Jun 19

The golden thread to developing leaders and managers

Posted: 13 June 2019

Karen Carter, Skills for Care’s Leadership and Management Programme Head, talks about why the continued investment in the learning and development of leaders and managers is the best way to create that golden thread between individual, team and organisational performance to improve the quality of care for everyone in our communities.

Why is it important to invest in the learning and development of all leaders and managers?

We know that good and outstanding leadership impacts directly on the quality of care. We need look no further than CQC inspection data which points to the direct relationship between the two, with the largest percentage of Well-led services also achieving the highest rating in the overall quality of care.

Evidence from Skills for Care’s 'Good and outstanding care' guide and ‘Guide to improvement' clearly indicates the inextricable link between effective leadership and the development of positive workplace cultures that support continuous improvement in care.

This requires investment in the development of leaders and managers at all levels, in order to achieve our shared ambition for the continuous improvement of services across adult social care. 

Leadership starts with me

Central to this, is evidence of shared vision, values and behaviours across the workforce which enable an inclusive leadership culture to be built at all levels, prompting increased emphasis on leadership from every seat as the ‘X’ factor in care quality. As the premise of the Skills for Care Leadership Qualities Framework defines, ‘Leadership starts with me’. This demands collective support for the development of leaders and managers.

This reflects the priorities for the health and social care system set out by Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock:

I want more people working in social care to feel able and supported to grow and develop their careers and step up into those senior roles that are crucial to providing leadership and determining the quality of care received by our loved ones…Everyone should have a career they can develop.

Create a clear leadership pathway for all those in care roles

As a result, a key cornerstone of our current improvement efforts across health and care systems is a joint endeavour focused on the crucial importance of investment in the learning and development of all leaders and managers. This is from the frontline to those in senior leadership roles, to create a clear leadership development pathway for all those in care roles.

This underlines the importance of growing a talent pipeline of current and future leaders able to operate both confidently and compassionately across care systems within their local communities. As is building the capacity and capability of their teams in leading cultural change and continuous improvement simultaneously from the bottom-up and the top-down.

Leading edge resources and programmes

Taken together, all of these factors make the case for investment in the development of our workforce and suggest a four-way focus to creating the golden thread of continuing support for the development of managers as outlined below and captured in our Leading Change, Improving Care programme.

  1. Looking inwards: understanding yourself as a leader and identifying sources of change
  2. Looking sideways: leading high performing teams and creating a climate for change
  3. Looking around: leading a high-quality service and understanding motivations to change
  4. Looking outwards: leading change for impact in connected systems and communities

In supporting the growth and development of leaders and managers across our social care workforce, our support and development offer provides leading-edge resources and programmes and provides practical solutions for the creation of the elusive golden thread of continuing development for all those leaders and managers across our sector.

Find out more

Find more information on the Leading Change, Improving Care programmeand on Skills for Care’ support and development offer for aspiring, new and established managers.

You can keep up-to-date on our ‘Developing managers’ campaign that’s running throughout June and July.  Follow the campaign on Twitter at #DevelopingManagers