Leadership Lesson with Mita Dhullipala, Head of Health, Stripe Health

What do you see as the key role of a Head of Healthcare Communications in 2024?

In 2024, the key role of a Head of Healthcare Communications is multifaceted. With clients facing budget constraints and significant challenges, the Head of Healthcare Communications must effectively sell the agency's differentiation points. This involves showcasing the agency's unique approach and value proposition to clients. Additionally, it's essential to align client work with broader healthcare issues such as health equity and access to medicines, demonstrating the agency's commitment to addressing critical healthcare concerns.

What do you think are the key qualities needed from leaders in 2024?

Leaders in 2024 need to possess a diverse set of qualities to navigate the rapidly changing healthcare communications landscape. With the workforce evolving, leaders must be adaptable and open to new ways of working. Employees increasingly seek autonomy, respect, and flexibility, challenging traditional hierarchical structures. Therefore, leaders must foster a supportive and inclusive environment while balancing the need for motivation and cohesion within their teams.

What challenges do you think leaders face in 2024?

One of the significant challenges facing leaders in 2024 is the stigma surrounding mental health and well-being in the workplace. Despite growing awareness, many employees still feel hesitant to discuss their struggles openly. Leaders must prioritise creating a supportive environment where employees feel comfortable addressing their mental health needs. Additionally, leaders must navigate evolving employee demands beyond traditional salary and benefits, such as increased flexibility and opportunities for personal development.

Employees demands are changing beyond salary and benefits. What changes are you seeing and how can leaders meet these evolving employee demands?

In 2024, employees are seeking greater autonomy, flexibility, and support for mental health and well-being. Companies are beginning to reevaluate their benefits packages to meet these changing demands, offering increased flexibility in work arrangements and comprehensive support for mental health. Leaders must listen to their employees and adapt to these changing needs to ensure a supportive and inclusive workplace culture that promotes employee well-being and productivity.

With an increasing focus on workplace mental health, how have you seen the industry supporting the wellbeing of its employees?

Despite growing awareness of workplace mental health, there remains a stigma surrounding the topic. However, companies are beginning to prioritise mental health support, offering resources such as counseling services, mental health days, and flexible work arrangements. Leaders play a crucial role in creating a supportive environment where employees feel comfortable discussing their mental health needs openly and seeking the necessary support.

What skill sets do you think businesses within healthcare comms will be looking for now and in the coming years?

In today's rapidly evolving healthcare communications landscape, businesses are seeking individuals with a diverse skill set. Integration between policy and communications is crucial, as is a focus on data-driven insights for audience-centric communication strategies. Additionally, there's a growing emphasis on addressing broader healthcare issues such as health equity, sustainability, and climate, requiring a nuanced and data-driven approach.

What do you think leaders can do to drive diversity and inclusion within the healthcare communications?

Leaders play a crucial role in driving diversity and inclusion within the healthcare communications industry. They must prioritise diversity and inclusion efforts, creating a supportive environment where all employees feel valued and included. By fostering a culture of inclusivity, embracing diverse perspectives, and actively promoting diversity and inclusion initiatives, leaders can create a more innovative and successful workplace.

What do you think will be the big trends driving policy and public affairs for health in 2024 perhaps?

Looking ahead to 2024, the trends driving policy and public affairs in healthcare are likely to be shaped by the reorganization of priorities post-COVID-19. There will likely be a renewed focus on market access activities and addressing broader societal issues such as health equity, sustainability, and climate change. Additionally, there may be an increased emphasis on data-driven decision-making and collaboration between policy and communications teams to effectively address complex healthcare challenges.

Posted on 21.05.2024

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