People Management in Public Health Organizations

Executive Summary

The topic for this paper is the role of people management and its relevance in the Australian public health sector. The primary finding of this research is that the concept of people management has become instrumental in many organizations that want to achieve their business goals. In the healthcare sector, this strategy guides leaders to identify and implement evidence-based mechanisms to reward, promote, or dismiss individuals based on productivity. Managers apply their skills to recruit, retain, and develop talent in accordance with the anticipated objectives. The article, “Benchmarking Management Practices in Australian Public Healthcare”, by Renu Agarwal, Neeru Agarwal, Roy Green, and Krithika Randhawa offers a number of concepts that leaders can apply if they are to achieve sustainable outcomes in people management. The authors indicate that public hospitals in NSW and Queensland are lagging behind international principles and standards on people management. The presented discussion describes these core strategies and describes how leaders could adopt them to improve organizational performance. The two most important strategies for improving the effectiveness of people management include succession planning and promotion of performers. The proposed initiatives have the potential to transform the Australian public health system and ensure that it meets the needs of more citizens.


Healthcare institutions require proper mechanisms to manage human resources and equip workers with personalized support. This practice empowers the followers to apply data-driven ideas, solve emerging problems, and implement evidence-based procedures to maximize patient outcomes. Leaders’ involvement is essential since it allows practitioners to identify existing gaps and improve care delivery processes continuously. Many scholars combine human resources and operational management since they can work synergistically to drive organizational performance. In healthcare institutions, proper practices allow stakeholders to cooperate and focus on emerging strategies for providing high-quality services. Leaders in these facilities borrow numerous concepts from the corporate world to streamline operations and consider evidence-based strategies for improving care delivery.

Summary of Key Findings

The authors of the selected article for this discussion wanted to analyze the nature and effectiveness of managerial practices in NSW and Queensland public medical facilities. The professionals utilized Bloom et al. (2009) instrument for surveying the targeted facilities (Agarwal et al., 2016). Specifically, they wanted to analyze the nature of management across these broad areas: people management, targets, performance monitoring, and operations (Agarwal et al., 2016). Before completing the investigation, the researchers were convinced that human resources were critical in any organization since they dictated the contentment of the involved workers. Similarly, managerial practices were capable of taking an institution from point A to B in terms of service delivery and subsequent profitability.

The completed study shed some light on the overall effectiveness of managerial practices in the selected public hospitals. Agarwal et al. (2016) observed that NSW and Queensland health facilities engaged in efficient operations management. This initiative entails the continuous administration of effective operations and procedures that maximize an organization’s effectiveness (Agarwal et al., 2016). The hospitals were observed to perform positively in the area of performance monitoring. Specifically, they embraced the use of key performance indicators (KPIs) to collect data consistently and make timely inferences. Such efforts helped the involved participants to identify areas for improvement (Agarwal et al., 2016). The researchers indicated that the studied facilities could introduce additional approaches to help target management and make the available services more sustainable.

Despite such strengths, it became apparent that most of the studied medical institutions in the country lagged behind in the area of people management. This challenge could explain why most of the public hospitals in the two regions were finding it hard to offer personalized, high-quality, and sustainable health services (Agarwal et al., 2016). Nonetheless, the findings revealed that the involved stakeholders could consider the emerging findings to improve the affected spheres and take their respective institutions closer to their objectives. These observations offer evidence-based insights that managers in the field could consider to transform the sector.

Literature Review on People Management

The studied article offers a unique analysis and definition of people management that could empower leaders to pursue the outlined organizational goals. Specifically, Agarwal et al. (2016) identifies the practice as a set of activities aimed at rewarding individuals who perform excellently, removing those who deliver poor results, and managing talent. The involved professionals will rely on the established HR department to attract and retain individuals who possess desirable competencies. To achieve positive results, organizations should utilize the available human resources efficiently. Consequently, Agarwal et al. (2016) believe that the good application of HR becomes a critical component of operational management rather that effective people management. These insights offer a good starting point for examining what other scholars in the field have presented in their works.

