Topic: Developing leadership capabilities amidst challenges and change

Day: Wednesday 14 October 2020

Time: 1:30pm-1:50pm AEDT


The present and future for leaders in the Aged Care sector is incredibly challenging. There is broad agreement across the sector that traditional Aged Care organisational structures, operations and resourcing will not deliver the essential services for the future and a traditional training approach will not deliver the leadership and management capabilities required.

In response, RSL Lifecare implemented a 12-month Leadership Development Program for all front-line managers which was designed to provide a sustainable, measurable, flexible and effective way of revolutionising leadership development across the business.

To maximise impact across the business the Leadership Development Program targeted areas of development included Customer Relationships on how to promote a customer centric culture throughout the organisation, specifically focusing on the customer expectations; People Management, in relation to what support they provide to their employees in regard to their understanding of how their role impacts the overall strategic success of the organisation, with reference to the social and environmental factors associated with their service and Business Acumen, targeting accountability to revenue building, cost management and how managers are identifying opportunities and removing barriers to achieve their strategic objectives.

This initiative has been designed to reflect the belief, that first and foremost, leadership is personal and varied based upon individual strengths, preferences and organisational context and therefore a robust blended learning approach has been applied encompassing a self-reflective survey tool, reinforced skill application and on the job coaching.

Two broader staff surveys within the 12 month program calendar clearly demonstrated the positive impact that the development of leaders was having on teams across the business with a 27 percent increase (57 > 86) in customer-centric approaches being adopted; a 23 percent increase (61 > 84) in how supported staff felt by their leader and a 31 percent upswing (54 > 85) in how teams felt their leader was helping ensure business growth. This has demonstrably assisted with staff retention across the board.

By developing the team’s leadership capability and capacity RSL LifeCare has been able to provide our leaders with the knowledge and skills to challenge the status quo and empower the workforce to innovate, shape and support the organisation’s future commercial and social goals.


Ben Van Lierop is the Executive General Manager, People and Culture for RSL Lifecare. With the support of his team, he is responsible for driving workforce capability, employee education and preparing the organisation’s 3600 employees for future change and increasing industry expectations.

He has specific expertise in adopting innovative approaches within complex industrial environments. This is driven by an ongoing professional focus for developing superior customer – centric services which aim to support sustained business growth.
Considered an active workforce strategist who is an astute people driven leader, Ben has been acknowledged for growing employee engagement by embedding company values and developing leadership capability throughout all levels of an organisation.
Ben has worked at senior levels within the health, hospitality and aged care sectors for the past 16 years, and holds qualifications in education, change management and conflict coaching.