Posted: 18 October 2017
Our CEO, Sharon Allen, reflects on what values mean in social care and challenges employers to think about their own values this World Values Day.
The one thing that all great employers I meet share, is their absolute commitment to values.
For me, values are our core beliefs about what’s right or wrong, which then influence the decisions we make and how we act in our working life.
Social care is absolutely a ‘people’ business so it’s vital that everyone working in the sector develops and maintains the right values, so we can continue to deliver high quality care and support.
This means organisations need to identify what values work best for them and make sure they’re reflected throughout their workforce.
Right from day one you need to make sure you take on people who fit with your organisational culture, and will deliver the best outcomes for people they work with day in and day out.
Once you have started the process of developing values, they need to be communicated to your workforce and practiced every day – this means embedding them in recruitment, induction, training and supervision.
And, just as importantly, they need to be refreshed and constantly revisited so there is no chance of hearing those dread words: ‘we’ve always done it this way.’
When I was an employer the values I sought to model and instil throughout the organisation started with the people we provided care and support for, that they must always be central to everything the organisation did. This meant ensuring all services were of the highest quality, focused on dignity, equality and meeting individuals needs the way they wanted.
Sometimes we didn’t achieve these standards which was always hugely disappointing and our team worked hard to put things right when we got it wrong.
Just as important as being person centred in the way we provided care and support was being a person centred employer, valuing and investing in all our colleagues. Having a skilled, values led, confident and well-led workforce was the key to high quality. Ensuring value for money in delivering publically funded contracts was also hugely important,
Equally important in my role with Skills for Care is to ensure I and all my colleagues live our values every day in our work with employers and other partners and the way we work together as colleagues throughout the organisation. Our values are about being responsible in making sure our work has a measurable, positive impact on the lives of all those who need care and support and that we ensure value for money; that we are dedicated nurturing our talent and showing exemplary leadership; being collaborative working in partnership with others, being inclusive celebrating diversity across social care and being innovative to create a compelling workforce offer and encouraging innovative thinking that enables the workforce to provide better, whole person care.
Today I’d like to challenge all organisations and individuals across our sector to take up the UK Values Alliance’s challenge to think about the gap between the values they aspire to and what actually happens, and what small steps you can take to close that gap.
Getting your values right and embedded isn’t always easy so come along to our free workshop or download our practical tools and templates.
I also want to hear from you about what values mean to you and how you put them into practice - please tweet us using #socialcarevalues. It’s vital we share what works well because when we get shared values that work, everyone benefits.