The leadership of supervisors is praised in the social welfare and health care joint municipal authorities that participated in the Mitä kuuluu? well-being at work survey by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. According to the survey, conducted in autumn 2018, 72% of joint municipal authority employees in social welfare and health care (n=24,008) felt that their supervisors were fair. However, the contrast with the experiences of the management of joint municipal authorities and the related decision-making processes is considerable: 38% of all respondents felt that the organization’s decision-making process was fair.
The majority of supervisors of joint municipal authorities in social welfare and health care have a strong coaching approach in their leadership (cf. figure 'Leadership in social welfare and health care sector'). Coaching leadership is a holistic approach in which supervisors emphasize their employees’ capacity for success. It focuses on respecting, empowering and listening to employees. Coaching supervisors give their employees responsibility over completing their tasks and support them in their independent and proactive efforts. Studies show that coaching leadership strengthens and improves trust, creativity, commitment to work and the experience of fairness. It also improves the efficiency and the innovation of teams.
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According to the Mitä Kuuluu survey, more than 66% of social welfare and health care joint municipal authority employees felt that their supervisors support their employees’ competencies: supervisors encourage the members of work communities to use their strengths and develop their expertise and delegate tasks and responsibilities among other members. A little less than 66% felt that their supervisors encourage their employees to co-operate. Six out of ten employees felt that supervisors encourage their employees to work independently. More than half of the respondents also felt that supervisors can solve conflicts in work-life balance in a flexible manner.
Directors, experts, physicians, senior nurses and head nurses considered their supervisors’ approach to be coaching, in particular (cf. figure 'The effect of supervisory position on leadership'). Respondents aged under 50 also consider their supervisors’ approach to be coaching more often than older respondents. Supervisors, managers and directors also consider their supervisors’ approach to be coaching more often than employees.
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The impact of coaching leadership in well-being at work is also indicated in the results of the Mitä kuuluu? survey. For example, 76% of employees whose supervisors strengthen their employees competencies experienced work engagement, i.e. vigour, dedication and absorption to work. The corresponding figure among all respondents was 68%.
The Mitä kuuluu? survey is carried out annually in 11 social welfare and health care joint municipal authorities. The related material on the työelämätieto.fi platform is updated once a year.