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'Happy staff and happy patients’ when employee engagement is increased in the healthcare sector

Learning News10Eighty

The case for employee engagement was very much in evidence at an event held on 21 September 2016 at Guy’s Hospital for healthcare professionals hosted by employee engagement specialists 10Eighty.

The room during David Astley's presentation
The room during David Astley's presentation 

Career management lies at the heart of employee engagement which is why employees want managers that care, develop and stretch them and this is best achieved through career conversations.

Discussions focused on increasing employee engagement in healthcare through career conversations which are underpinned by an understanding that high levels of patient care and productivity can only be delivered with an engaged workforce.

 ‘Staff engagement in the NHS is crucial to patient outcomes and should be at the heart of everything we do as HR and OD practitioners.’ states Diana Cliff,Academy Programme Development Manager at the Healthcare People Management Association London Academy. The HPMA London Academy supports the development of HR/OD/workforce practitioners in the NHS in London.

The evidence for a strong correlation between employee engagement and patient satisfaction and patient care is gathering pace.

The Evidence’, a report produced by Employee Engagement Task Force and jointly authored by the University of Bath School of Management and Marks and Spencer in 2012 says:

The NHS reveals important relationships between engagement, patient satisfaction and patient mortality. Professor Mike West of the Centre for Performance-led HR at Lancaster University concluded, “Employee engagement emerges as the best predictor of NHS trust outcomes. No combination of key scores or single scale is as effective in predicting trust performance on a range of outcomes measures as is the scale measure of employee engagement.”

The report goes on to state, “The Patient satisfaction is significantly higher in NHS trusts with higher levels of employee engagement.”

Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust took top prize at the recent 2016 CIPD People Management Awards for the best employee engagement initiative for their campaign to improve patient safety and experience at Wexham Park Hospital.

The Trust’s programme of clear and well-structured HR-led interventions spanned a wide range of areas, from culture and leadership to reward and customer service.

Judges agreed the project was a great example of extremely ambitious and comprehensive organisational transformation, reflected in the CQC’s rating of Wexham Park Hospital changing from ‘inadequate’ to ‘outstanding’ earlier in the year.

The message from Keynote speaker at the employee engagement event David Astley OBE, a former NHS Trust CEO who has recently run public hospitals in Qatar succinctly summed it up, “Happy staff make for happy patients”.

He said, “Everyone knows these are not easy times in the NHS but more than ever it is important to align our values, ensure staff are motivated to deliver, recognising considerable successes and that we should be rightly proud of our NHS.”

Mr Moran added, “Taking the time to ensure all staff have career conversations, and by giving the staff the tools to plan their careers, will increase engagement and in turn increase patient care.” 

10Eighty on Michael Moran on 'hiring good people & engaged employees