Above & Beyond Articles
Bridging Leadership Gaps in Aged Care

Bridging the Leadership Gaps in Aged & Community Care

In our dynamic sector, leadership is pivotal for shaping culture, performance and quality of care. The findings of research* into aged care leadership in Australia finds specific and common leadership gaps. The good news is, these gaps exist in areas where skills and competencies can be developed and enhanced to improve overall leadership effectiveness.

Understanding the Leadership Gaps

The comprehensive research insights, drawn from data across the sector in Australia, shed light on the strengths and gaps in leadership capability.

Encouragingly, it highlights that leaders in the care sector are: 
Eager to learn, sincere and respectful, and are driven by deep intrinsic factors. These individuals stand out for their exceptional ability to build a rapport with families which goes a long way to achieve the best care outcomes. 

The most common areas for development across the sector include:

  • Self-care
  • Stress management
  • Conflict resolution
  • Effective delegation
  • Understanding and communicating organisational change
  • Addressing unacceptable behaviour
  • Having difficult conversations

The research reaffirms the need for targeted leadership development within organisations rather than a generic approach. Focusing on specific gaps results in the greatest improvements in team engagement, performance, staff retention and quality care.

Consequences of Poor Leadership in Aged Care

The stakes couldn’t be higher. 

One of the direct consequences of the leadership gaps is increased staff turnover. And while the cost of recruiting and training new staff is steep, it’s not just about the numbers, it’s about what that means for the organisations. Losing continuity of care and rebuilding relationships take a massive toll on everyone involved. We all know the results can be devasting.

When there’s a lack of leadership, staff feel neglected, unappreciated and confused about how their role truly contributes to the bigger picture. This can make people less motivated and less willing to invest themselves in their roles, come up with new ideas or commit fully, making it even harder to provide the best care, let alone do anything new.

Crucially, these gaps impact not only organisational culture but also the safety performance of our organisations.

The journey from recognising the gaps to bridging them

To transform these insights into actionable strategies that close the leadership gaps, we have developed targeted leadership programs. Our programs are designed to equip leaders with the skills, knowledge, and tools to confidently lead with excellence.

For us, it’s even more than closing gaps; it’s about creating sustainable change and making a positive, measurable impact. This approach is grounded in our own core values, particularly ‘Radiate excellence’, ‘Take ownership’ ‘Find the way’, ‘Collaborate’ and ‘Make a difference’.

Care Industry Leadership Programs to tackle Leadership Gaps

We’ve grouped these common leadership gaps into three categories and created workshops and programs to address each one.

Leading Self – Leading Others – Leading Change

Leading Self

Leading Self

Focused on enhancing self-care and stress management, including workshops aimed to cultivate resilience and well-being among leaders.

Leading Others

Leading Others

Tailored to improve conflict management and responsibility sharing, these sessions encourage leaders to engage with their teams empathetically and effectively.

Leading Change

Leading Change

Designed to enhance communication skills, enabling leaders to navigate and lead through change effectively.

Note – these can be booked individually or as a package. Each one has optional group or individual coaching opportunities.

Our programs are led by accredited coaches and experienced facilitators and incorporate a series of assessment tools, workshops and coaching. Participants get the opportunity to explore real life scenarios and connect with peers while they reflect on their leadership style and behaviours.

"Arlene's coaching style is very supportive and she draws on a wide range of tools to help understand situations and explore solutions. This [workshop] came at a time when I have just taken over staff management after a short break and was an excellent refresher of how to frame my communications, build trust and a supportive culture with my new team."

When we follow up with participants 28 days later, participants often report they’ve set healthier boundaries, experienced better quality interpersonal relationships and increased self-awareness. They also comment on the positive effects in their home life too.


Leadership in the aged care sector is at a pivotal point, particularly following the Royal Commission’s recommendations. Confident and consistent leadership influences the quality of care, staff turnover and organisational success. By focusing on the leadership challenges that have been uncovered, our programs are designed to lead to meaningful change in how the sector operates.

These Leadership Programs are just one facet of our holistic approach to workforce solutions aimed at future proofing and enhancing the performance of aged & community care services.

For more information on how we can support your organisation, please contact me or send an email to hello@aboveandbeyondgroup.com.au

Together, we can make a difference – Transforming the workforce. Transforming lives.

Laura Sutherland
Director & Founder

M  0410 360 679
E   laura@aboveandbeyondgroup.com.au 

Laura is a Workforce specialist, Leadership and Career Coach with a background in Psychology. Considered the go-to trusted advisor on workforce challenges in our industry, Laura partners with clients to understand their specific challenges and tailor the most effective and sustainable solutions. Her core professional purpose is to improve and future proof Aged Care & Community Services by supporting organisations to develop the potential within their people.

*Research is from CILCA data: The “Care Industry Leadership Capability Assessment”