There are many demands on those providing care and support, particularly the need to evolve services that are flexible and tailored to individuals’ care requirements. The increasing take up of individual budgets and direct payments continue to be a key driver for these developments. The slow changing nature of workplace cultures can support the process of positive change, whether this change is from choice or necessity. Over time, cultures will inevitably respond to the internal and external influences discussed in this toolkit, and skilled leaders and managers can steer this process to achieve identified, desired outcomes. Well led, positive workplace cultures are also flexible, responsive and resilient; these characteristics are particularly useful when rapid changes are required in response to unforeseen circumstances. However, it is important to realise that leaders will rarely have control over all factors; it can be hard knowing how best to lead change and employers may find that some successes may be achieved more by luck than design! These challenges can be mitigated by an ongoing awareness of the elements of a workplace culture, and careful monitoring of both positive and negative developments.
Challenging change is always difficult but if you engage with the staff; explain why you need to change and involve them in the process it works really well. Most negativity comes from not knowing, not understanding and being out of your comfort zone. With communication, support and face to face meetings you can help support your staff through the transition successfully.
Care 4 You
We believe in beginning with the end in mind. From recruitment forward we think win: win. We know that if we behave with integrity we retain the trust of our workforce. We build on individual and team strengths. We decide on our destination and secure the active involvement and commitment of our staff through team meetings, innovative projects, supervisions and regular newsletters and “surgeries”.
Woodford Home Care
A family owned residential care home for older people is well established and has been operating for nearly 60 years. The service consistently achieves positive Care Quality Commission reports and nearly always has full occupancy; staff are very loyal and stay for many years. The organisation prides itself on being ‘one big happy family’; they have regular meal times when the staff sit down and eat with residents. The home has a set routine with specific days allocated to certain tasks. They currently have two set activity days when the part time activity co-ordinator organises whole home activities such as afternoon tea dances, film matinées, sing-a-longs or seated exercises.
The owners’ daughter also works in the home and has recently achieved Level 3 Certificate in Activity Provision in Social Care. She is very enthusiastic and would like to introduce more varied activities at different times to suit individual needs. She believes that the lives of residents could benefit from all members of staff having a better understanding of activity provision and a more spontaneous approach. She also wants to encourage both staff and residents to use their existing skills more, such as encouraging a staff member who is a keen gardener to support an older gentlemen who used to work as a landscape gardener. Whilst some of the staff are eager to get involved, others are concerned about how they will find the time to do these ‘extra tasks’. The activities co-ordinator has also expressed concerned about residents being put at risk.
- What could the owners do to encourage all staff to engage in meaningful activity?
- How can they ensure that everybody is committed to these new plans?
- What do you think the challenges may be?
Thinking about your own workplace:
- Have you got the right culture in place to be able to manage change?
How to ensure your workplace manages continuous change and development
By adopting the Principles of workforce redesign.
To help organisations who are undergoing any form of organisational restructure or transformation, Skills for Care has developed the Principles of workforce redesign. The seven principles set out the key things you need to take account of when changing the way your staff work. They also recognise that the quality of any service delivered by a social care organisation is directly linked to the skills, knowledge, expertise, values and attitudes of the people who make up the workforce, and that those employees have a significant role to play in any transformation that takes place.
For more information visit www.skillsforcare.org.uk/powr.
How will it help?
It is important to properly plan for change, but to also have the flexibility to adapt to any changes that it may have been impossible to plan for. It is also important to realise how different people respond to change and to engage workers as you undergo any change within the workplace. The Principles of workforce redesign guide includes tips to help you manage these issues. It also includes exercises to help you recognise how organisations, people and partnerships respond differently to change.
Other resources to support you
Workforce outcome measurement model
This workforce outcomes measurement model focuses on whether workforce interventions are really making a difference to the individual who needs care and support. It provides a simple way of linking the impact and benefits of workforce interventions to measurable person centred outcomes for the individual, service, organisation and community.
360 development tool
This tool uses the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) for social work to support an individual to undertake a self-assessment and offer them a chance to compare this with the assessment of others. Assessing learning, performance and progression in relation to the PCF requires a rounded approach; therefore the 360 development tool looks at the whole experience of the candidate.