Staff Engagement in Practice

We asked attendees at a meeting of our National Staff Engagement Forum earlier this year to send us examples of good staff engagement in practice.  Members have told us how staff need to feel valued and recognised and the simple things of saying thank you or acknowledging when things go well are so important to them. Caroline Lennon-Nally, who has been a member  of the National Staff Engagement Forum since the beginning, was one of the first to respond.


Based in Carlow, Caroline works as a Quality Improvement Advisor in her day job. Caroline’s example of good staff engagement relates to the HSE’s Fair Deal Programme Office in Kilkenny. Caroline was really impressed with the way Leslie Stapleton and her colleagues Sandra Purcell and Caroline Phelan dealt with her queries.


Caroline said:

“In applying for the Fair Deal Scheme for a relative last year, I found Leslie Stapleton in the Fair Deal Office in Kilkenny to be most helpful and courteous. She was extremely efficient in the way that the application was processed and the way in which she responded to all of my queries.  But, perhaps most important of all, she was also kind and empathic. “

Caroline also has some praise for Geraldine Kilkenny and her staff in the HSE, ICT Department in the South East who are based in Kilkenny. The team includes Steve Connors, Stephen Kinsella and Pat Morrison.


Leslie Stapleton, Sandra Purcell and Caroline Phelan who work in the Fair Deal Programme Office in Kilkenny

Her comment about the team there reads:

“I have found that on the numerous occasions I have needed to contact the IT Department in the South East that, Geraldine Kilkenny and her team have been extremely helpful and efficient.  There have been many times when I have been aware of how busy they’ve been, but regardless of other pressures on their time, they have always been polite and friendly.  It really is a pleasure dealing with them. “

Steve Connors Stephen Kinsella Pat Morrison

Steve Connors, Stephen Kinsella and Pat Morrison are part of Geraldine Kilkenny’s team  working  in the ICT Department in Kilkenny

Finally, Anne Marie Kavanagh from HSE Health Promotion and Improvement was keen to acknowledge the support she’s received from staff in Environmental Health.

Anne Marie said: “Fiona Scully and Claire Moore, Grade Vs in Environmental Health, have been and continue to be of invaluable help to me in my efforts to follow updated procedures correctly in respect of HR functions  They go out of their way to help staff outside their departments, and this is so commendable at a time when many administrative staff are shorthanded and overstretched.”

This is a real example of staff engaging with each other and creating better workplaces for our staff in line with the HSE’s Values in Action social movement.

Values in Action is about building a culture in the health service that reflects our values of care, compassion, trust and learning, so that they are evident every day in every workplace. 

Values in Action is led by staff from across the health service, from all grades and disciplines, who are working together to create a grassroots movement to spread the behaviours that reflect our values. Values in Action is mobilising staff and empowering them to lead the changes that we need to truly build a better health service.

It’s a new approach to building the kind of health service we all want - from the inside out - making the health service a better place for staff, patients and service users. It’s going to take all of us - from all grades, roles, disciplines and backgrounds - working together to change our health service for the better.

You can find out more about Values in Action at where you can learn about the nine identified behaviours that bring the values to life.