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Making integrity an essential leadership skill for care managers

Last week whilst coaching a senior manager in a care organisation we had quite a long debate on the characteristic of integrity in leaders.  We questioned the importance of integrity as a leadership skill in care managers?

Meeting the KLOES ‘well-led’

The senior care manager is on our level 7 Strategic Leadership programme.  The manager was working on the action plan for the organisation’s Strategic Plan to deliver Well-Led KLOES in the organisation,  The manager had already analysed the company’s CQC reports on ‘Well-Led’.  So to develop the actions we discussed the findings and the new CQC KLOES, prompt and characteristics.  The line of enquiry including integrity was:

Code W1.1  Do leaders have the skills, knowledge, experience and integrity that they need – both when they are appointed and on an ongoing basis?

The skills, knowledge and experience were easier to list.  But we discussed what integrity meant and represented in managers, concluding that was

“the quality of being honest and strong moral principles” and

“that integrity needs to be communicated consistently”

Can integrity be taught?

Our discussion raised the question of whether integrity can be taught to new and existing care managers?

As ‘integrity’ is a behaviour based trait, we agreed that it can be taught.  So went on to discuss examples of good practice in existing care managers and how that could be integrated into their management development.

The senior manager had some innovative ideas on training current and assessing future managers.  The action plan includes actions for their company’s management recruitment and performance management processes.  These processes will include the important assessment and development of their manager’s integrity.

Analyse the information for your strategy

The analysis of the relevant information is an important part of developing a strategy but often neglected. The process I described included coaching and questioning.

I wrote this article because I hope this helps more care managers see the importance of taking an analytical approach to meet the CQC KLOES.  We need to see more than a low percentage of care providers in the outstanding ratings.

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