Developing Individuals and Teams Essay
Developing individuals and teams Introduction Once I have started working as a deputy manager in a nursing home I have realized that I have an important role to play in developing individuals and teams. In order to provide high standards of nursing care to residents I needed individuals able to perform competently, to integrate well within the team and to work towards meeting organisation’s objective – ‘to champion quality of life for all residents’. Care Quality Commission (2009) highlighted the importance of people needs being met by ‘staff who are fit, appropriately qualified and are physically and mentally able to do their job’.
In nursing, staff training and development is essential. In any organisation appropriate training and development helps staff to acquire new skills and knowledge, increases individual and team performance in order to meet organisation’s objectives. Managers have a great contribution to team and individual development. As a first line manager I needed to develop my knowledge and skills and be able to understand the current competencies of individuals and team members, knowing how to develop them in order to achieve agreed objective.
This essay is structured in three sections: Section 1 Factors involved in leading a team to achieve agreed objectives Section 2 Understanding the current competencies of individuals and teams Section 3 Ways to develop the competencies of individuals and teams Section 1 Factors involved in leading a team to achieve agreed objectives At the beginning of this section I will focus on understanding the Investor in People Standard and its principles as I consider these very important for any manager willing to improve performance, regardless the type of business they have to run. Developed in 1990 by a partnership of leading businesses and organisations, the Standard helps organisation to improve performance and realise objectives through the management and development of their people. ’(www. investorsinpeople. co. uk cited by Favell ,2008 ) The Standard encourages employers to create a positive culture of staff training and development and concentrates upon ways to improve performance. Investors in People framework is based on three main principles which are breaking down in ten indicators. They focus upon ‘developing strategies, taking action to improve performance, and evaluating the impact of the performance. (Favell, 2008) The core principles of Investors in People are PLAN, DO and REVIEW. The wheel diagram bellow shows the way these core principles are breaking down in ten indicators. From www. investorsinpeople. co. uk/Needs/Framework/Pages/PlanDoReview. aspx [Accessed on 04. 04. 2011] Analysing the indicators and reflecting upon my experience it helped me to understand the principles underlying leadership of individuals and teams, presented by Favell (2008): * Knowing exactly what to be done and by whom – involves motivation, teamwork, delegation, all key leadership skills * Knowing what the results should be Knowing how well they are doing – analysing progress, reflect upon achievements, assess progress and plan next step * Knowing what is expected from them – SMART objectives * Evaluate their performance through an appraisal or performance-management process * Give feedback All these principles are leading me to the manager’s role of developing individuals and teams. Adair (1989) highlighted three main areas, equally important, which managers need to develop to be successful.
The diagram bellow has been recreated by LMC and presents the three main areas identified by Adair and also the eight functions or behaviours type described by the same author. From http://www. lmcuk. com/management-tool/adair-s-model-of-leadership-functions [accessed on 19. 04. 2011] Analysing the overlapping circles of the action-centred leadership it has became clear to me that there are links between organisation’s objectives, team’s objectives and individual objectives. I cannot meet the nursing home’s objective without building and maintaining a team of nurses and ealth care assistants, which are able to provide high standard of personal and nursing care. The diagram bellow shows the links between nursing home objectives, nurses’ team objectives, health care assistants’ team objectives and individual objectives. The arrows indicate the fact that each level’s objectives derive from the level above and in the same time each level bellow supports the level above. At individual level I have presented the main objective only. The reasoning behind this being the fact that each individual has different development and training needs which will lead to different individual objectives.