Health facilities tend to have different professionals who collaborate and engage in a wide range of activities intended to meet patients’ medical needs. Skilled leaders in such organizations pursue the concept of people management to streamline operations and ensure that all professionals focus on the best outcomes. Islam et al. (2022) define the concept as any set of acceptable processes comprised of talent optimization, retention, and acquisition while providing personalized guidance and support. Yuliansyah et al. (2017) expand the term to integrate all core aspects of human resources, such as people’s behaviors, operations, and willingness to complete a wide range of responsibilities. In successful institutions, leaders employ effective systems that have the potential to manage people and determine their overall contributions towards maximizing performance. These observations appear to echo or support the arguments in the studied article.

HR departments focus on acceptable initiatives that have the potential to support the wider area of people management. Some of them include motivation, promotion of effective communication, continuous employee training, empowerment, and provision of benefits (Agarwal et al., 2016). These evidence-based practices promote safety and wellness among the beneficiaries, thereby promoting the best environment for organizational development (Warrick, 2017). Skilled managers will go a step further to combine key components of people management with the facility’s cultural fabric (Osborne & Hammoud, 2017). This strategy will improve the overall level of employee experience and consider additional initiatives to retain and reward talent (Tetik, 2017). These measures can transform a given organization and eventually improve the recorded outcomes in a timely manner.

The identified strategies of people management continue to attract attention of different scholars and analysts. For instance, Tanno and Banner (2018) believe that attraction and retention of top talent guides companies to remain profitable and capable of engaging in succession planning. This initiative allows medical institutions to have competent employees who could receive additional training and be in a position to take up additional roles. Tetik (2017) reveals that the idea to reward performers plays a positive role towards improving the overall level of motivation. The beneficiaries will find more meaning in their activities and focus on better strategies to deliver additional outcomes. Firms that remove poor performers will create the best environment for continued improvement (Suddaby & Foster, 2017). Those who complete their roles diligently will continue providing their services, thereby setting the right stage for recording positive results.

Within the realm of people management, leaders will engage in numerous initiatives to promote talent, empower high performance, and attract better people. These elements work synergistically towards improving the overall outlook of management. Mahmood and Khattak, M. A. (2017) argue that strategies of people management will maximize both engagement and morale in the organization. When pursued intelligently, the workers will be involved in most of the activities and consider additional initiatives to drive organizational performance. In their study, Shen et al. (2017) revealed that such strategies had the potential to reduce the overall level of employee turnover. This achievement could help minimize most of the resources and expenses incurred in the process of attracting, hiring, or retaining skilled workers.

Organizations that promote effective people management practices create proper mechanisms for improving the delivery of services to the targeted customers. In their research, Osborne and Hammoud (2017) argued that people management was a powerful resource that had the potential to dictate the performance of any given institution. To support the notion, Agarwal et al. (2016) observe that the absence of such practices could disorient the overall success of a company associated with advanced technological resources. This problem emerges when the involved people managers fail to focus on the best practices and strategies that meet the changing demands of the key followers. The presence of such gaps can eventually disorient the recorded organizational gains and subsequent profits.

Poor people management initiatives could become the weakest link in any organization planning to achieve its objectives. The effective adoption of the strategies outlined above becomes the best approach towards improving performance. Agarwal et al. (2016) indicate that each of the approaches associated with people management will amount to effective management. The reasoning behind such an argument is that all aspects work efficiently towards improving a wide range of organizational aspects, such communication, employee engagement, and reduction of turnover. The selected medical facility will identify proper mechanisms to reward performers while removing those who offer poor contributions. To deliver meaningful results, managers should apply desirable strategies within the wider realm of management.

The absence of coordinated management procedures could worsen the overall outlook of people management. Individuals without the needed competencies will ignore the expectations of their workers, thereby increasing chances of conflicts. O’Sullivan et al. (2020) rely on this understanding to explain why people management should be examined or applied from the lens of organizational management. Organizations that identify or pursue each of the associated strategies from the HR perspective will record reduced gains. This outcome is possible since the organization will concentrate on the best ways to identify vacant positions and recruit skilled people (Agarwal et al., 2016). The approach will create gaps whereby the new employees will not be in touch with the anticipated organizational goals.

