one of the leading healthcare providers in the United States. Ranked seventeenth in the Fortune 500, this firm has a massive potential that can be exploited to the benefit of all the stakeholders. However, one of the main problem that has been affecting our organization is discrimination against a section of the employees or clients who visit this facility. As one of the leaders in this organization, I believe we can overcome this. We can only realize the dreams of this company if we live as an integrated family. Race, religion, sexual orientation, age, or any other demographical factor should not be used a dividing factor amongst us. We need to rise above negative ethnicity and discrimination. If we make a concerted effort, then we can be able to become a unified family that is strong enough to withstand any forces within the external environment.

United Health Group

The United Health Group has become one of the leading health companies in the world. We have worked tirelessly to ensure that we achieve our current status. This means that we have the capacity to achieve even greater success if we can address some of the major weaknesses. I believe that one of the major weaknesses that is affecting this organization is the discrimination against a section of the society. There has been reports that the Blacks feel discriminated against, especially by the supervisors who assign them various tasks. As Blanchard and Hodges (2003) observes, it is the responsibility of leaders to respect others if we expect them to show us some respect. We have to fight this vice from a united front.

Servant Leader

Leadership is one of the most important factor that can lead to success or failure of an organization. The United States of America was able to liberate itself from the colonial masters because of the brave deeds of the great leaders such as George Washington (Sipe & Frick, 2009). These were servant leaders who were interested in transforming the country without putting their personal interest first. For Instance, George Washington was able to put this country into a path of socio-economic and political success by sacrificing some of his personal interest for the benefit of the society. We need to follow in such footsteps in order to be successful in this organization.

Leadership as a Responsibility

In this organization, we need to realize that we were assigned leadership positions to serve other employees. We have a responsibility to our employer and to the entire organization to provide leadership to everyone. We need to realize that leadership is not an opportunity to oppress others and make them feel unworthy members of this society. We have the responsibility to listen to them. We must understand their needs and find the best ways of addressing them. We have to realize that it is our responsibility to foster unity among all the stakeholders. Best practice starts with us, and any negative attitude that we take will be reflected in the entire organization (Miller, 2009).

Communication Strategies

According to Trompenaars and Voerman (2009), one of the ways that has to be taken when addressing the issue of discrimination in the workplace is to improve in our communication strategies. We need to develop effective ways of communicating to employees at various level of management. We need to formulate a communication channel that is not bureaucratic in nature. Leaders should find ways of communicating directly with junior employees. It is only through this that we can get to know what is affecting them at their workstations. The management must also find a way of allowing employees to freely express themselves to the management without any fear of intimidation. We owe this to them because we are meant to be of service to them.

McGregor’s Theory X

We need to take care of the models of leadership that we use when guiding other members of this organization towards success. In a hospital setting, we need to appreciate the fact that some of the employees may get tired, especially when they overwork out of necessity. We should ensure that we do not give them pressure in their duties beyond what is within their capacity. We need to desist from the temptation of using McGregor’s Theory X because it will make us develop suspicion when managing employees. We should build trust and a sense of responsibility among the employees.

McGregor’s Theory Y

As leaders, we need to appreciate the importance of delegating duties and developing trust with the junior officers that the assigned task will be accomplished. I am appealing to the top leaders of this organization to take a step towards instilling a sense of trust in the organization by delegating some responsibilities to their juniors. To the junior supervisors, I am appealing to you to avoid the temptation of harassing junior employees. If we treat you well, then it is your responsibility to reciprocate this noble act, by respecting your employees in junior positions. This way, they will learn to respect our clients. We will no longer have complaints about discrimination from our clients. We all need to embrace McGregor’s Theory Y.

Teamwork at the United Health Group Inc.

The challenges facing the United Health Group can only be addressed through teamwork. We need to realize that although our firm is classified as one of the leading companies in the world, our services still don’t match the industry’s best player-Johns Hopkins Hospital. We need to work as a team without letting negative ethnicity come in the way. We should believe that we are both equals in the organization, and that everyone needs to be respected. We cannot realize our dreams if we work as independent individuals who do not need the help of other members of the organization. Teamwork can only be successful in an environment where employees feel that they are respected.

Benefits of the New Policy

Implementing this new policy will have massive benefit to the organization. In the recent past, some employees have complained of biasness when supervisors are assigning task. This is a direct way of stating that they are dissatisfied with the way they are treated. Such employees do not always deliver in their tasks (Baldoni, 2003). This new policy will address this problem. It is also a fact that the employees will come to realize that they have to treat all the clients with dignity. This act will improve employees’ satisfaction, and it will popularize the hospital in the market. The firm will experience improved profitability in the market.

Conclusion

It is our responsibility as leaders to address the issue of discrimination at workplace. We all know that any form of discrimination is demeaning to the victims. When we perpetrate this social evil to the junior employees, they will reciprocate this to the customers. Whenever they serve customers they believe are in the social class as their oppressive managers, they would show them contempt, and this may affect the profitability of the firm. For this reason, we have to fight discrimination at all levels within this firm in order to get a good reputation in the market. It is only through this that the firm can become competitive in the market.

References

Baldoni, J. (2003). Great communication secrets of great leaders. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Blanchard, K. H., & Hodges, P. (2003). The servant leader: Transforming your heart, head, hands, & habits. Nashville: Countryman.

Miller, K. (2009). Organizational communication: Approaches and processes. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Sipe, J. W., & Frick, D. M. (2009). Seven pillars of servant leadership: Practicing the wisdom of leading by serving. New York: Paulist Press.

Trompenaars, F., & Voerman, E. (2009). Servant Leadership Across Cultures: Harnessing the Strength of the World’s Most Powerful Leadership Philosophy. Oxford: Infinite Ideas Ltd.

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