Posted: 7 September 2017
Kate Blake, Team Manager, Partners in Care: Bournemouth, Dorset & Poole
From our experience of working with registered managers, Partners in Care (PiC) knows that new managers often have different needs to experienced managers. So when we recently started to run three networks in the South West for registered managers using funding from Skills for Care we started a fourth as well; dedicated to supporting aspiring and new managers.
This network is linked to the other three. Managers can choose to attend any of the networks (or both the new managers’ network and another network) depending on what support they feel they need. For instance, as new managers gain confidence they may start to attend another network or an experienced manager who is new to post may ‘dip-in’ to the new managers’ network.
The new managers network has established itself quickly, and across the four meetings so far we’re often getting 25+ attendees (about a 50/50 split between aspiring and new managers, with a real cross-section of service types represented). They are a really enthusiastic and vocal group.
It’s common to hear new managers talk about feeling ‘out of depth’ so following an initial brain storming session with attendees at the first meeting, we have taken a structured approach to making sure the network is meeting the specific needs of those at the start of their career as a registered manager.
One of our early sessions involved personality testing, allowing each new (or potential) manager to better understand their own management style and how this affects the way they work with their team. We’ve also spent time looking at the differences between leadership and management; a really important distinction to understand when you are starting out.
We’re now basing each of the meetings around one or two sections of the Manager Induction Standards (MIS); these fit with the needs of new managers really well.
Of course these meetings aren’t just about sharing information – time is always built into the day for talking and sharing phone numbers and email addresses. Our message to all managers is “you need each other”.
We’re already seeing the impact of the meetings on managers; as their confidence grows attendees are starting to bring things back to the group to share with their peers. There is also a real interest in starting an online group so that people can stay in touch between meetings.
Our ambition is to see attendees move into the other networks we run as they gain confidence, and that the aspiring and new manager network continues to recruit attendees. We know that succession planning and support for new managers is a crucial part of providing consistently great care.
There are over 150 networks in England. If you’re a registered manager, you can find your local registered manager network here.