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Hans F. Hansen

How will CQC measure your leadership and management behaviours?

Thanks to everyone who shared their feedback about “Values Based Leadership” last week; I found it really interesting researching the Skills for Care materials and thinking about what we do in our organisation and what we could do differently.

This week, I wanted to go back to Lead to Succeed, because there is a slide in Module One which poses a really interesting question: “How will CQC measure your leadership and management behaviour?”, from which is the natural follow-on question: “How on earth do you measure behaviour?”

The introduction for the slide is a definition of “Well-Led”, CQC’s fifth key question and the title of the other Skills for Care programme we facilitate as a Centre of Excellence…

“By well-led, we mean that the leadership, management and governance of the organisation assures the delivery of high quality, person-centred care, supports learning and innovation, and promotes an open and fair culture”.

Hopefully, we know what well-led looks like, but let’s take a closer look at the definition and the words CQC specifically use, because linked to our organisational values, it could give us some really useful clues.

Assures the delivery of high quality, person-centred care
Everyone has to meet Regulation 9 of Person-Centred Care but look at the words CQC use “assures the delivery…” – the dictionary definition of “assures” is “make something certain to happen”. I wonder what values we would need to instill in our staff to “ensure” and make person-centred an absolute certainty?

“High quality” – in an earlier post, we talked about what makes a provider outstanding and the CQC definition is “the provider is performing exceptionally well”. So, if our leadership is exceptional, would this impact on the quality of service we deliver? I believe so!

In order to be well-led, we need something more than high quality person-centred care, we have to:

Support learning and innovation
Obviously this is one of my favourites because learning is close to my heart. What do we need to do then to instill a culture of learning in our organisation? What does “innovation” actually look like? How do our values support the achievement of these?

To be well-led, we also have to:

Promote an open and fair culture
Thinking back to last week and “ethical” and “authentic” leadership, would they naturally promote or facilitate an open and fair culture? I would think so.

So let’s break these down a little bit further using that slide again from Module One as it give us some further clues about CQC and how they will measure behaviour, plus how our values impact behaviour.

Vision and strategy are clear and credible
Do you have a mission statement? Is it on the wall in your office? Or just hiding in plain sight? Do you know it? Do your staff know it? Does it inform all you do, e.g. the way we interact with each other and the people we support? What about our supervision sessions? Do we ask our staff how they have delivered on these on a regular basis? Does it reflect and include your values? Do you embody your vision and values in your everyday practice? As a leader, can you hand on heart say that you are a positive role model in this area?

Responsibilities are clear
Do your staff know what is expected of them? Do staff know what is expected of you as their manager? Does everyone take responsibility accordingly, carrying out the duties of their role, with clear boundaries and remits in place? Is everyone aware of any consequences which might apply? Can you as a leader be trusted to act on these and see them through as appropriate?

In a future post, we are going to look at “the really powerful question”, designed to support managers to save time and empower staff in one straightforward question. Those of you who have been in any of the sessions that my colleague Alex has hosted already know what it is – feel free to share your experience of using it!

Requirements are understood and managed
Have you ever asked anyone to carry out a job, returning later to find that they haven’t done what you asked of them? Perhaps you asked why it hadn’t been done, only to be told that the instructions given weren’t clear enough!
How clear is your communication? Do you check peoples’ understanding of what we have asked them to do? Do we give them the right tools for the job; this could be documentation, instructions, training, mentoring or coaching – in line with the person’s learning style. Formal checking of requirements is also important. Are you carrying out observations of staff to ensure that they are competent and safe to practise?

People using services, the public and staff are engaged/involved
Hopefully, you answered “yes” to this. Have you heard of co-production? If not, be sure to look it up! It’s more than just a ‘buzzword’; it’s a real way to affect change with real power-sharing, buy-in and the service user’s voice informing any change. Does this sound familiar? What does this look like in your setting? How are you recording it?

Continuous learning, improvements, innovation and sustainability
If you think back to the post I mentioned earlier, one of the characteristics of an outstanding provider is the mindset that there is always room for improvement. So what does continuous improvement look like in your setting, with your staff and the people you support? Do you have a ‘safe to challenge’ culture? If you do, you’ll encourage innovation. If you don’t, people won’t trust you to do anything with their ideas!

Why is sustainability on this list?
Good practice is crucial. It needs to be maintained at a particular level, not just evident now and again, so planning for the long-term needs to be part of the original strategy at the beginning and not an ‘after-thought’.

Partnership approaches
How do you work with your Local Authority? Even if you don’t have any Local Authority contracts, by delivering services in your local area, you are by definition part of the Local Authority Plan. Of course, it’s not just the Local Authority that we are called to work in partnership with. It could be other health & s&cial care colleagues, the people we support and their wider network and of course anyone else we come into contact with in a professional capacity.

This post might just look like a long list of questions, but when you know the answers, you can share them with CQC. If your staff know the answers for their area of responsibility, they can confidently share the answer with the inspector.

This is just a tiny snippet from Module One of Lead to Succeed and, whilst it overlaps with the Well-Led course, you can see the wealth of information, delivered in both programmes.

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