Good leadership in the pandemic will look a lot like good leadership at other times.
The pandemic and the lockdown have brought exceptional challenges for staff working in health and social care in all their diverse roles and settings.
You don’t need to be able to predict the future or have all the answers, but if you can keep working with your people in a spirit of collaboration and respect, then you’ll help your teams get through this.
We hope the following resources are helpful.
Psychological First Aid (PFA) is an evidence-informed approach to help people in the immediate aftermath of a major incident. It is designed to foster adaptive functioning and coping and is based on a set of principles that we know help people to cope with and recover following emergencies. These principles are:
Examples of PFA during COVID-19 would be:
You can read more about the principles and practice of Psychological First Aid here
Please click this link to access an e-module on PFA
The pandemic has required us to work in different ways, often for longer hours and under great pressure. We’ve been urged to pace ourselves, for a “marathon not a sprint”, but that’s hard to do when we are working in health and social care and see the needs of patients, clients and staff.
Managers influence the tone and culture in the workplace and this is especially important when we talk about staff well-being. There’s little point trying to encourage your staff to take care of themselves if you’re not looking after yourself. Be aware that if you don’t take breaks, and are sending emails at midnight, your staff may feel they need to do the same.
Don’t underestimate the power you have to model the importance of rest and recuperation, both within the working day and outside of work.
Remember that we all do different things to relax so encourage people to do what works for them. Make people aware of the support that is available and make it easy for them to use it.
It’s OK to be OK; it’s OK not to be OK. We’re all human and we’re all in this together.
During the pandemic many within the Health and Social Care workforce have been asked to learn new skills, work in different settings, on their own or with new team members and to utilise alternative approaches to how they would usually deliver care.
The impact of change both professionally and, importantly, personally can cause people to feel anxious or stressed and calls for compassionate professional leadership.
Research suggests that the most effective leaders consistently demonstrate compassion by:
Leaders can lead by example, creating a culture where asking for help is seen as courageous and insightful, rather than a sign of weakness. They can also sign-post and engage staff with appropriate support and help.
Adapted from Why compassionate leadership matters at a time of crisis Suzie Bailey and Michael West, The Kings Fund
Michael West from the Kings Funds talks more about compassion in leadership here
There are a number of initiatives to help you as a leader.
These include access to the Communications Toolkit, Coaching for Wellbeing and management support through Project Lift.
This audio is from a full webinar which you can access here.
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