Why is leadership important in health and social care?

man in suit behind laptop

The most effective way that organisations in the health and social care sector can improve and grow is to focus on developing their leaders.

Great leaders are essential at every level of a healthcare organisation. From inspiring and motivating employees, to overseeing essential safety procedures and policies, those in leadership and management roles are key to an organisation’s smooth running.

Leaders and managers can steer an organisation to success, as long as they are provided with the knowledge and training that they require to do so.

What is the role of leadership in healthcare?

Leaders are found throughout all settings and levels of the health and social care sector, from directors through to front-line staff.

Those working in leadership in health and social care play a crucial part in ensuring that a high quality service is delivered and helping the organisation to thrive and grow.

Some of the key responsibilities of leaders in healthcare include:

  • Ensuring the care being provided is consistently safe and of a high quality.
  • Putting procedures and policies in place to keep things running smoothly.
  • Nurturing a positive work environment and team culture.
  • Providing staff with clear objectives.
  • Supporting and inspiring staff.
  • Decision-making.
  • Monitoring and providing feedback on staff performance.
  • Listening to and acting on patient feedback.
  • Developing staff knowledge and skills.

Those in leadership roles should have excellent communication skills and be able to support, motivate and inspire employees to excel in their roles.

Why is leadership important in healthcare?

Competent and inspiring leaders are crucial to the success of organisations in all sectors, but they play a particularly important part in the health and social care sector for a couple of key reasons.


Responsible for people’s health and wellbeing

We rely on organisations in the health and social sector to help look after our health and wellbeing. If healthcare organisations fail to provide a good service, then the physical and mental wellbeing of the community could suffer as a result.

Leaders in the healthcare sector are responsible for ensuring that our healthcare services are safe and consistently of a high quality.

Healthcare leaders must make decisions that are crucial to the health and wellbeing of patients, sometimes they may even mean the difference between life or death, so it’s important that leaders are equipped with the knowledge and skills they require to make such decisions.

Improve employee retention rates

The healthcare sector is currently suffering a shortage of staff and poor staff retention rates. Organisations should ensure that all staff employed in leadership roles have the training, knowledge and support they require to carry out their role and responsibilities as a leader effectively.

The leadership style employed and decisions made by those in leadership positions have a direct impact on employee experience and team morale. If staff turnover is very high, then it may be worth examining the leadership style currently in place and investing in leadership training.

How does strong leadership benefit health and social care organisations?

Leaders at different levels of an organisation may have slightly different roles and responsibilities, but all leaders share the same goal – inspiring and supporting their workforce to contribute to the success of an organisation.

No matter what area or level you work in within the healthcare sector, investing in the development of your organisation’s leaders will have these three key benefits.

Improve the quality and consistency of care being delivered – There isn’t room for mistakes when it comes to patient health and wellbeing. Strong leaders have the ability to communicate effectively with their workforce, ensuring that everyone is clear what their role, responsibilities and objectives are. A strong leader will put policies and procedures in place to ensure that the level of care being delivered is consistently of a high quality.

Improve staff engagement and retention rates – Good leaders are trusted by their employees, making the workforce more engaged and fostering a positive team spirit. Happy and engaged employees tend to be productive and perform well in their roles. This kind of job satisfaction amongst the workforce can improve staff retention rates and help healthcare organisations to keep hold of their top talent.

Boost the organisation’s reputation and overall success – An organisation’s reputation and overall success is usually directly related to the quality of their services and how engaged and happy their workforce is. A workforce being steered by a strong leader is more likely to deliver services that are consistently of a high standard. This will result in a positive patient experience and high patient satisfaction, which will bolster the organisation’s reputation and its overall success.

Health and social care training with CBAT

The importance of leadership training in healthcare settings should never be underestimated.

As John F Kennedy once said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other”. Those that excel at their jobs within a business should not be promoted to leadership roles without also being provided with the training they require to carry out their new role competently. Being good at your job does not necessarily make you good at leading people.

It’s crucial that anyone employed or promoted to a leadership role is equipped with the knowledge and skills required to carry out their role competently.

Proper training will not only benefit those in leadership positions, it will also have a positive impact on all the staff you employ, your patients, and your organisation’s overall success.

Here at CBAT we run a variety of professional training courses in leadership and management in health and social care, our courses are available either in-person or online in a virtual classroom.

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