Changing social care: an inclusive approach
Leadership for change and improvement: Communicate
- Make sure everyone is aware of and understands the underlying purpose and ideology, and what needs to be done to achieve it.
- Methods of communication include:
- meetings with individual workers
- group consultations with the workforce, including brainstorming exercises
- newsletters in the pay packets of the workforce
- emails and text messages
- personal telephone conversations
- group meetings and consultations
- away-days (SCIE Knowledge review 16).
- The most appropriate method of communication will depend on the circumstances and people involved, so it is important to know and understand the position of all stakeholders.
- Communication may be easier and more effective if large organisations are broken down into smaller groups.
- Be clear about your message, as some people will find it difficult to understand.
- Education initiatives may be needed to ensure people hear and understand the messages.
In Disability Wales, the criteria for membership had to change to ensure that it was in line with the purpose of the organisation. Currently, only organisations whose boards are comprised of majority disabled persons are allowed membership. This decision was taken to ensure that the underlying purpose of the organisation ran throughout its activities. The organisation encountered some participants who believed this tactic was ‘reverse discrimination’. It has had to learn to tailor its message to these groups and reiterate to them that, ‘It’s not about discrimination, but ownership. If the group is about disability, then it should be led by disabled people. Non-disabled people should be in supportive roles or as allies rather than leaders’Disability Wales)
How we know this
- Leaders foster trust by maintaining transparency via extensive communication. This includes:
- communicating a clear rationale for the change
- identifying new roles and risks
- clarifying the end points
- exhibiting an ability to listen and learn from others
- removing barriers to the transmission of ideas
- addressing individuals’ actual concerns (Almio-Metcalfe and Alban-Metcalfe 2005; Fernandez and Rainey 2006).