Avnish Goyal, Chair of Hallmark Care Homes, reflects on what leadership means in social care as a Top 10 finalist in the Social Care Top 30.
It was an absolute honour to be recognised by the sector in The Social Care Top 30 and I’d like to thank everyone who voted for me. I recently attended The Social Care Top 30 networking lunch and it was clear to me that we have many inspirational leaders in our sector, so it’s great that Care Talk have created this platform so such individuals and their achievements can be acknowledged.
The role of any leader is to have a compelling vision that inspires others to follow that vision and bring it to life. In the process, they become leaders themselves and inspire others in that vision. Through this, they empower their teams to be the best they can be by supporting them in dealing with their own limiting beliefs and areas of development to achieve their own goals and aspirations. Good leaders are role models because others will emulate their leadership style and will see the way things are done and what’s acceptable. When you’re a leader, you’re always on stage, so how you show up each day is really important; being consistent, being yourself and never letting your guard down are the signs of being a great leader.
As a leader, I strive to inspire our teams to deliver outstanding care through our vision and charter, as well as our five values. These key fundamentals and leadership skills are covered in the Empowerment Days which we hold regularly and are attended by all roles within the care homes and Central Support. There are usually between 200-300 team members attending at any one time. Within these empowerment days, key leadership messages are taught, which empower teams both professionally and personally to be the best that they can be.
Team members have breakthroughs in many areas, including confidence, and often set powerful goals for themselves, many citing these workshops as being central to their career progression as well as having benefitted in their personal lives.
It’s always important to have good leadership in a business but even more so when a business faces challenges, and in the last two years the social care sector has seen the most challenging times we have probably ever experienced in our lifetime. Our team members have worked extremely hard throughout this time, showing incredible commitment and dedication. They have had to take the place of residents’ loved ones during lockdown as well as make critical decisions in the absence of support from primary healthcare services – often putting the safety and well-being of the residents before their own.
Championing Social Care was created by a number of individuals during the pandemic to shine a light on social care and our amazing, caring and committed workforce. I have no doubt this will encourage more leaders into the sector, inspired to make a difference. Championing Social Care will continue to build on this momentum and dispel care stereotypes through initiatives such as Care Home Open Week, which is generating support from politicians and showcases what we do so well. Championing Social Care is also responsible for two other initiatives; Care Sector’s Got Talent and the third annual Care Sector Fundraising Ball, which is being held on Saturday 24th September 2022 to raise funds for the Care Workers Charity and Alzheimer’s Society.
We are also seeing more collaboration amongst the sector with Care England and The Outstanding Society, which supports the sector’s leaders to share ideas and not feel isolated. We are stronger when we work together as a team and good leadership is about making a difference. I’m excited about the difference we could make to the lives of older people through collaboration and as a result, we set up The Hallmark Foundation. This has recently been established under the leadership of CEO Stephen Burke to fund projects to improve care and the workforce, through things such as research, intergenerational work and raising awareness so that we can all age well, every step of the way.
Avnish Goyal is the Chair of Hallmark Care Homes, which he founded 25 years ago in 1997. He is also the Executive Chair of award-winning care home construction company, Savista Developments and new assisted living brand, Santhem Residences.
He is proud to be the Chair of Championing Social Care and Care England and the Founding Trustee, now Patron of The Care Workers’ Charity. Avnish is also an Ambassador of the Alzheimer’s Society.