Chairat Panthuraamphorn, M.D., the Administrative Physician
Winner of “The Best of CEO People Leader” Award
Driving growth through the “happiness” of his employees
Amid the increasingly unpredictable competition of the digital era, a constant for the success of any organization has remained its employees. The challenge then, is how a CEO can hold on to their best and brightest and inspire teamwork, as the most dominant internal concern for any business is its people.
For the administrative physician, Dr. Chairat Panthuraamphorn, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Samitivej and BNH Hospitals, winner of the ‘The Best of CEO People Leader’ at Personnel Management Association of Thailand’s (PMAT) People Management Award 2022, the growth of his organization has always required approaches not found in textbooks and been based in the happiness of its employees.
“People are the cogs… but each cog has its own requirements”
If people and employees are cogs in the machinery that drive a company to success, and a hospital is actually a composition of businesses for the provision of healthcare, it is important that each cog operates in unison.
“My approach to people management can’t be found in textbooks. It is the result of my work and experience, observing the different behaviors, attitudes, ideas and cultures of different people. Just like different industries such as tourism, medicine and journalism require different management methods, I knew we could not apply a single administrative approach. We have to understand the diversity of people, the diversity of jobs and the diversity of circumstances so we may achieve alignment. By placing people in the positions that they are best suited, we can succeed in our objectives.”
Passion is an excellent implement for achievement
Hiring is the first stage at which a company can find people with passion, the starting point for success. An employee must be motivated to work and achieve, which means executives must be aware of the aspirations of each of their employees and see how the company can be responsive to them.
“Finding employees with passion starts at recruitment. You have to use interviews to observe each individual’s perspectives and life goals, to see how they can bring value to the organization. Determination is important because even overwhelming intelligence cannot be equivalent to drive. A person with drive will attempt hundreds of methods to achieve what they desire. Another important factor is knowing the company’s objective. Samitivej seeks to make the lives of its patients, staff, physicians, partners and communities better than before. We want to creative value and an ecosystem of caring for people, where people do not need to be ill. We are driven to create this value and we seek out people who share in this motivation as they will lead us to sustainability.”
Foster passion by managing desire, repay fittingly
The administrative physician, Dr. Chairat Panthuraamphorn, spoke on managing people, saying that when you seek an action from a person by first telling them what they will receive in return, that is desire, while telling them what will happen if they do not act is fear. Being human, all people are subject to desire, greed, anger and infatuation to differing degrees. Managing people is about managing desires so they align with the organization’s goals. People management is about the abstract, which often wins over the concrete, and managing desire is managing people’s wants. Everyone loves themselves and this love can extend to their organization. “Fear, want and desire drive people, so we must understand their dreams, their hearts and their concerns.”
Most important is that people and their organizations must be heading in the same direction. Employee happiness must be re-checked regularly, at least every six months because the world is constantly changing. This can be done using the Healthy, Wealthy, Happy approach and WWW, or Woy Want Wow. Once re-checked, an in-depth evaluation has to be carried out with each grade to be approached differently. Those with a Grade A-B evaluation must be repaid fittingly, while those with a Grade D-E must be repaid severely. This results in only employees committed to their work and led Samitivej staff to receive a high 88 percent Engagement Score, well above the national Thai average in 2022 of 71 percent and the Thailand Best Employer average of 85 percent.
Towards teamwork; in competition is collaboration, in collaboration is competition
A single piece of bread can direct an array of different fish to a single point, it all depends on where it is thrown. There are two ways to manage teamwork, In Competition is Collaboration, and, In Collaboration is Competition. People can exchange their strengths as people have different goals before they come together in collaboration. Managers must first understand that different generations have different ideas, views and skills. Organizations contain people from both current and previous generations, and like Yin and Yang, there is black within the white and white within the black. While proportions of black and white may differ by circumstance, administrators must know how to blend the two generations. If both sides are tethered by too short of a rope, neither will be able to reach the other. The previous generation must sever its tether and approach the younger generation, which holds the “good problem” that can lead to new ideas and plans. Once both sides collaborate, the organization can move forward. People are the source of success, if an organization has good and capable people upstream, good quality, service and innovation will result midstream and finances further downstream will also automatically be good.
“If you’re raising a sheep and don’t want it to be fat, you need a negative reinforcement, such as a dog. When the sheep sees the dog, it will only eat for a short time before running away. The dog is negative reinforcement. You can’t have too much of this however, the sheep will become anxious and always be running. When managing people in the modern age, you need a framework and objectives, it is your duty to open the gates to those objectives.”
Dr. Chairat Panthuraamphorn, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Samitivej and BNH Hospitals, remarked in closing that “Success must come with happiness because success without happiness is not real success. My definition of happiness is making the life of my stakeholders better than before. We are in an advantageous position because we are able to make the lives of our staff, doctors, customers, communities and shareholders happier and better, we can create value for them.”