However, all individual objectives are linked to teams and organisation’s objectives. Although I am not going to discuss in details any of the above mentioned objectives I consider important to mention here that all objectives must be SMART: ‘SPECIFIC AND STRATEGIC’ ‘MEASURABLE AND MEANINGFUL’ ‘ACHIEVABLE AND ACCEPTABLE’ ‘REALISTIC AND RESOURCED’, Lambert (2010) It is also crucial to choose the best way of communicating objectives to individuals and teams. ‘A strategic approach is needed to make sure that you are focusing on the right things at the right time and that you are making an impact. (http://www. idea. gov. uk/idk/core/page. do? pageId=7816302#contents-6 accessed on 21. 04. 2011) Following methods of communicating could be used: personal discussions, briefing, leaflets on notice board, staff meetings. Despite the method used, for workplace objectives following things need to be communicated: * What is to be achieved * When it must be achieved by * Whether any particular preparation or approach is to be taken * Any particular resources that are or not available Where the activity fits with the overall plans and objectives the organisation is pursuing * Agreeing some targets and measures by which the performance can be measured Favell (2008) Box 1 As a first line manager it is essential to review progress and give positive feedback to individuals and teams and to be able to analyse and understand their competencies level. Section 2Understanding the current competencies of individuals and teams ‘Management has been defined as getting results through other people, and this is at heart of everything you do’. Favell, 2008) Reflecting upon this cited I have understood the importance of building and maintaining a successful team in order to be successful in my job. It is all about being able to sett objectives with individuals and teams, to plan actions and to evaluate performance giving them positive, constructive feedback. In section one of this essay I have already discussed about the link between organisational objectives, teams objectives and individuals objectives. It is evident that all team members are working, on different levels equally important, contributing to … their own, the team’s and organisation’s success’ … ‘aiming in the same direction’. (Favell, 2008) Identifying individual’s and team’s objectives and relating them to the organization’s objectives is part of the manager’s role. Next step would be planning the action following the key steps in a ‘gap analysis’, see box 3 bellow. * Identify where you need to be (the objectives) * Identify where you are now (the current situation) * Specify any gaps between where you are and where you need to be * Identify ways of bridging these gaps Specify the action needed and the detail of how it is to happen Favell(2008) Box 2 The table bellow demonstrates the way I applied in practice knowledge I gained through my study, in regards to understanding the current competencies of individuals and teams, methods of conducting competence review and activities to support development. Objectives | Current situation| Methods of conducting competence review at each level| Gaps | Activities to support the development of current competencies of the team to urrent and future team and organisational objectives | Nursing home objectiveTo champion quality of life for all residents at all times| Staffing level do not fully support the objective| Plan, monitor organisation’s activity, analyse current and future needs, review progress and evaluateAppraise performance| Only one nurse on duty for 31 residents, only 1 senior HCA | Recruit and employ 2 qualified staff and 2 senior HCAs, to acquire the right staffing level. Deadline – 30. 05. 011| Nurses team objectiveTo provide high standards of nursing care to all residents at all times| 1 nurse providing nursing care to 31 residents/each shift| Clarify objectivesEffective assessment based on agreed objectivesMonitor progressReview and evaluate Appraise performance| -2 more qualified nurses needed -Lack of time and communication -reduced motivation| Daily handover between each shiftRegularly nurses meetings Effective delegationMentoring and coaching| Nurses individual objectives To be confident and competent to provide high standards of nursing care to residents at all times| Team : 6 nurses-lack of time and communication -2 nurses need to improve their knowledge and skills in Palliative Care| Organisation’s appraisal system, focused on:-how well nurses are performing in their jobs-identification of current and future individual needs-individual’s desired development | -Lack of communication-Lack of skills and knowledge in Palliative Care -reduced motivation| Training sessions on effective communication and Palliative CareDeadline 30. 06. 011Monthly case study on different area of nursing care at the choice of the nurse undertaking the study – Best presentation competition for 2011| Health care assistants (HCA) team objectiveTo provide high standards of personal care to all residents at all times| Team: 35 HCAs and1 senior HCANot all shifts are covered by a senior HCA which has a negative impact upon HCAs team work| Clarify objectivesEffective assessment based on agreed objectives Monitor progressReview and evaluateAppraise performance| -2 more senior HCAs needed-Lack of communication-lack of leadership skills-reduced motivation| Daily handover between each shiftRegularly staff meetings Effective delegationMentoring and coaching The best carer of the month competition on going| Health care assistants individual objectivesTo be confident and competent to provide high standards of personal care to all residents at all times| At individual level I have identified needs of knowledge and skills n:-moving and handling people-infection prevention and control-communication| Organisation’s appraisal system, focused on:-how well health care assistants are performing in their jobs-identification of current and future individual needs-individual’s desired development | Lack of knowledge and skills in:-moving and handling people-infection prevention and control-communication-reduced motivation| Training sessions on effective communication, moving and handling people and infection prevention and control. Deadline 30. 06. 2011Shadowing shifts Job rotation Delegation Individual discussions | Analysing the table above we get a good insight in the ways objectives at each level are linked to each other, and the impact the competencies of individuals and teams have upon work performance and meeting organisation’s objective. I will now discuss ways to develop the competencies of individuals and teams. Section 3 Ways to develop the competencies of individuals and teams As a first line manager I have a great role in identifying individuals and teams needs for development and training.
There are few things to consider here: * identifying development needs accurately, based on information which are valid and will help making the right decision * identifying development needs for all staff and keep clear records accordingly to organisation’s procedures * encourage team members to identify their own job-related development needs, giving them opportunities to do so * provide team members with equal opportunities for training and development * ‘present development needs to relevant people in a way which is likely to influence their decision-making positively’ (http://www. ukstandards. org. uk/Admin/DB/0029/O29NCU131. pdf , accessed on 24. 04. 2011) In order to identify development opportunities for individuals and teams I have to carry out an assessment based upon the skills I need within the team to meet work objectives and types of interpersonal skills for effective team work.
