Maintaining a stable workforce is key to an organisation’s success, particularly in the world of social care. Just recently, a local council and its staff were praised by an industry regulator, after its service improved from ‘inadequate’ in 2010 to ‘good’ in 2015. The report by Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Service and Skills), attributed this increase in standards to “the consistency of social work staff”, highlighting the importance of a dedicated team. However, in order to have a strong workforce, you need to have a strong leader.
Indeed, achieving such a drastic change within five years will inevitably have been kick-started by the actions of senior executives within the authority. According to the Training Journal, “A business must have strong, effective leadership in place that has defined a purpose and mission. It must be clearly communicated throughout the organisation in order for staff to understand and ‘buy-in’ to the role they each play in delivering the purpose.”
A senior executive must make employees feel as though they are an integral part of the organisation to ensure success. By making them proud of the role they play within the business, they will be more likely to stay longer and want to deliver more for the organisation.
This was reflected in the Ofsted report, as although it identified a number of other reasons for the council’s progress, such as effective planning and access to high quality training, it was the council’s management and commitment to low staff turnover (just 2% in 2014) that undoubtedly improved the overall success of the services. After all, this allowed workers to develop their skills in one role, and form relationships with the children in the cases they were assigned.
The reporting of the council’s success comes as a breath of fresh air for the health and social care sector. With the media consistently highlighting its failings rather than its successes, it just goes to show that a strong and effective leader at the top of an authority will have a trickle-down effect to the majority of the workforce.
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