The Impact of Values Based Leadership on Aged Care Workforce Attraction and Retention
Friday 14 October 2022
12:00pm – 12:30pm
Melia Stone is a People and Culture leader with over 15 years of senior leadership experience in strategic workforce management, underpinned by a previous career as an industrial relations and employment lawyer. Melia has contributed to the South Australian HR profession’s recruitment, attraction and retention practice development as a member of the Australian HR Institute Network Committee, and prioritises setting employees up for successful performance through promoting person-centred leadership al all levels.
Aged care providers face ongoing challenges in delivering a workforce strategy that ensures that we have the right people, in the right place, at the right time, to meet increasing care needs. As an industry which relies on the attraction and retention of purpose-driven individuals as the basis for its workforce, the authenticity and effectiveness of organisational leadership is becoming a key differentiator that will assist providers in meeting workforce challenges.
A values-based leader is one who lives intentionally using their values as the touchstone to define actions, make decisions and fulfil mission. This touchstone can, when clearly defined and consistently communicated and modelled by leaders, become an organisational ‘true North’ in guiding actions and decisions. This is true including, and even especially, in times of crisis because the values that a leader instils in a team during ‘business as usual’ will become the default setting during times of crisis.
The most relevant definition or “organisational culture” for most members of any workforce is the simple measure of ‘how we do things around here’. More than any formal policy, strategy or program, the behaviours of the leader and the values that this behaviour reflects will set the tone for the culture of the organisation – in turn directly impacting the ability of the organisation to attract and retain a high preforming workforce.
Values based leadership requires self reflection, the ability to balance multiple perspectives, and a delicate mix of confidence and humility. The process begins with gaining a clear understanding of personal values, and in turn ensuring an alignment with organisational values. From here, values-based leadership can take the fore, serving as the reference point for considering options, weighing priorities, and deciding on actions.
While single actions and decisions can seem small in the context of an agenda full of big issues, it is our habits that determine whether we fulfil our purpose. If purpose is about ‘why’ we do, and values are about ‘how’ we do it, our daily habits are the ‘what’ we do – the visible artefacts of our purpose and values. Through ensuring that our habits as leaders are in alignment with our values, repetition over time enables values-based leadership to become a form of muscle memory – an automatic touchstone for the leader that in turn serves as a true North to guide the organisation towards achievement of its purpose.
In an aged care industry continuing to face challenges in attracting and retaining a workforce to meet growing demand, the quality of organisational leadership forms a key part of the Employee Value Proposition. With many aspects of workforce supply and demand outside of the sphere of influence of individual providers, values-based leadership and its impact on organisational culture stands out as one of the levers with which providers can ensure that their workforce provides the right people in the right place at the right time to deliver quality care.
Values-based leadership offers the aged care industry a key differentiator in attracting and retaining a high quality workforce.