Additional Strategies of People Management

The studied article presents powerful strategies that leaders in medical organizations can implement within the realm of people management. Agarwal et al. (2016) groups such actions into these two broad categories: talent and performers. The first category allows professionals to identify individuals who complete their tasks diligently and in a timely manner, remove those who remained uncommitted, and promote the best actions. Under the second category, leaders will need to manage, retain, and attract followers with the right talent. While these attributes are essential in the field of people management, leaders could consider additional strategies to support the delivery of timely results.

Leaders who intend to improve organizational performance can employ new initiatives to manage people. When done efficiently, such an approach will empower the targeted followers, equip them with the right technologies, and create the best environment for growing the company or hospital. The first additional strategy that leaders could consider in the field of people management is that the ability to control communication (Alqenae et al., 2020). Leaders who embrace this initiative will formulate evidence-based approaches for guiding followers to engage one another. The professional will encourage members in the selected organization to identify and use specific channels to support the process (Linden-Lahti et al., 2021). The leader will offer timely support to make the process successful and allow members of the team to focus on the anticipated goals.

The introduction of this strategy will streamline the overall process of people management. The team will benefit from improved decision-making and problem solving, thereby increasing chances of aligning organizational activities to the anticipated goals. Knies et al. (2017) support effective communication since it creates the best opportunity for having shared responsibilities and addressing most of the emerging challenges. De Ruiter et al. (2018) believe that the absence of proper communication could undermine the gained recorded from the two strategies outlined above. This aspect will make it possible for the identified medical facility to meet the demands of more patients.

The second initiative that could work positively towards improving the overall process of people management is that of succession planning. According to Dutta and Chaudhry (2021), this strategy works efficiently with the process of retention since it ensures that the identified and empowered works understand the organization’s current and future goals. Mahmood and Khattak (2017) believe that the approach is essential since it allows firms to pass across managerial roles from one employee to another. When pursued diligently, this initiative will ensure that the identified organization runs smoothly and addresses every emerging challenge (Ali & Mehreen, A. (2018). Since people will at some point in their careers retire o quit their positions, succession planning becomes the best bet to towards having a sustainable people management framework.

Improving the Australian Public Healthcare Sector

The Australian public healthcare setting is characterized by a number of gaps that affect the overall performance of operational management. The cases of NSW and Queensland public hospitals reveal that most of the leaders lack adequate competencies for implementing internationally accepted standards on people management (Dixit & Sambasivan, 2018). Based on this weakness, the professionals could consider and employ two powerful initiatives to transform the current situation (Yu et al., 2021). The first approach capable of delivering desirable results is that of promoting high performers (Yi et al., 2019). Managers who focus on this goal will identify workers based on their competencies and provide additional incentives and resources to maximize their contributions.

This choice is plausible since the ultimate goal of the Australian public healthcare sector is to deliver timely and personalized medical services. The inclusion of timely mechanisms, strategies, and resources to promote high performers will ensure that most of the workers are able to offer such support (O’Sullivan et al., 2020). The effort will deliver a new culture whereby the processes of talent management will become the norm (Uslu, 2019). The involved organizations will go further to provide technological frameworks for monitoring performance and resources to maximize productivity (Sharma et al., 2018). When done correctly, chances are high that the Australian public health system will eventually record high scores in people management.

The second initiative for minimizing the identified gap is that of succession planning. People management is a complex process whereby the involved professionals need to focus on the present and future position of an organization (Zafar & Hummayun, 2020). The consideration of this effort will allow more leaders to engage in evidence-based approaches to hire, train, and delegate complex roles to compete individuals (Votova et al., 2019). Proper plans will exist to fill emerging vacancies due to resignation, retirement, or sudden death. These measures are recommendable since people management ought to be an ongoing process that remains in tandem with the needs of the organization, the intended beneficiaries, and workers (Osborne & Hammoud, 2017). The move to focus on succession planning will improve the overall people management outlook of the Australian public health system.


In the selected article, it is evident that people management is a critical element in the field of organizational performance. The authors believe that leaders can achieve positive outcomes in this field by managing, attracting, retaining the best talent. They can go further to reward performers and remove those who fail to deliver results. The promotion of high performers will help improve organizational performance. The processes of succession planning and effective communication are additional approaches that the authors of the article appear to ignore. To record higher scores in people management, the Australian public healthcare sector stands a chance to improve its outlook by integrating succession planning and promoting high performers.


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