Within the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) Workforce wellbeing and enablement quality statement, all social care providers have a responsibility to care about and promote the wellbeing of their staff. And as part of this commitment, ‘People are supported by staff who feel valued by their leaders and their colleagues. They have a sense of belonging and the ability to contribute to decision making.’
This feeling of being valued and having the opportunity to participate in decision making can often come as a result of your employees feeling empowered at work and in their career.
In this article, we’re understanding exactly what employee empowerment looks like in the social care sector, and how your organisation can empower your teams throughout their career in care.
What is employee empowerment?
Empowerment is typically defined as having autonomy and responsibility over your own choices. When we talk about employee empowerment, it refers to organisations giving their staff the ability to make their own decisions and take authority over their own actions.
What are the benefits of employee empowerment in social care?
Reduced employee turnover
Struggles with recruitment and retention continues to be widely recognised throughout the sector. The vacancy rate in social care (9.9%) remains higher than the UK unemployment rate (4.3%). And although the turnover rate is slowly reducing, it stays very high at 28.3% – two times higher than the national average.
For the social care sector, employees feeling empowered in their role and over their career could be a key part of building and retaining a highly skilled and satisfied workforce. Things like career progression, real-time feedback or flexible working may be some of the reasons why your current talent feel empowered and choose to stay with you.
When employees feel empowered in their role and can advance their skills and qualifications, they are more likely to have a greater sense of fulfilment, becoming more engaged with both their career in care and your organisation as a whole.
Plus, by empowering your teams to take initiative, offering more autonomy and authority over decision making, it can help open doors for things like creativity and relationship building. Having this confidence can be a real asset when interacting with enquirers, building upon client care plans and providing high quality, person-centred care.
How can social care providers help empower employees?
1. Create a space for continuous feedback
Feedback is an important part of employee empowerment because when we’re recognised for the hard work we put in, it can work wonders in boosting moral, celebrating best practice and championing shared learning.
Continuous performance management (CPM) tools can give your teams complete autonomy over their feedback, whether they are recognising someone else’s achievements or requesting feedback themselves. CPM software such as Performance & Talent even utilises artificial intelligence (AI) to assist your teams, helping to ensure their feedback is articulated in the right way.
2. Provide ongoing learning opportunities
As a social care provider, you know that all staff need to be supported through their mandatory training and any further qualifications that are useful for their role. According to Regulation 18 of the Health and Care Act 2008 Regulations 14, ‘Staff should receive regular appraisal of their performance in their role from an appropriately skilled and experienced person and any training, learning and development needs should be identified, planned for and supported.’
Continuous performance management software can give your managers the ability to identify these learning and development opportunities. Your teams can set personal development goals alongside their performance objectives, setting conversations with their manager to discuss progress. All of this gives your employees more control, empowering them to pursue their own goals and a career with your organisation.
3. Give employees a voice
As we mentioned at the start of this article, being involved in decision making can be a key part of employee empowerment in social care. But this can only really happen if your teams have the confidence and the space to. And in many cases, confidence comes from trust.
Not only do your managers need to be able to trust care workers to do their job with autonomy, but care workers also need to be able to trust their managers so they can raise any concerns or simply to have a catch up without worry. This is where giving employees a voice comes in.
Along with giving employees more control over choosing development goals, performance management tools can allow your HR teams to create surveys for your employees to offer feedback or suggestions based on their experiences. This then provides insights into what is going well and what can be improved, helping give your valuable employees a voice when it comes to organisational decision making.
Performance & Talent, our continuous performance management software, is designed to help empower your staff throughout their career.
From giving and receiving feedback to having purposeful conversations for professional and personal development, discover exactly how Performance & Talent can support your social care organisation today!
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