Are there lessons for social work in this recent posting on the HR website? As the debate rages about how to improve social work services on the front line the big question for me is how we empower and motivate staff to deliver consistently high quality services. What needs to change to encourage innovation and creativity amongst such a diverse workforce?
The lack of leadership is constantly quoted as a major problem for care services but what sort of leadership is required? Is leadership different from management? For me an emphatic YES. Leaders use passion and ideas to lead people. Leadership is about creating change.
We have known what the problems are in social work for many years so what is stopping change from happening? There is a consistency in the key messages and recommendations contained in the plethora of government reports following major failures in the care system.
Five ways to make a difference in your organisation:
Listen, communicate and engage with your workforce.
Make a reality of the oft quoted phrase “Our people are our greatest asset” by developing, implementing and monitoring your workforce development strategy
Encourage, nurture and grow your staff by offering a range of learning opportunities which take advantage of new technology.
Get rid of the blame culture and encourage the senior management team to foster debate and encourage new ways of thinking and approaches to seemingly intractable problems. Do not be afraid of critical friends.
Recognise and develop the unique skills and talents of your workforce. Actively seek and encourage feedback and let everyone know how their thoughts and comments are making a difference to the delivery of services.
‘Talent’ may be HR’s buzz word du jour but a poll conducted for Human Resources finds that only 9% of workers think their business uses this word to describe its people.
Nearly 70% of respondents to the survey, by Harris Interactive, say talent is not an expression used. Asked if they think their employers see them as talented individuals, 42% of workers say no and a further 23% are not sure. Just 16% say yes, but only as a means to an end – so employers can get more work out of them.
A mere 11% say they are personally regarded as ‘the future’ of their organisation, with nearly half (48%) saying ‘no, not all’ to this question. Some 55% of the 1,187 employees polled say that, to their knowledge, their skills are not recorded on any talent management system.
Women are significantly more likely than men to say their organisation uses the word talent (75% vs 63%). They are also more likely to say they are not regarded as the future in their organisation (50% vs 47%).
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