There is currently a huge surge in demand for care sector staff driven by the significantly increasing growth of the sector. Many businesses in the sector are critically understaffed and need to ensure prospective candidates have the right leadership skills for the sector.
Working in care can present some sensitive situations that require delicate decisions and strong leadership ability. As a result, leadership roles within the care sector can be challenging. Every team needs a great leader and great leaders are composed of a number of different skills, but what exactly are the key leadership skills that every care team needs?
Of course these skills don’t exclusively apply to just those in leadership positions. These are skills which anyone working in the sector will benefit from but developing them amongst all staff will facilitate a strong pool of leadership candidates in the future.
Compassion and empathy are a must for anyone working in the care industry. This is especially true for those in leadership positions. Leading by example is crucial to ensuring your team performs to the best of their ability. By hiring a leader who is kind, caring, and understanding of those around them, the rest of your team will follow suit.
This is a great way of creating a positive workplace culture that makes people want to work there. In turn, this can help improve your workplace engagement levels and increase your overall retention rate.
A truly confident leader doesn’t just act with certainty; they instil confidence in those around them. Strong leaders create a ripple effect of confidence and assuredness that spreads to their entire team and, ultimately, those they are caring for. Confident employees can be trusted to take action when the need arises, which is a crucial quality to have in your team members and comes from the top.
The ability to establish trust is essential in the care industry. Those being cared for need to be able to completely trust the people caring for them – this trust is what drives success in the industry. Your team should be able to rely on each other to carry out their duties and take responsibility for their work, and they will only be able to do this if they have a leader they can trust and who trusts them
Above all else, care workers should be dependable. The care industry is currently suffering from major staff shortages across the board. As such, hiring staff that you can depend on is hugely beneficial.
The best leaders are committed to their cause. They’re driven to achieve results because they truly care about what they do and they care about the wellbeing of those around them. The last thing you want from a leader is someone who is ready to leave for a better opportunity at a moment’s notice. Stability is important in care, and stability is formed through commitment from those in leadership positions.
Retention is currently a large challenge in the care industry, so hiring care workers who can demonstrate a substantial level of commitment and loyalty is essential.
5. Outgoing Nature and Proactivity
The care industry needs leaders who can be proactive and outgoing in their work. As stated earlier, leading by example is key. Leaders in the care industry benefit from having the drive to put in the hard work directly, rather than passing all responsibility onto others.
Outgoing and proactive team members are the driving force of your team – they make things happen. This positive behaviour can be very encouraging for the rest of your team, potentially leading to a more proactive work culture as a whole.
6. Thoroughness and Attention to Detail
The best and most successful leaders in the care industry emphasise the importance of being thorough and comprehensive in their work. The best leaders don’t allow avoidable mistakes to happen, and pay great attention in their work to ensure each task is carried out reliably. This requires a keen eye for detail at all times.
This also requires leaders to have high levels of awareness, both in a situational and a business sense.
7. Strategic Mind
Planning and strategy are major aspects of any leadership role. In the care sector, your senior leaders should be able to carefully and reliably map out situations, ensuring that there are always alternatives available. Encouraging the development of strategic mindsets in your care team can help improve productivity in your business.
Employing strategic thinking and careful planning can also help improve efficiency in your team, ultimately resulting in a lower need to hire more staff. A quality leader will have an ability to optimise and develop your existing team members, playing to their strengths and overcoming their weaknesses to ensure a more effective team overall.
Patience is a virtue, especially in the care sector. Hiring a leader who demonstrates exceptional patience and understanding can give your team a massive boost. The ability to wait for the right result instead of rushing things is a great quality to have in your team, especially when it comes to sensitive situations.
A patient and tolerant leader can help ensure your team doesn’t feel as pressurised or stressed on a daily basis, which in turn may also increase your staff retention rates.
These skills are essential - but they’re also well sought after. Many businesses feel that their current workforce can be strengthened by making the right hire, but haven’t had any success through their current recruitment methods.
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