Understanding the Management role to improve Management performance. Glyn Thomas Introduction. I am undertaking the Institutive of Leadership Management (ILM) Higher Apprenticeship Level 5 as an employee of the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust (WAST). I am substantively employed as a Paramedic working as a sole responder on a rapid response vehicle, however I have just complete a two and a half year secondment in a managerial role as a Research Support Officer for a collaborative research study between a local University and 3 large UK Ambulance Services.
As such, the content of my assignments will be based retrospectively on the experiences and development which I have encountered within this secondment position. WAST is a Welsh Government funded organisation which has been given NHS Trust status. It’s 2500 staff serve over 3 million people who inhabit the 8,023 square miles which make up Wales. This area, which is a diverse mix of urban, semi rural and rural, has a 750 mile perimeter of coastline. Understand the specific responsibilities of middle managers in enabling an organisation to achieve its goals.
In the later stages of the 2010 / 2011 financial year, WAST published it’s visionary document ‘Working Together For Success 2001 – 2016’ which intended to portray a clear and uncomplicated story to the people who use our services, and indeed all stakeholders, of what improvements we want to make and the benefits that these will have. As part of the document, it outlines our corporate vision and 3 clear objectives to be met by 2016:- The Vision: An ambulance service for the people of Wales which delivers high quality care wherever and whenever it is needed.
What does this mean by 2016? We will move from being perceived as simply a transport service to a provider of high-quality health care and scheduled transport services. Our Objectives: We will concentrate on achieving three objectives: Objective 1: To achieve all of the national quality standards and clinical requirements Objective 2: To provide the right service with the right care, in the right place, at the right time with the right skills Objective 3: To provide high quality planned patient care services which are valued by users.
To ensure that this visionary document was successfully managed, each of the individual years of the 5 year plan, had measurable and realistic plans ( know as the Annual Delivery Plans – ADP), to ensure that the outlining objectives are met. Each of the 6 Director of Services has the responsibility of highlighting their own objectives within the ADP – and ensure that the plans are met within the prescribed timescale. As you will see from the example beneath, some objectives which individual Directors have, may continue over a few years, others will be required to be completed within the financial year or sooner.
The manager will have to interpret the key action and communicate with both Tiers above and below them, to ensure that a) the work stream being carried out sits within the strategic aim of the Trust and b) so that individuals or program management groups or members of various Task and Finish (TAF) groups fully understand what their specific roles are. If the middle manager gets this wrong, and the final product does not support the key actions required by the author of the strategic document, then failure of this objective and maybe other objectives that are linked to it or indeed rely on it, may ensue. pic] (Source WAST – 2013-2014 ADP) Understand how communication and interpersonal skills affect managerial performance in the workplace. “Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success” – Paul J Meyer. To ensure a productive and slick team whom are all content within their roles relies heavily on how the manager is able to effectively communicate and relate to the individuals concerned. An effective manager will be acutely aware of not only what he says but equally if not more important in the way that he says it, and the physical manner which is portrayed when it is said.
The manager will need to ensure that they have the correct level of rapport with their employee. Too familiar in nature may be misconstrued as forward and harassing in the wrong context. However no personal rapport whatsoever may provide the receiver of the information with the impression that the sender of the information is just not interested. A fine line must be weighed up for each individual. When a good rapport has been achieved, then the person will uncritically accept suggestion or advice which they are given. Building rapport cannot be described as one single gesture.
It is the mixture of body position, posture, facial expressions, blinking, breathing patterns and noises, tone and tempo of voice. A manager who raises their voice or increases the aggressive tones in their voice will usually be met with resentment from their listener. However softening the tone and smoothing the volume will inevitably lure the listener into a sense of trust and calm – therefore making them more receptive and accepting of suggestion. Often, we understand what is communicated to us, not by what we hear, but by what we see.
This can be demonstrated in Albert Mehrebian’s Three Elements of Communication, that only 7% of what we understand comes from the words which are being used. 38 % is understood by the voice of the sender but an incredible 55 % of communication is done by body language. A tapping of the finger, swinging of a crossed leg, or the aggressive tight folding of ones arms will often give the impression of boredom and hostility – something which must be considered when attempting to build this vital rapport or indeed portray at an interview. [pic] (source: Albert Mehrabian – Three elements of communication)
Many attempts at communicating, or indeed by passing an encoded message from a sender to a receiver successfully, can sometimes be made difficult by various barriers. These barriers can be broadly categorised into three sections, environmental, situational and personal. Environmental barriers such as poor background noise and other interruptions such as telephone calls can be easily resolved by ensuring that all calls are placed on hold; mobile phones are switched off and that people are aware that possibly and important meeting may be on-going. Ensuring that closed doors and respectful co-workers play an effective role in reducing nvironmental barriers. Situational barriers such as technology problems can be remedied by good checking prior to the commencement of a meeting. Attempting to re-boot a laptop whilst having a one to one meeting with a co-worker about their performance, is unlikely to create a positive and trusting image to that individual. Personal barriers such as using work specific jargon must be handled carefully. Whilst knowing that the employee will understand most work based acronyms and jargon, the information sender must ensure that the message that is being decoded by the listener is exactly as the sender intended it.
