September 26, 2023
4 Steps Guest Blog: “Funding packages that value all staff will play a crucial part in developing a motivated workforce”
Alex Cumming, SAMH’s Executive Director of Operations, on why social care and support managers need our backing to ensure not just that they don’t leave the sector, but that they can thrive in it
At SAMH (the Scottish Association for Mental Health) we believe everyone is entitled to hope and choice, and to achieve personal fulfilment. We know from 100 years of working in mental health that the key to delivering on these values – and the success of services – is a sustainable, happy and valued workforce.
Critical to our frontline workforce is the support given by managers across the country. Within moments they move from crisis management, to hands-on delivery, meeting ever-more demanding compliance requirements and regulations. They do all this while embedding organisational changes, leading service improvements and delivering contractual obligations. Our ask of them is vast.
The role they play in creating and embedding a culture of compassion and providing the environment for staff to develop cannot be exaggerated. They provide support for improving practice and negotiate delicate performance conversations. They do all this at the same time as bringing the team together to work on the collective goal of improving outcomes for people we work with.
This means that the ability to sustain and develop management and leadership pathways is essential, and just as urgent as the frontline challenge all providers are facing. One way to address both these issues is delivering funding packages that value all staff, which will play a crucial part in developing a motivated health and social care workforce that functions effectively, safety and consistently.
All of us are planning for the future, and considering what’s needed for management and leadership roles is key to that. However, we need a longer term view as well as support from government that delivers greater parity, enables us to harness the passion and skills to develop our managers, and reduces the fatigue our staff are feeling.
So where are the positives? Having spent time with more than 50 of our managers in the last week, I’m reminded of the drive and determination of our workforce and their unyielding commitment to those we support. Their resilience motivates others, but they need our backing and support to make sure not just that they don’t leave the sector, but that they can thrive in it.