Mid-Level Manager Competency Development Guide

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Mid-Level ManagerCompetencyDevelopment Guide

Introduction and OverviewA highly competent mid-level manager is critical to the quality and stability of the aging services workforce, andto the well-being and safety of individuals who need support while living in residential care and communitybased settings. Yet, many employees are promoted into management positions before they receive propertraining or develop an understanding of the key competencies that will enable them to be effective managers.The LeadingAge Workforce Cabinet has been working since April 2012 to develop tools that providers of longterm services and supports (LTSS) can use to develop and strengthen the aging services workforce acrossthe full continuum of staff and settings. During this multi-year effort, the cabinet identified a set of skills andbehaviors that it believes will help mid-level managers provide effective leadership across a variety of positionsand LTSS settings, including: Continuing care retirement communities. Nursing homes. Assisted living communities. Home health agencies. Home and community-based services settings. Affordable senior housing communities.Mid-level managers put an organization’s vision, mission and values into action on the ground. They canevaluate, hire and fire staff.Mid-level managers work in the following positions across the continuum: Assisted Living/Personal Care Manager. Home Health Team Manager. Nursing Home Director of Nursing, Dietary Manager, Activities Manager, and other mid-level positions. Housing Manager. Home Health Team Manager. Director or Manager of a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). Adult Day Center Director.Structure of this GuideThe Mid-Level Manager Competency Development Guide is based on a Mid-Level Manager Competency Modelfeaturing four broad competency areas:1.Interpersonal.2. Operational.3. Financial-Legal.4. Human Resources.Mid-Level Manager Competency Development Guide2

Competency Modeloun alrcespeiora tRe sLegOHumana l-Mid-Level Manager Competency Development GuideFin a n cia lInterpersonal3

For each broad competency area, the Mid-Level Manager Competency Development Guide presents: Core attributes to which the mid-level manager should aspire. Domains designed to ground each competency in observable behaviors. Higher level skills and behavioral areas. A checklist of specific tasks associated with performing the job function.How to Use This GuideThe Mid-Level Manager Competency Development Guide can be used to help mid-level managers acquire theskills, knowledge and behavioral characteristics they need to collaborate with and manage frontline staff.Providers and mid-level managers can use this tool in a variety of ways, including: Continuing education: Providers and mid-level managers can review the competencies to identify theskills that are critical to the organization’s success, and the skills that need further development amongspecific mid-level managers or across middle management as a whole. Continuing education can betailored to address these learning needs. Performance evaluations: The competencies can be used as a foundation for a mid-level manager’sperformance review. Existing documents used in the performance review process can be updated tomake them more competency-based. Professional development: The competencies can be used to help individual mid-level managers, andthe organization’s Human Resources department, design professional development plans and selectspecific courses and programs for skill enhancement. Recruitment: This guide is not designed to be a screening tool for hiring or promoting mid-levelmanagers. However, it can be used as a framework for assessing the relative competence of individualsapplying for jobs.Caveats and ClarificationsPlease keep the following caveats and clarifications in mind when reviewing and using the Mid-Level ManagerCompetency Development Guide: This guide focuses on management and supervision skills. The competencies contained in thisguide focus on management and supervision skills that can help mid-level managers lead and strengthenfrontline staff. These competencies do not address the technical or clinical skills specific to a position.Please note that mid-level managers should have a working knowledge of best practices in the areafor which they are responsible, in addition to the management and supervisory skills identified in thefollowing pages. For example, a Director of Nursing must possess clinical competencies, in addition tomanagement competencies. Providers need to be realistic. It is not realistic to expect mid-level managers to possess every skillidentified in the competency model. Working together, providers and mid-level managers can use thistool to identify and build up the skills that are not currently present in the organization, either for aparticular mid-level manager or across all of the organization’s middle managers.Mid-Level Manager Competency Development Guide4

“Individuals” receive services and supports. The LeadingAge Workforce Cabinet understands thatproviders deliver long-term services and supports to a variety of individuals in a variety of settings.Some providers refer to these individuals as “residents,” while other providers call them “clients.” Stillothers use additional terms to describe the people who receive services and supports. For clarity’s sake,this guide refers to all recipients of long-term services and supports as “individuals.” Family members and others support the individual. The LeadingAge Workforce Cabinet alsorecognizes that many individuals have a support network consisting of family members, friends,neighbors and/or other members of the community. This support network is an essential element ofthe long-term services and supports system and must be involved in designing, implementing andassessing an individual’s service plan. For clarity’s sake, this guide refers collectively to members of theindividual’s support network as the “family/support network.”Mid-Level Manager Competency Development Guide5

