The COVID-19 pandemic focused the attention of the country onto the care sector and brought with it a number of challenges for registered managers, not least of which is managing the pace at which change needs to be managed. More recently, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has introduced its new single assessment framework, https://www.cqc.org.uk/assessment, which brings with it a whole host of additional changes to which already stressed registered managers need to adapt.
All of the forums for social care sector are full with posts from social care professionals who are either excited, challenged or exhausted by the constant need to change and adapt, including in the adoption of digital care management software. Many are still overwhelmed with their roles already and still many more appear to believe that it is their role to do everything in their organisation. This is not the case, in fact what many managers need to do is to learn to lead and manage change and get the team on board with some of the work required.
Taking the lead in any service development is a challenge for anyone, even the most experienced of managers. This challenge is multiplied many fold by the additional burdens of the day to day running of any social care business.
Any manager who thinks that the period of rapid change in social care is over, is mistaken as there are a number of new challenges now either well in sight or coming over the horizon – for example it will not be long before we have to adapt to the challenges of the liberty protection safeguards as they replace DOLs in the daily manifestations of the Mental Capacity Act and the revolution in digital care management software will start to include the use of artificial intelligence.
Before leading any development, the registered manager needs to understand a few simple rules which will make their task easier. Failing to understand the rules of change management will mean that any change will ultimately either take more time than it need, not work smoothly or quite simply fail. Here are our top tips for what you need to consider about leading your staff team through a period of change.
– Understand what it is you want to achieve and ensure the staff group understand this, in management speak, share the vision, or better still get the staff team to help shape the vision
– When sharing the vision, ensure staff understand what’s in it for them and for the service users, that is sell the vision
– Communicate, communicate, communicate
– Identify who in the staff team influences the other staff and get them on side; identify you influencers and make allies of them. Don’t do everything alone, the best managers know to delegate and this includes the role of persuading the team
– Remember things change, people make transitions. People will respond emotionally to alterations in the way they work and what they understand and need to be supported to make sense of what is happening and how they feel about it.
– The only way to overcome an emotional response to change is to have a stronger emotional response, be passionate, be bold, be brave.
– Very few developments go smoothly, so be prepared to take responsibility for little failures on the way, don’t blame the team – this is the same with delegation, where the buck stops with the leader
CAREis have seen many companies succeed in introducing digital care management software into their services, https://www.careis.net/, because the enthusiasm of the manager is infectious. Managers who have a clear vision of what they want to achieve reap the benefits of going digital if they follow the simple rules identified here, especially, and did we mention, the need to communicate, communicate, communicate?