Short On Managers? Cultivate Them from Within

More often than not, professional development within an organization is left to leadership to decide when and how to promote it within their teams. And while this can be good news for some who are fortunate enough to work with leaders who actively promote professional development, it can also mean that there are work environments where career growth is not emphasized as fully.  Because of this, some organizations can lack central career development pathways and instead rely on leaders to promote professional development as they see fit.  However, as the nursing shortage continues to drive demand for qualified RN’s and managers to oversee them, competency models have proven increasingly valuable for leaders seeking to develop charge or managerial skills within their teams.
Competency models create the opportunity for employees within the organization to sit down with leaders from different areas to work together to identify perceived barriers to career development. These perceived barriers then influence the types of training covered during the competency model and are designed to serve as a training period for those who are interested in moving into managerial roles. Of course, competency models can be customized to fit the level of position the model is designed for. Below is one example of a successful nurse manager competency model and the focal points:
Barriers to success identified as:

  • Poor resources for the development of new managers
  • Managers lack problem-solving skills
  • Staff retention
  • No teamwork
  • No nursing-specific indicators
  • Different expectations from mid-level managers
  • Lack of experience of charge nurses in guiding teams and setting goals despite their status as good clinicians
  • No training for charge nurses for leadership responsibilities before assuming their role
  • No leader development program1

Competency model focus:

  • Creating a vision
  • Delivering a strategy
  • Setting direction, mentoring
  • Service development and management
  • Teamwork
  • Personal development program, staff training
  • One-to-one care
  • Patient stories and care observations
  • Change management
  • Unit performance management
  • Communication
  • Setting up of effective teams
  • Establishing relationships based on cooperation
  • Values
  • Decision making
  • Delegation
  • Conflict management
  • Problem solving
  • Stress management
  • Research process
  • Motivational strategies1

And while competency models are not a one size fits all approach as the focal points listed above may vary based on the needs of the organization, they do enable leaders to use this as a test period to determine whether the individuals involved in the course are found competent for the role. In doing so, leaders can monitor an individual’s progress throughout the model without any repercussions on patient or employee satisfaction.
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