Aneurin Brown, Managing Director, Hallmark Care Homes
The social care sector is such an incredible sector with so many opportunities. The work we do changes lives for the better but all too often we hear too much of the negative and not enough of the positive. As leaders in the sector, it is incumbent on us all to shout louder and raise the profile of all the amazing things that our fabulous teams do every day!
Coming into health and social care a bit later in my career from a background in live events, television and theatre I’ve often thought about the similarities between the two sectors.
There is nothing more special that watching a conductor leading an orchestra. This really resonates with my leadership style, bringing together a team all playing the same tune, allowing everyone to play their individual part, a part often that I wouldn’t be able to play.
It may sound a bit cliché but an important part of leadership for me is surrounding myself with the very best team of leaders. I am very proud to work with the team that I do.
Taking care of the small things is also crucial. I love detail and am a firm believer that if the basics are in place, then the bigger things like strategy etc. will follow.
Quite often we hear, ‘what is the difference between a leader and a manager?’ and I think that they are one of the same. Leadership requires a very fine balance between management and empowerment, knowing when to step in and give clear direction and when to sit back. Good leaders must motivate their employees, they must inspire and provide that much needed guidance.
To me, leadership is leading from the front, providing support, encouragement, taking steps together as a team, understanding directly what the challenges are and really having that visibility.
Throughout my career I’ve never been afraid to put my hands up for things which were outside of my swim lane. Sometimes the best way to learn is to put yourself outside of your comfort zone and be brave.
I have always been keen to encourage, support and develop internal talent. I believe I have become quite good at spotting people’s abilities over the years, and our team recognition event, the Hallmark Awards has helped us to identify our rising stars. When recruiting for new roles, this has now become our first port of call and there are many examples across the business of people who have been promoted. This isn’t the only matter of importance when it comes to retention however. It’s also important to look at pay, benefits and training. Hallmark has taken strides to improve their recruitment offering and is proud to be a Real Living Wage employer. In November 2022 we announced a £1.3m support package to help our team members with the cost-of-living crisis. As part of this team members were paid the new Real Living Wage rate five months early, and all had access to a £250,000 support fund, alongside Westfield Health benefits, a pension, Blue Light Discount Card and Hallmark Rewards. We have also been reviewing team recognition funds, awarding bonuses for Good CQC/CIW ratings and length of service and will soon be launching an exciting new leadership training programme which will be tailored to a range of roles. We are also continuing this year with our empowerment days which encourage our team to let go of their limiting beliefs so they can truly deliver great care to residents. We are continuously looking at ways, we can support our people and are looking forward to implementing our 2023 plans which will identify and develop Hallmark’s next generation of leaders.