This site is intended for health professionals only

Secret of my success – it’s all about definition

5 February 2007

Share this article

Managers within the health sector believe there is a discrepancy between how individuals and their organisations judge success.

According to the results of surveys conducted by the Chartered Management Institute, managers achieve personal success by making an impact at work and developing their colleagues, but think their organisations are more focused on market leadership and profit margins.

The findings, taken from research projects conducted over the past 15 months, also show that the majority of individuals (51%) in the health sector believe that “enjoying work” is crucial to success, yet only 7% believe that their employers share this view.

53% of individuals in the health sector claimed to judge success by the extent to which they develop their teams but felt that only 34% of organisations mark this as a priority.

Just under 1 in 4 (22%) in the health sector also believe that “achieving a flexible lifestyle” is the mark of professional success but think only 5% of their employers concur with this. The perception of differing opinions comes against a backdrop of individuals resolving to spend more time with friends and family this year (49%) and planning to change jobs (27%).

Of 1,864 managers asked to identify the key factor that drives them to succeed, almost two-thirds (64%) spoke of having a “sense of purpose” in their work and almost one in five (19%) referred to “making a difference to society”. Only 11% sought status amongst colleagues and less than 1 in 10 (8%) claimed that success should be judged by “public recognition”.

The findings also show that fewer than half (63%) in the health sector believe they have actually achieved their true potential.  However, it is clear that the sector’s managers are unhappy with this situation, with many taking action to ensure success. Forty-one percent have planned to undertake development courses or further education during the next twelve months and 14% intend to improve their language skills to cope with increasing global business needs.

Jo Causon, director, marketing and corporate affairs at the Chartered Management Institute, says: “Success clearly means different things to different people, but the disparity between the aims and objectives of the individual and how they view their company’s priorities reveals a need for better internal communication.”