Hospital administrators need environmental services (ES) leaders who can demonstrate high competency across a wide swath of knowledge, skills and abilities. Healthcare is in a time of transition and everywhere healthcare professionals are being required to do more with less. An article in Health Facilities Management magazine provides an overview of the scope of competencies required of today's successful ES leaders.
The knowledge an ES director should be able to demonstrate can be acquired in the classroom or on the job. But as with any high-level position, a diverse range of understanding is required. Knowledge areas should include human resources, regulations and finance. As well, an ES leader must understand the technology and products encountered in a healthcare facility as well as those used to maintain the facility.
As being an ES director has a significant people-facing component, communication skills, even stretching into being able to instruct others, is a crucial aspect. As well, a successful ES director will be able to be future-minded and unflappable. "The ability to encounter chaotic order in the current state, visualize a future state of order and cast an inspiring and compelling vision of that order to those under their supervision are key," according to the article.
Environmental services often bears the brunt of occupant scrutiny and complaints. Therefore, ES leaders must be able to demonstrate perseverance, compassion and character. And as in any executive position, being able to collaborate with other leaders across the healthcare organization and develop personal clout to be able to champion the department are indispensible qualities.