Posted: 13 May 2019
There are various skills that can make you a good leader at any level. People often recognise that to be successful in the role of a manager or as the CEO of a company you need good leadership skills. It’s less recognised that these skills are equally as important in frontline workers.
There are many benefits of having a workforce that demonstrates strong leadership skills. Through their attitudes and actions, frontline leaders become better advocates for their service. A happy, committed and confident workforce can support a positive workplace culture and improve staff retention rates. Managers can spend less time on people-management and more time on strategic planning and service improvements, so ultimately, the quality of care is better.
David Large, CEO from Wirral Independent Living and Learning recognises and values the leadership skills in his frontline workers. He explains:
When our frontline workers can work using their own initiative and make decisions it really helps the organisation. We must have confident staff who can go out and make decisions. It’s vital because many are working as a lone worker and we just can’t be there for them all the time.
It really helps the culture of the organisation when we see our frontline workers inspiring other workers because people can then start to realise that there’s something more to care work than people often think. There’s something to achieve and work towards. It’s a good career to be in and something that’s really worthwhile doing.
It’s really rewarding, for me as a CEO, to see frontline workers taking responsibility and managing themselves. It makes life much easier for us. We just can’t do it unless they operate in that way. It’s something that’s vital to the running of the organisation. Our funders don’t allow for the managers to be out in the fields all the time. It needs to be the workers that are taking responsibility in their role on a every day.
We also rely on our frontline workers to help us improve our service. They are there daily, we visit but aren’t there all the time. They see what changes are needed for the best. It really does help when they come up with suggestions and we, as an organisation, really try to follow through with them.
It creates a good culture when our frontline workers support each other, building their confidence in the decisions they’re making on a day to day basis. It helps to foster a positive working culture which shows in our low staff turnover rate, which in turn helps our budgets. If you have a high staff turnover, you must invest a lot more in training costs. With long-term staff we’re still delivering training, but the workers are developing more knowledge and skills. They get to know the people we support well, they understand them and know about their needs. It helps individuals lives to settle down and we’re proud of the friendly, family-orientated service we provide.
We’ve created a series of short films for managers to use with their teams, to help support the development of leadership skills of frontline workers. Click here to find out more.