By. Richard Mills
If you think of a good or even great leader, who comes to mind? A politician, businessman or woman, football manager, someone in the military, historical or religious figure, the queen perhaps? Or maybe it is someone you know personally, for instance, a line manager or a colleague? What is it about them that makes them a great leader? What qualities can they demonstrate that inspire confidence and make others want to follow their lead? When real change happens, there is usually an effective leader at the helm. If we want to be an inspiring leader or a better manager, one of the things we can do is to reflect on those we admire and learn about their qualities, skills and behaviours, and develop them ourselves.
Choosing to become a manager in social care is like putting your hand up for a challenging role, and yet it is a choice that many people make because they want to make a difference to the quality of life for those in care and those working in care. It is a rewarding role that is far from just a job and more of a vocation. One of the most rewarding aspects of leadership and management is to support the development of staff members. There is something quite special about helping others to realise that they are capable of more and then supporting them to reach their full potential. Staff who work in social care value their personal and professional development highly and feel valued and appreciated when a manager actively supports them.
Learning to be a leader and or manager does not happen overnight, and it is quite normal to feel out of our depth when we first start. Few people are born leaders and those that seem to be, are usually those who have learned a lot from either their own experience or by learning from the experiences of others. The great thing is that these days there are lots of really good resources to support both new leaders and managers, those seeking to develop their skills and those with years of experience.
Skills for Care offer a range of Leadership and Management Training opportunities for individuals who want to deepen their knowledge and develop their skills. They include:
- Managers Induction Standards ~ eleven standards focusing on key and foundational topics; leadership and management, communication, person-centred practice, decision making and professional development.
- Lead To Succeed – A five-module programme aimed at new and aspiring managers that delves deeper into; successful behaviours for leaders and managers, developing a positive culture, effective supervision, managing change and managing inspections. One of the great things about Lead to Succeed is that it is offered to aspiring managers and therefore provides an opportunity for those who want to progress into first-level management positions to build a solid foundation and understanding before they do so. It is also an amazing support for those in new leadership or management roles and even those with years of experience who want a refresher.
- Well-Led – four modules aimed at supporting registered and other operational managers to develop leadership strategies, improve the quality of care, be a more effective leader, build confidence and create empowering support networks.
- NEW – Leading Change, Improving Care (LCIC) – coming out in early 2022 the LCIC is a five-module course designed for new and experienced managers of social care services focusing on developing the skills required to successfully manage the inevitable changes that are constantly happening in the sector.
Good leadership and management are critical to social care services and CQC ratings reflect this. Over 90% of services that achieve good or outstanding ratings overall also achieve a good or outstanding rating in the Well-Led domain. There is a direct correlation between how well a service is led and the rating they receive. More importantly, services that have good and effective leadership and management in place, are far more likely to provide good outcomes in terms of quality of life for the people they support and the staff they employ. Great leaders and managers know the importance of looking after their staff because employees who feel valued and looked after are the individuals who then provide an outstanding service to the service users, clients, customers or residents. There is a knock-on effect.
Investing in high-quality leadership and management training is money and time well spent. The great news is that the Lead to Succeed; Well-Led; and Leading Change, Improving Care courses all qualify for funding from the Workforce Development Fund – something we can help you access so it doesn’t have to make a big hole in your learning and development budget!
Grey Matter Learning is a Skills for Care ‘Centre of Excellence’ and endorsed learning provider for all of these leadership and management programmes. Click here to read more about our management training programmes.