It is no secret that when we look after NHS staff, we begin to improve safety, outcomes and performance. Some NHS trusts are really getting this right and sharing how they do it! We utterly salute you! But how can we continuously engage NHS staff with their organisations and workplace teams as leaders?
1. Stop expecting everyone to work, lead and behave like you. This will not work and only alienates the staff around you. All you can do is set the example of how you want the work culture to be set. When you begin to appreciate the individual strengths within a person, they will in turn use those individual strengths to bring new live and innovation to the team.
2. Make sure every conversation counts. You may do this in a wide open forum space, in a one to one environment, or take a more focus group based approach. The important thing to do is keep everyone talking. Then you listen, and ensure that each voice contributes to future developments within the service. Once this occurs, everyone becomes invested in the change as a result.
3. Continue to take snapshots of the situation. When you make positive changes to engage your staff, make sure you keep evaluating the success of such changes!...Ask every staff member the same questions you would like the answers to...over time...if your interventions are working...feedback will reflect this.
4. Share ideas within and beyond your organisation. Continued learning is key. Use networking events and conferences, intranet, posters, newsletters, podcasts, forums, face-to face meetings and social networking sites to share and communicate ideas. Grow collectively as a result.
5. Value the health and well being of your staff! Do this by dedicating firm resources to ensure that staff feel well cared for, feel valued, and have the opportunity to thrive in an environment of their choosing.
Do these things and watch your #NHS teams grow. Then watch them develop and become fully productive in an organisation in which they feel fully engaged. We do this with our students every day. We watch as this enthusiasm becomes contagious and propagates within the many trusts we work with. Join the movement for improved #NHS staff engagement.