Good practise would be to minimise any jargon in any formal situation. Some individuals may have a better ability to digest and deal with large volumes of information that others. This must be considered when deciding which approach to take with the individual. It would be good practise to that all the information / messages have been understood by the receiver and that the received message is the same as the message which was sent or intended. This can be simply done by asking certain and specific questions about the task in hand and that the individual can demonstrate an understanding of what is being requested.
Be able to assess personal development opportunities to improve own managerial performance. In order to understand your own abilities and where improvements can be made, it is important that we all undertake and evaluation of ourselves. A proven method of doing so is called the SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis will look at the following:- • Strengths – something which you are good at and are doing well. This can be internal to the individual, team or company. • Weaknesses – Something which is currently going badly or something which you are not as good at. • Opportunities – Something which may benefit you if acted upon. Threats – Something that if you do not act, may be of harm to you. My strengths. I am a people person and find all forms of communication quite easy. As an operational Paramedic, the ability to strike a rapport, assess the personality of the patient and then communicate in a language which is acceptable to the patient, ensures that they receive the optimum of attention from me. Being forced into strange and hostile environments has also shaped the manner in which I approach situations and individuals. These skills have allowed me to be able assess and ‘read’ people and their state of mind, with relative ease.
I have, in my opinion, a very healthy clinical knowledge base which aids in creating a rapport with service users and co-workers alike. I have had the benefit if having 2 and half years of managerial development with time-served mentors. I have an inert ability to relate and listen to others, whilst also being able to create a different viewpoint on various issues. I am open to other ideas without judgment. I have gained numerous skills whilst undertaking the research post which can be transferred to a range of different positions, departments and situations. My weaknesses.
I continue to have issues with time Management, as one of my one to one discussions have eluded. I am too critical of myself. I don’t have the underpinning knowledge to manage a project successfully. Very little understanding of how finance arrangements are made in WAST Opportunities to me. WAST is undergoing a radical reform as can be seen in national press. A review has been undertaken and various recommendations have been proposed. By networking with key stakeholders over the coming weeks and months, I should be in a position to sell my skills and make myself available to various directors for consideration for development.
The ILM Higher Apprenticeship is also a opportunity for me to demonstrate my abilities and to gain a recognised leadership and management qualification. Threats to me. Others will also attempt to capitalise on the strategic change which WAST is currently undergoing – therefore may be more difficult to gain development. A young family at home (3 under 20 months old) will inevitably dictate the spare time which I have to undertake course work and essential networking with key stakeholders.
Over the coming months and years, I must therefore concentrate on ensuring a more robust personal timetable which always equally important time to family and career development. I must also gain a method of categorising work into more manageable pieces and to place a realistic time scale on tasks to complete. I have already been told that I should communicate with my peers if the time schedule of my work is lapsing so that extra support can be provided if necessary. I must remember this update my line managers on a more regular basis. Personal Development Plan What do I want to achieve |How am I going to achieve it |When do I want to achieve it by |How will I know I have achieved it. | |I want to gain a nationally recognised |Undertake the ILM Higher |Having already commenced the course in |When I have both ILM and QSM | |leadership and management qualification |Apprenticeship Level 5. |March 2013, I would strive to complete |qualifications and respective | |that will assist me in gaining a | |by September 2014 |certificates. | |substansive management position. | | | |Develop an understanding of finance |Have a one to one with line |Although not an immediately required |When I have had sufficient time to | |within WAST |manager and arrange a short |activity, It would be optimistic to |understand WAST’s budgeting systems and | | |secondment to Finance in Cefn |undertake this by the end of 2013. |understand our funding process | | |Coed.
Hopefully arrange a week | | | | |with finance department to | | | | |understand how WAST obtains its | | | | |funding, when, and how it is | | | | |distributed. | | |Learn how NHSDW interacts with WAST and |Contact NHSDW business manager |This can be done within the next few | | |obtain a greater working knowledge of |(already done in early 2013) to |weeks (i. e.
August / September 2013) | | |their assessment processes and whether |arrange a few days to oversee |but would have to be done in my own | | |there is anything we can learn from them|the clinical desks and how ‘hot |time as it is unlilkely that WAST would| | |within WAST |transfers’ are undertaken i. . |provide time off operational duties to | | | |transferring a low acuity 999 |undertake this learning | | | |call to a nurse call handler. | | |Gain knowledge of how to manage projects|Find training providers that can|I have already approached WAST for |When I have a PRINCE 2 or MSP Foundation| |succefully |arrange with the PRINCE2 |support to undertake this course – but |Certificate in hand. | | |Foundation course or the MSP |have been unsuccessful to date.
The | | | |(Managing Successful Projects) |PRINCE 2 course has a price tag of | | | |course. |approximately ? 350 therefore I would | | | | |have to allocate personal funds and | | | | |annual leave to undertake this.
This is| | | | |unlikely to be within this financial | | | | |year (2013/2014) however I aim to | | | | |complete it by Summer 2014. | |Understand what others think of me |Ask friends, co-workers, peers |This is already in hand and parties |This will provide me with valuable | |personally, as an aspiring manager and |and line managers to complete a |have been asked to feed back to me by |feedback on how successful I am as a | |as someone who has already managed staff|360 degree appraisal. |the end of August 2013. |person and an aspiring manager.
This | | | | |task will be complete when I have | | | | |received all appraisals back and I have | | | | |been able to benefit from the feedback | | | | |that has been received. ———————– [pic]