Impact Lives

How Your Nursing Leadership Style Affects Organizational Performance

Earning an online Master of Science in Nursing degree at Benedictine University provides registered nurses with the skills and coursework necessary to become effective leaders in the health care industry. 

Nurse leaders naturally adopt a certain leadership style that sets a direction and tone for their staff. The leadership style doesn’t just affect employees; it also may affect the entire organization. 

Here’s a look at how various leadership styles can impact organizational performance: 

Authoritative Leadership

Authoritative leaders are action-taking managers who set an end goal and expect employees to fall in line with a plan to achieve it. 

In many cases, an authoritative leader has a positive impact on organizational performance. Authoritative leaders often have a healthy respect for hierarchy and work to meet big-picture goals for the entire organization, just as they work to achieve departmental goals. 

However, in some cases an authoritative leader's ego can be a distraction that hinders employees' performance. 

Democratic Leadership

Democratic leaders focus on collecting input from others and work to create an environment where everyone feels as though their opinion matters. 

Democratic leaders often propel organizational performance. Gathering input often leads to creative solutions. Employees sometimes see issues differently than managers because they deal with them on a personal level. Collecting feedback from employees who have “boots on the ground” is usually more effective than managers making a command decision that is believed to be in the best interest of staff and patients.

The time it takes to collect feedback, however, is a downfall. When decisions need to be made quickly, this style of leadership can hinder organizational performance. 

Affiliative Leadership

Affiliative leaders are masters at creating a harmonious work environment. These leaders provide a lot of praise and instill a level of trust in employees that creates a family-like atmosphere. 

While this leadership style is effective for organizations in which trust has been broken or previous leaders showed little or no interest in the staff, it’s not always best for an organization’s performance. 

The downside to this leadership style is that bad behaviors sometimes go uncorrected. Praise is given for positive efforts but bad habits are often overlooked. In some cases, underperforming employees are left in positions too long out of loyalty, which takes a toll on the organization as a whole. 

Coaching Leadership

Coaching leadership focuses on customizing and developing the careers of each individual. Nurses following this kind of leader are often motivated to meet and exceed goals because these achievements are part of their individual path to success.

A nurse leader with this style positively contributes to organizational performance because he or she cultivates the kind of talent that medical facilities are looking for in the long term. By coaching, nurse leaders are training a new team of leaders who will likely take management positions in the future.

Nurse leadership can and does affect organizations in many different ways. Nursing classes at Benedictine University examine organizational performance. Classes such as "Advanced Knowledge of Health Care Systems," "Nursing Leadership and Systems Thinking" and "Financial Management and Resource Allocation in Health Care Systems" arm students with the knowledge needed to understand the many components that impact performance and the ways to improve it. 

If you would like to learn more about these classes and earning your online Master of Science in Nursing degree, please visit