Interpersonal Core CompetenciesCore Attribute:The mid-level manager has the skills to communicate effectively with staff, and with individuals and theirfamily/support networks. The mid-level manager also has the skills to collaborate with, empower, inspire andmanage staff.DomainBehaviors that Demonstrate Competency Accountability AdvocacyCommunication Education, Trainingand Self-Development1Builds and maintains trust relationships with staff, individuals1 and theirfamily/support networks. Seeks and acts on satisfaction feedback fromemployees, individuals and family/support networks. Implements andevaluates improvements for individuals.Uses connections to and knowledge of frontline staff, as well asan understanding of the organization’s “on the ground” needs, tocommunicate with upper management and influence regulations andpolicies that impact the organization. Understands and adapts communication to the audience. Practices focusedand active listening by recognizing and responding to the feelings andconcerns of others. Keeps people informed. Demonstrates a range of effective communication skills to establishsupportive and collaborative relationships with staff, individuals andtheir family/support networks. Uses verbal, nonverbal and writtencommunication, including emails and text messages. Cultural CompetencyHolds himself/herself and other people accountable to standards ofperformance by providing task clarity, setting limits or boundaries,communicating clear standards for high performance, and takingcorrective measures to ensure compliance.Monitors and evaluates plans while focusing on results and measuringattainment of outcomes.Establishes accountability benchmarks. Values diversity. Is sensitive to and understands individuals, family/supportnetworks and staff with diverse backgrounds and characteristics.Helps staff understand and respond to the culture of the individuals andtheir family/support networks.Identifies and seeks opportunities for professional development basedon his/her personal strengths and needs, the impact that he/she has onothers, and emerging evidence-based practices.This guide refers to all recipients of long-term services and supports as “individuals.”Mid-Level Manager Competency Development Guide6

Initiative Leadership TeamworkMid-Level Manager Competency Development Guide Intentionally and regularly scans the environment to identify a problem,obstacle or opportunity. Takes action to address current and futureproblems or opportunities.Trusts his/her capability and judgment to accomplish a task. Selects aneffective approach to a task or problem. Takes on challenges.Applies critical-thinking skills to solve problems by generating, evaluatingand implementing solutions and resolving conflicts. Practices innovativethinking.Models, advocates, communicates and leads the creation ofinterdepartmental systems, processes and programs, all within the focus oforganizational mission and vision, to improve quality of care and life forindividuals and to improve the workplace environment for staff.Manages laterally as well as up-and-down.Talks with staff about the need for change. Encourages others to be opento change as a way to move forward. Listens to the viewpoints of staff.Energizes individuals and their family/support networks, staff andvolunteers/interns, where appropriate, as a way to sustain theircommitment to changes in approaches, processes and strategies.Acts as a change agent.Helps staff teams increase their capabilities, maximize their potential andrecognize their options.Models and encourages departments to work cooperatively to carefor individuals and their family/support networks, and improve theorganization.7

ChecklistsAccountabilityHolds himself/herself and other people accountable to standards of performance, monitors and evaluates plans, and establishesaccountability benchmarks. Sets clear standards for high performance, and models compliance with those standards. Provides clarity on requested tasks.Keeps people informed. Sets limits and boundaries for the behaviors and actions of others. Takes responsibility for personal and group performance outcomes. Anticipates and takes action on team performanceshortfalls and problems, and holds people accountable for performance. Explains the magnitude of shortfalls and problemsto staff, and empowers staff to move forward. Creates an environment in which people can work together to meetorganizational goals. Works toward compliance. Acknowledges and learns from mistakes without blaming others. Recognizes the impact of his/her behavior on others.Calculates the impact of his/her actions or words.Back to Interpersonal Core Competencies TableAdvocacyBuilds and maintains trust relationships with staff, individuals and their family/support networks by seeking satisfaction feedback,implementing improvements for individuals, and influencing regulations and policies that impact the organization and its frontlinestaff. Builds and maintains relationships with individuals, family/support networks and staff. Advocates on behalf of individuals and family/support networks to address their needs, expectations and priorities. Assists the individual and the family/support network in overcoming barriers to services when the individual’s service needsare not met. Empowers and encourages others to develop new ideas and standards that respond to the expectations of individuals andtheir family/support networks. Supports the right of individuals to live in an environment free from abuse. Communicates with upper management about the needs of the staff and organization to influence regulations and policiesthat impact them.Back to Interpersonal Core Competencies TableCommunicationEstablishes supportive and collaborative relationships with staff by keeping people informed, adapting communication to theaudience, practicing focused listening, responding to the feelings and concerns of others, and demonstrating a range of effectivecommunication skills. Creates effective, positive, ongoing and open communication with various populations at all levels of the organization.Focuses communication on the needs, interests and desired results expressed by these populations. Employs active listeningskills that include listening and responding to the information received, paraphrasing, and asking open-ended questions.Displays empathy for colleagues and staff. Prepares effective written proposals, materials and/or presentations, and develops well-reasoned recommendations to uppermanagement. Understands the need for sensitivity when interpreting electronic communication, and prioritizes the mode of communicationthat is appropriate for the situation. Communicates and addresses problems with staff in private. Uses and stays current with technical terms, as needed, for effective service delivery. Explains technical terms, as necessary, toensure that individuals and their family/support networks understand those terms. Supports appropriate communication for small groups and teams by communicating expectations, promoting cooperativebehaviors, and seeking feedback in order to improve communications. Facilitates group interactions using varied techniques, including brainstorming, consensus building, group problem-solvingand conflict resolution. Demonstrates good meeting management techniques.Back to Interpersonal Core Competencies TableMid-Level Manager Competency Development Guide8

