The importance of caring for your workforce

The importance of caring for your workforce

Categories: News , Practice Solutions

Practice Solutions founder and chairman, Gabe Conlon, reflects on the importance of values, personal development and workforce retention.

Looking back on my long career, what I needed most in the early days was acknowledgement that my honest efforts were valued and I had the support to grow and develop. I was very doubtful of the managers whose comments about my performance were not well informed by what I was doing. Some would distribute compliments like confetti not really appreciating the effort or understanding the challenge.

Appraisal and supervision is very important when it comes to developing and securing ongoing commitment and workforce retention. I’ve been very fortunate to have had people who have encouraged and supported my learning and growth. The relationships were developed in an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust.

One of these supportive managers, following an observed interview with a service user, suggested my approach was patronising. It was like a bucket of cold water but once I reasoned about why he said it, I realised he was right. I trusted his comments and didn’t see it as a negative feedback but something I could work on and improve.

Later in my career I became manager and I was given The One-Minute Manager Meets the Monkey. A simple tome that some might see as a script for making sure subordinates worked harder! I saw it as an exercise in helping others to learn, reflect and grow. Creating an effective team is as much about what we do as the way we do it. Honesty, integrity and recognition is the basis for learning and growing rather than directing and controlling.

In the health and social care sector, workforce retention is an increasing challenge for us all. Colleagues do not stay forever but while they are with us, with the right support and leadership, we can slow the attrition rate and bring significant benefit to businesses and our customers, alike. Doing a job was not just about earning a living. For me, it was about making a real difference in the lives of others, personal development and purpose. After all, we are in the business of caring so it would be ironical not to use our core values in the way we treat our colleagues.

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