There has been an emerging aspiration for the NHS to adopt a more systematic and coordinated approach to managing its talent in light of the current economic and social context in which we now operate.
The Lord Rose and Ed Smith reviews identified the lack of a clear and visible pipeline of leaders, ready to take up our more senior roles and with the right type of leadership skills and behaviours for the new and changing environment that characterises the health and social care sector. It has also called for a style of leadership which operates compassionately and inclusively.
The NHS Leadership Academy is setting out to deliver a change to the way talent management is approached and practiced within the health and care service. The foundations have been laid through the creation of the national leadership development framework Developing People: Improving Care (DP:IC) which was published on 1 December 2016. Formed from evidence and feedback from over 2,000 NHS colleagues, this framework aims to guide local, regional and national action to develop health and social care staff by equipping and encouraging people at every level to lead improvements. As part of this, we’ll be working with our communities to understand what we can all do differently to ensure that all employees benefit from a talent management journey, and all line managers feel equipped to deliver one.
Throughout the last year, the Academy has continued to support, deliver and enable interventions that support compassionate and inclusive leadership, but has also responded to a period of intense change. We have worked collaboratively as a network of ten Local Leadership Academies (LLAs) across England – to deliver a wide range of systems leadership interventions and bring about a whole-system change to talent management.
“Talent management is in many ways, an unhelpful phrase. Talent management is about people, and in context of the NHS what we’re talking about here is both our staff and our patients. For our staff it means we’re supporting them all to fulfil their potential. That might be to become a future chief executive, or it might just be to do a really great job where they are. There’s something very fundamental in the NHS constitution about how we look after our people and the contract we have with them as an employer - we have an obligation to support and enable our staff to do the best in their careers that they can. From a patient perspective, what we’re talking about here is the impact that really good staff engagement has on patient care. If we want staff to be engaged, we need to make sure that they’re properly supported to fulfil their potential, to have meaning at work, and to be properly supported in terms of their development and progression.”