The points to consider when undertaking the assessment are individual’s objectives, team’s objectives and organisation’s objectives. It is also essential to promote a positive culture about training and development so people can see it as a good opportunity to improve their knowledge and skills and increase work performance. The most common method used to monitor, review and evaluate performance, and agree development opportunities with individuals and teams is the appraisal interview. ‘Detailed training needs should be driven substantially by staff appraisals’. (http://www. businessballs. com/traindev. htm#training-effectiveness-factors , accessed on 24. 04. 011) Effective appraisal should be positive and constructive and has following underlying principles (Favell, 2008), presented in box 3 bellow. Principles of appraisal: * It is a communication exercise and communication is a two ways street * It helps develop a stronger, more mutually respectful and trusting working relationship that spills over into everyday tasks * It is fundamentally about encouraging the individual to take responsibilities for their own actions, their own development and their own quality * It is a positive and constructive process, not authoritarian or disciplinary; its objectives are about improvement, support and moving forward, not about a negative experience with a negative outcome. Favell (2008)
Box 3 It is recommended as best practice to encourage people to do a self-appraisal prior the appraisal interview. ’This approach increases the ownership and involvement of the member of staff, increases the breadth of analysis undertaken’, and gives a better review, helping in the same time to ‘plan effectively for the year to come’, setting the next set of SMART objectives. (Favell, 2008) Same author highlighted that there are other forms of assessment such as informal one-to-one review discussion, skills- or job-related tests, and assessment after training and development session; however, they all should follow the same principles (box 5).
Principles of assessment: * Impartial and objectives * Valid * Reliable * Seen to provide the same test and/or benchmarks for everyone * Replicable and consistent * Complete, and assesses everything specified clearly by the objectives, but not more than this * Confidential and private between those people involved in the assessment Favell (2008) Box 4 Through the assessment process we measure performance against set objectives. It is crucial that we also measure and review individual and team development objective. There might be situations when monitoring and review shows that, due to changed circumstances, objectives are impossible to reach.
Then is the time to re-evaluate, planning for the future and setting new realistic objectives. Plan before you act said Favell (2008) as ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail! ’ Conclusion Reflecting upon my learning experience I have understood that developing individuals, and building and maintaining teams are important parts of management. Without them achieving the task becomes impossible. The knowledge and skills I have gained undertaking this study helped me to understand and value individuals, to find ways to develop and empower them and to build up a team of people happy to do their best. I have also gained a better understanding of my role as a first line manager and the pathways I need follow to succeed in my career.
Studying Unit 3005, Developing Individuals and Teams, as part of The First Line Management Training, it has been the right decision I have made. The knowledge and skills I have gained are essential for managers in any business, I have now a better understanding of my role in developing individuals and teams. I am now able to make constructive and successful contributions to my workplace, to motivate individuals and teams, and overall to meet organisation objective – to champion quality of live for all residents at all time. I have learned the differences between training and development, and mentoring and coaching, having an active involvement in individuals and teams development.
To achieve skills and knowledge is important but the way we do this is also essential. ‘People have different learning styles, rates of learning, and areas of interest. … Help them learn and develop in whatever way they want and they will quite naturally become more positive, productive and valuable to your organisation. ’ http://www. businessballs. com/training. htm [Accessed on 25. 04. 2011] Different learning styles have been developed over the years, to make learning a successful process choosing the right learning style for the right person is crucial. I will only mention here four learning styles developed by Honey and Mumford (1982): activist, reflector, theorist and pragmatist.
Each of them relates to the experiential learning cycle developed by Kolb. From http://bsspdl. files. wordpress. com/2008/04/kolb_cycle1. gif[Accessed on 26. 04. 2011] As a first line manager it is essential to have knowledge and skills which enables me to understand the differences between individual’s learning styles and to create opportunities for learning and development for all team members, despite the fact that their learning styles are different. References http://www. businessballs. com/traindev. htm#training-effectiveness-factors [Accessed on 24. 04. 2011] http://bsspdl. files. wordpress. com/2008/04/kolb_cycle1. gif [Accessed on 26. 04. 011] Care Quality Commission, 2009, Guidance about compliance. Essential standards of quality and safety, London Favell, I. , 2008: Pathways to Management and Leadership, Developing Individuals and Teams, Unit 3005 Lambert, J. , 2010, Pathways to Management and Leadership, Unit 3001, pp 17 http://www. idea. gov. uk/idk/core/page. do? pageId=7816302#contents-6 [Accessed on 21. 04. 2011] http://www. lmcuk. com/management-tool/adair-s-model-of-leadership-functions [Accessed on 19. 04. 2011] www. investorsinpeople. co. uk/Needs/Framework/Pages/PlanDoReview. aspx [Accessed on 04. 04. 2011] http://www. ukstandards. org. uk/Admin/DB/0029/O29NCU131. pdf [Accessed on 24. 04. 2011]