Cultural CompetencyValues the diverse backgrounds and characteristics of individuals, family/support networks and staff, and helps staff membersunderstand and respond to the culture of individuals and their family/support networks. Interacts sensitively with diverse cultures and different generations, internal and external. Respects the beliefs, values andcustoms of people. Models healthy communication with staff, volunteers, individuals and their family/support networks. Employs honestinteractions, courtesy, empathy and sensitivity to how communication affects others. Responds constructively and calmly. Displays sensitivity to cultural, ethnic and social issues of individuals and groups, and understands and appreciates theirdifferences. Uses his/her insights and perceptions to create greater diversity and multiculturalism and to respond positively to differentcommunity and demographic groups. Understands the underlying reasons for different behaviors.Back to Interpersonal Core Competencies TableEducation, Training and Self-DevelopmentIdentifies and seeks opportunities for professional development based on his/her personal strengths and needs, the impact thathe/she has on others, and emerging evidence-based practices. Systematically assesses the need for personal and professional training. Completes required training, education andcertification, as well as continued professional development. Seeks feedback on his/her performance from multiple sources, including supervisors, peers and staff. Uses performanceevaluations and feedback to improve performance. Seeks opportunities for growth and self-improvement in knowledge, skills and abilities. Continues to grow as a professional.Keeps abreast of practices in the field. Participates and develops relationships in peer-networking groups within different communities. Learns from line staff. Knows his/her strengths and weaknesses.Back to Interpersonal Core Competencies TableInitiativeIdentifies and addresses current and future problems or opportunities, and confidently uses critical-thinking skills and innovativethinking to implement solutions and resolve conflicts. Recognizes and responds to opportunities and problems, and overcomes obstacles. Acts quickly and decisively in a crisis or other time-sensitive situation. Is proactive. Anticipates short-term and longer term opportunities, obstacles and problems. Implements interventions or innovativesolutions to create opportunities, prevent problems or avoid future crises. Conducts cost/benefit analyses. Acts confidently within his/her job or role and in uncertain circumstances. Works without the need for direct supervision.Seeks input from others. Uses critical-thinking skills. Seeks challenging assignments and new responsibilities. Understands when to be firm, and when to be flexible, in the face ofdisagreements with management.Back to Interpersonal Core Competencies TableMid-Level Manager Competency Development Guide9

LeadershipWorks to improve quality of care and life for individuals, and the workplace environment for staff, by acting as a change agentwho creates and leads interdisciplinary systems and encourages others to be open to change and sustain their commitment tochange. Models the organization’s values, mission and vision in daily work and through interaction and communication with others. Works collaboratively with other managers to advocate, develop and implement innovative and creative strategiesfor achieving short- and long-term organizational goals and meeting organizational needs that are aligned with theorganization’s vision and mission. Sees opportunities and acts on them. Works with the team to identify, within the scope of practice, where change is needed,what needs to be changed, and strategies for change. Generates commitment and enthusiasm from others to set and achieve challenging goals and objectives and live up to theorganization’s vision, mission and values. Actively seeks ongoing feedback to make necessary changes and adjustments as the organization moves from its current toits desired state. This includes: Incorporating planning and implementation elements into every change. Being sensitive to the needs of staff at all levels to be involved and to feel part of the organizational culture. Valuing and incorporating staff opinions into decision-making. Researches evidence-based practices. Uses data to support change. Reinforces and serves as a model for embracing desired change through actions that are consistent with the change. Takes along-term view. Thinks outside the box. Provides focused leadership to advance change initiatives. Provides direction for overcoming adversity and resistance tochange. Adapts to new ideas and paradigms, and actively seeks to generate new ideas and changes, as appropriate. Matches his/her management style to each situation in order to achieve the desired outcome.Back to Interpersonal Core Competencies TableTeamworkHelps staff teams increase their capabilities, maximize their potential and recognize their options while encouraging departmentsto work collaboratively for the good of individuals, their family/support networks and the organization. Promotes and enables interdisciplinary collaboration, cooperation and team effectiveness. Integrates processes and programs across departments, and communicates across departments. Provides essential information to individuals and groups for decision-making and fulfillment of responsibilities. Communicatesregularly with people affected by a team decision. Values and respects the contributions of all team members to meeting the needs of the individual, the family/support networkand the community. Is a team leader. Sets expectations, models a good work ethic, and works with the team. Develops the strengths of teammembers. Uses available evidence to inform effective teamwork and team-based practices. Deals with conflicts in an appropriate, timely and constructive manner. Uses effective inter-professional communication andshared problem-solving to strengthen the ability of team members to work together effectively. Understands his/her role to market the organization and promote its services to external audiences.Back to Interpersonal Core Competencies TableMid-Level Manager Competency Development Guide10

Operational Core CompetenciesCore Attribute:The mid-level manager has the s

Mid-Leve g peten velopmen de 4 For each broad competency area, the Mid-Level Manager Competency Development Guide presents: Core attributes to which the mid-level manager should aspire. Domains designed to ground each competency in observable behaviors.