Support Workers As Leaders


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This was a presentation I delivered at the 3rd National Conference in London on 29th November 2012 on "Progression & Developments in the Role of Support Workers." The presentation discusses the important role that support workers should play in becoming leaders. Quality and chnage are highlighted.

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Support Workers As Leaders

  1. 1. Support Workers As LeadersDavid StonehouseSenior Lecturer
  2. 2. Presentation Aims• Support workers should have the opportunity to be recognised and developed as leaders• Support workers provide a key role in ensuring and delivering high quality care• Support workers are closest to patients and care and are therefore best placed to lead developments and deliver successful change.
  3. 3. Support workers have a privileged position withinthe team of professionals looking after clients.They are the one group of staff that spend themost quality time with them.They are the ones delivering the basicfundamental care needs and through this developa close professional working relationship withpatients and their families. (Stonehouse, 2012)
  4. 4. Why Talk About Leadership?• Leadership is not just about the person at the top!• Leadership is required at all levels within the NHS to help deliver care of the highest possible quality.• Therefore support workers need to lead.
  5. 5. When You Think Of A Good Leader• It is not because they write an amazing policy, or can plan a fair staff rota!• A good leader inspires you, who has vision and a passion for the service they are delivering.• They are someone that you go to for advice and help when things are not going smoothly.
  6. 6. Leadership Is About• Knowing oneself• Building trust• Taking effective action to realise your own leadership potential• Effective communication of a clear vision (Bennis, 2003)
  7. 7. Leadership And Management Are Different. Kotter (1990:103) identified that “Leadership & management are two distinctive and complementary systems of action. Each has its own function and characteristic activities.”It is not always advisable for the same person to do both roles!
  8. 8. Some leaders make unsuitable managers andsome managers make unsuitable leaders (Yukl, 2010) Not all support workers will want to be leaders.It is the managers job to recognise those staff with leadership qualities and then aim to develop and support them.
  9. 9. Support Workers Are At The Forefront of Quality• They are delivering high quality care often in demanding situations• They are talking with and listening to patients• They are often the first point of call for complaints• Their roles are fast developing, benefitting patient care.
  10. 10. Support Workers Are At The Forefront Of Change!!• Involved in on the ground implementation of change.• Work closely with patients and their families.• Importantly, they are the ones best placed to identify where changes are needed, and are more likely to know what will and what will not have a positive impact.
  11. 11. Leaders In Change.“managers cope with the complexities and resultsof change while leaders inspire and initiatechange” (Smith and Langston, 1999:6)“It is the leader who is the innovator, who isproactive and a motivator. He/she has a vision ofhow things could be and the drive andcommitment to bring that vision to fulfilment” (Stonehouse, 2011:510)
  12. 12. Support Workers As Change Agents• You need leaders who are on the shop floor, working with their peers to deliver change.• Not leaders removed from the everyday hands on work of caring.• Support workers understand the processes involved and their patients best.
  13. 13. How Do You Develop Support Workers As Leaders?• Recognise the important role they play.• Identify leadership qualities and help to develop these.• Raise self awareness.• Assistant Practitioner courses which include training in management, leadership and change.• In-house leadership courses.• Provide mentoring opportunities.• Supervision by more experienced leaders.• Full involvement in managing and leading change.• Encouragement, support, training and opportunities.
  14. 14. It’s not about the name badge!!• Having leader in your title does not make you a good leader.• It is often the informal leaders, those not officially recognised by the organisation who play the more important leadership roles. Especially for patients and their peers!
  15. 15. Any Questions? & Thank You!!
  16. 16. ReferencesBennis, W. (2003) On Becoming A Leader. Second Edition. New York: Basic Books.Kotter, J.P. (1990) What Leaders Really Do. Harvard Business Review. May – Junepp 103-111.Smith, A. & Langston, A. (1999) Managing Staff in Early Years Settings. London:Routledge.Stonehouse, D. (2011) ‘Management and Leadership For Support Workers.’ BritishJournal of Healthcare Assistants. October. Vol 05. No 10.Stonehouse, D. (2012) Why Complaints Are A Positive For Support Workers. BritishJournal of Healthcare Assistants. January Vol 06 No 01.Yukl, G. (2010) Leadership in Organizations. Seventh Edition. New Jersey: Pearson.