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Interactions between leadership and the values/culture of an organisation

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This page is designed to answer the following questions:

NOTE: This page has been quality assured for 2024 as per our Quality Assurance policy.

For this assessment criterion, you will be required to analyse both internal and external factors that impact your leadership and management role and related interactions. Some of the areas that City & Guilds recommend exploring are included below.

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Organisational culture and values

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David Needle in his book ‘Business in Context: An Introduction to Business and its Environment‘ defines organisational culture as:

Culture includes the organization’s vision, values, norms, systems, symbols, language, assumptions, beliefs, and habits.

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Part of the manager and leader’s role is to understand the culture of their organisation so that decisions can be made and implemented in alignment with it. In their publication, ‘Understanding Organisational Culture‘. the Chartered Institute of Managers states:

Leaders and managers will be better placed to implement strategy and achieve their goals if they understand the culture of their organisation. Strategies that are inconsistent with organisational culture are likely to meet with resistance and will be more difficult or even impossible to implement, while strategies that are in line with it will be easier to put into effect and more likely to succeed.

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Leaders may also have a role to play in creating, shaping and maintaining the culture of their organisation, which can stem from their personal values and beliefs. Managers will reinforce the culture and values of the organisation that they work for by role modelling and effectively communicating expectations to their team.

Personal values of self and others

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It is important that the personal values of the people that work within an organisation are closely aligned with the organisation’s values so that they are able to quickly and easily fit in with the organisation’s culture.

This can be achieved during the recruitment process by using a values-based selection process. Team members must be given the opportunity to discuss and even challenge the values of the organisation to help develop an understanding of them.

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An interesting case study about aligning individual and organisational values (Sullivan et al, 2001) found that the process of adopting a common set of values led to increased business performance as well as ‘high morale, effective teamwork and a high-performance culture‘.

Personal and organisational values that can contribute towards workplace culture can include:

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  • Ambition.
  • Competency.
  • Individuality.
  • Equality
  • Service.
  • Responsibility.
  • Accuracy.
  • Respect.
  • Diversity.
  • Improvement.
  • Enjoyment/fun.
  • Loyalty.
  • Credibility.
  • Honesty.
  • Teamwork.
  • Quality.
  • Challenge.
  • Influence.
  • Learning.
  • Compassion.
  • Friendliness.
  • Discipline/order.
  • Generosity.
  • Persistency.
  • Optimism.
  • Dependability.
  • Flexibility.

Openness and transparency

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As a leader, promoting openness and transparency throughout your organisation will help to create a positive workplace culture that embraces personal and organisational development. Honesty and integrity are important values in the healthcare sector and synergise with essential systems such as duty of candour, whistleblowing and complaints.

Inclusion of staff and others

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Similarly, promoting an inclusive workplace culture ensures compliance with other responsibilities such as person-centred practice and equality legislation.

This can involve involving team members in the decision-making process, which can help them to feel valued and respected and take ownership of any decisions that are made. It is also essential to collaborate with others during the care planning process. This will, of course, include the individual receiving care but may also involve working in partnership with their friends and family, advocate or other professionals such as other health workers or social care workers.

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Managing conflicts and addressing difficulties

By promoting an open culture, team members will feel comfortable about vocalising any concerns or disagreements they have, which will lead to discussion and ultimately, resolution. However, when an agreement cannot be reached, the manager will be tasked with resolving any conflicts that occur within the workplace. If conflicts or difficulties are not managed effectively then they can lead to bigger problems, which result in low team morale, decreased productivity and poor team relationships. More information about effective conflict resolution will be discussed in later units.

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Positive engagement of colleagues and those receiving care and support

As discussed earlier, being open and transparent with team members and others and ensuring that they are involved in the decision-making process as much as possible can lead to their positive engagement.

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Giving and receiving positive and negative feedback

Requesting and providing feedback is an important part of the role of a manager because it helps them and their team to learn and develop. During supervision, good managers will ask their team members what they feel they do well and what they feel they could improve on. They may then praise the team member on their strengths and offer practical advice about how to improve in other areas.

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Having an open culture that focuses on personal and professional development allows managers and team members to have open discussions about their strengths and weaknesses, without taking constructive criticism personally. It is important that managers also invite feedback about themselves from their team so that they themselves can improve in their role.

Level of experience in a management role and related responsibilities

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A manager’s level of experience and related responsibilities are factors in how much control they have in shaping the culture of the organisation. For example, the Registered Manager will set the culture, values and direction of the organisation after consultation with others, whereas a Team Manager’s responsibility may be to promote and communicate this information within the scope of their team.

However, the Team Manager will also have the opportunity to establish their own leadership style and work with their team to set their own values and culture (as long as they are not in conflict with organisational values and culture).

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