Changing social care: an inclusive approach
Workforce involvement and participation - Give people support to adjust and adapt
- Work out what the planned changes mean for individual roles – can current skills be adapted or is there a need for significant development?
- Possible methods of support include:
- personal coaching
- role play (to try out new roles)
- self-assessment and reflection
- training courses
- briefings – verbal or written
- one-to-one discussions (Fauth and Mahdon 2007).
- Ensure individuals receive general support,
as well as that specific to their role. Examples
of this from the case studies include:
- listening to concerns
- attending staff meetings
- being approachable – an ‘open door’ policy
- compromising when appropriate
- explaining the reasoning behind decisions (SCIE Knowledge review 16).
- Support individuals to make time for development activities.
- Make it acceptable for individuals to admit they do not feel confident with new roles and responsibilities.
- Appreciative inquiry (AI) workshops can be useful to encourage communication about change. For an example of applying the AI framework, see Workforce involvement and participation: Case example 1.
The starting point is mutual respect. Let’s look at how you’re spending your time. Also, how can we marry what you’re trying to achieve with the change that needs to be brought about? Staff are genuinely committed to providing a good service and respond well to being asked. Work with the motivation that they’ve already got. Then explain that we don’t have to do this perfectly. It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay to do it good enough. There are practicalities. I always think that people can rearrange their priorities. If it’s going to help them do what they want to do then they will. It’s about getting people to shift their perspectives(director, Age Concern Sheffield, SCIE Knowledge review 16).
Improving and altering a service can be a rewarding and exhilarating experience for all involved. However, it also has the potential to be frightening and challenging. Supporting staff through improvements involves being approachable and creating a supportive environment for people to develop in(SCIE Knowledge review 16).
How we know this
- It is necessary to go beyond developing basic skills for day-to-day use in the workplace and develop broader competencies and knowledge in the staff team (Fauth and Mahdon 2007).
- It may be necessary to offer different types
of support at different stages in the process:
- early on, the workforce should be provided with ‘awareness’ training to make them contemplate and understand the need for change
- next, individuals should be able to question the implications for improvement and identify their skill gaps
- In the ‘action’ phase, individuals should test out new ways of working and assess advanced training needs for their own professional development (Horwath, 2001).
- Managers also need support and development (Burnes 2003; Zaccaro and Banks 2004)