In this article we look at Personalised Management. Sam Sly is a registered social worker with 25 years of extensive experience working in regulation, health and social care as a field worker, commissioner and provider and she gives us an overview of her knowledge in this important subject.
Employing the right team and keeping this precious resource is something that I am sure many a manager has spent sleepless nights over. I know I have, and although I don’t have all the answers I want to share some of my thoughts and experiences as a leader who has tried to do the right thing with some success through personalized recruitment and retention working with the people supported and families.
As a manager of paid teams with many a sleepless nights worrying about recruitment and retention success, I believe, is an on-going process and the feedback I’ve received from teams point to good employment depending on a whole lot more than the pay. Feedback suggests that the style of leadership is very important; knowing that the ethos of the Organisation is truly person-centred, the leaders are big-hearted, inspirational, passionate and positive. Feeling valued and learning from mistakes and not being blamed. Having leaders who remain strong and caring even in crisis situations and being available to talk, give a hug or de-brief over a coffee. Teams appreciate leaders who know what is going on in the person’s life and in their lives and who are flexible and compassionate. Small gestures of thanks, flowers and a kind word make a big difference. One worker said that the belief of leaders in the person supported has a massive impact on their own outlook on life. Mentoring, motivating and supporting teams to progress and continue to grow make a difference. Feedback also suggested that being a hands-on leader gains respect from teams and from the person and family supported. The saying ‘not expecting others to do what you would not do yourself’ matters. Workers like to be a part of an Organisation with low level hierarchy, high standards, an absolute focus on the person supported and with opportunities to train, learn, be innovative and be respected.
Seeing a worker as an individual is important too; really listening, making them feel supported and relaxed, laughter and sharing the tears. Developing self-confidence, challenging but allowing workers to make decisions and run with new ideas and enabling them to see the possibilities they can achieve within.
One team member summarized working in such an Organisation as; ‘I feel very fortunate that I work for a Company that stands out for all the right reasons and constantly moves forward with such passion to want to deliver the best life possible to the people we support’
Recruiting and keeping a personalised service of paid workers is a pretty tall order! It is way more than paying a wage, and involves some painful realities for the person supported which they have to be aware of. However, when people don’t have natural support these are the people who are the ‘care’ in health and social care and because of this we must continue to improve the ways we value and support them.