5 Ways To Reduce Sickness Absences In The #NHS

The challenges within the NHS are forever growing. The financial pressures associated with sickness absence and agency pay out is spiraling due to a workforce which is striving to maintain a quality service during turbulent times.

It is time to take action, and we are always keen to learn from others and collaborate. Here we share 5 tips for NHS managers and leaders to embrace for a thriving NHS workforce. Our students are working right now in our health care services to promote excellence in care. Only a thriving NHS workforce will contribute towards achieving their goals.

These insights are derivations from Birmingham South Central CCG, who, by realising these tips have seen their sickness rates move down to 0.2% in comparison with 4.44% average within the NHS, their staff engagement, recruitment and retention levels are high and the way their organisation can now innovate is staggering.

With these tips, this is something all NHS organisations can achieve in partnership with strong leadership force and the dedication of our students in practice.

Read the full transformation journey -> How to get apples, not cactuses: an organisation fit for purpose: Meeting the well being needs of staff and community. By Cherry Dale.

  1. Share decision making. The direction of organisational travel affects everyone. Everyone needs to know what is going on, what the options are and where the next steps should lead the organisation as a whole. There should be no dark corners...everyone needs to know everything (Yes...everyone)!
  2. Ask the right questions. Who needs help? who has the capacity to help out? What do you need to help you thrive?
  3. No silo working. Select the right people to complete the right tasks. Assess what is needed to complete the task or solve the problem, and then match the right people to those needs. Areas of focus need to allow those with a variety of skill sets to weigh in on any situation so that new ideas can flow between those with certain responsibilities. 
  4. Don't call groups of people 'departments' - This creates silo working, instead they are 'natural working areas' that everyone can migrate to and from in order to suit the needs of any given situation. For extra impact - ban internal emails to get people communicating ideas.
  5. Notice when colleagues may be behaving differently in the workplace. These may be behavioral symptoms of a deeper disturbance that may be preventing them to thrive. If they are tearful or snappy...ask... "Is there anything you would like to talk about?" This emotional intelligence can promote compassion in the workplace and allow your organisational family to engage with the wider collective vision of an organisation.

When people feel engaged, valued and included within decision making and communications, they will want to become an active part of the organisational family. They will want to contribute, make a difference, innovate and confidently achieve their best. They will want to stay, feel unwell less often, and help others to do the same.

Our students take this vision into the health care workplace everyday. These future leaders are waiting to innovate and thrive. Join us.

Posted on September 3, 2016 .