What is staff engagement?
A core strand of the People Strategy and the Framework for Improving Quality in our Health Service is to improve staff engagement across all levels of the health service. Positive staff engagement results in improvements in clinical care and helps to reduce absenteeism rates, improve staff retention and staff wellbeing.
Each of us working within the healthcare system has an essential role to play. We know that to provide the best possible service, staff need to know that they are valued, be fully involved and committed to providing a good service.
“Staff are engaged when they feel valued, are emotionally connected, fully involved, enthusiastic and committed to providing a good service…when each person knows that what they do and say matters and makes a difference”
(National Staff Engagement Forum 2016)
What can you do to promote staff engagement?
Our top tips for an engaged workforce:
- Act with integrity
- Encourage your team to get to know each other – meet in person where possible
- Communicate – tell each other what’s happening
- Ask, listen, hear and respond – know what’s important to colleagues
- Trust each other – include people in decisions that affect them
- Encourage each other to act on your ideas and be there to help each other
- Take your breaks and look after your own wellbeing
- Say thank you!
Tips for setting up a staff engagement forum
Set ground rules for the local fora:
- To create a space for conversations about what matters to staff
- Encourage Senior Management buy in and support by sharing the benefits of a local forum
- Define the Terms of Reference for the group
- If you can’t attend a meeting advise the Chairperson in advance, so someone else can get the opportunity to attend
- Switch off/ mute your devices
- Rotate the Chair of the forum
- Set meeting schedule and venue in advance.
- Promote Active Listening within the forum.
- Respect each staff member as an individual and as equal member of the forum.
Staff survey feedback can be used as a vehicle for staff engagement - it helps to get the local fora started.
List positive changes that have come about from having a local staff engagement forum - staff linking in with other grades, more benefits to staff, and ultimately patients, from a better working environment and staff networking more.