Staff management is a critical ingredient in the overall focus on the leadership capability of the NHS Health Informatics function and is an issue for a range of staff; from team leaders in technical roles, to Informatics Directors.
Developing leadership and management skills in the NHS needs focus in the following areas:
- Leading a team: requires a leader to spend time thinking about the task, the team and the individuals. The ratio needs to be right for any given situation for it to work effectively.
- Leadership styles: most NHS management requires management by influence rather than by giving orders. Typically, a leader should be:
- Authoritative - clear, motivating
- Affiliative - creates emotional bonds, harmony within a team
- Democratic - consensus building, inclusive
- Coaching - developmental
- Coercive - demands compliance
- Pace setting - high personal standards, expects the same from others, can be overwhelming.
- Communication: it's a two way process - 50% of communication is listening.
- Strategic planning: how do you know when you've got there if you don't know where you are going?
- Managing change: people like change when they are initiating it. Good change management requires that we recognise that enforced change has a similar reaction cycle to bereavement, i.e. from unhappiness, to anger, to resentment, to acceptance.
- Changing the culture: the comment has been made that morale in the NHS is at an all time low. Ask yourself "why?" Pressure of work, enforced change and poor leadership styles can result in low morale in teams. Managers and leaders who are effective manage these areas well, resulting in strong teams with good morale.
- Personal traits: a good leader or manager will often display the following personal traits:
- Commitment and interest
- Toughness - respect versus popularity
- Fairness - treating individuals differently but fairly
- Humility (not arrogance) and willingness to listen
- Confidence - but not over confident
- Integrity - gains trust and has principals and values.
Think of a good leader or manager that you know and consider how many of the above qualities they display. Ask yourself which traits and leadership styles you would be likely to show in a given situation and then see where you can improve.
- The NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement
- Graduate Schemes for management trainees
- A suite of Development Programmes designed for people in board-level positions within NHS organisations
- National Occupational Standards
- Contact your Strategic Health Authority for information on leadership development in your area.
- Local Higher and Further Education establishments in your area will provide supervisory programmes and courses.
- Local staff policies will provide guidance for staff management.
- Training and development courses will often be organised locally for Informatics staff development. Contact your staff development lead to find out what is offered in your organisation.
The NHS Leadership Centre within the NHS Institute offers a number of programmes to build leadership capacity and capability for the NHS. These include:
This website provides easy access to all the National Occupational Standards including the Health Informatics National Occupational Standards and the Management and Leadership standards
- NHS Employers
- Workforce Planning Support
- Appraisals & Personal Development Plans
- Pay and Contracts, including a guide to the Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF)
- Administrative Services, including job profiles for staff working in IM&T and Information Services
- e-KSF Now - support site for using the online tool developed in partnership with the Department of Health to support the Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF)
- Skills for Health - the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for the UK health sector
Provides advice on: