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NHS Staff Experience Insight: Improving Staff Engagement through and beyond Covid-19

This conferences focuses on measuring staff experience and improving engagement which is particularly important when staff are under pressure during Covid-19.

“The best NHS employers know that staff wellbeing and high quality patient care are two sides of the same coin” Simon Stevens

Chaired by Chris Graham Chief Executive The Picker Institute who opens the day with an introduction to Measuring and Improving Staff Experience, discussing that:

  • "Staff experience is inherently important – but there is also strong evidence that wellbeing and engagement are associated with a range of crucial outcomes"

  • "Experience can be measured and monitored through a range of mechanisms"

  • "NHS Staff Survey provides a gold-standard measure of workforce experience in the English health service"

Chris talked about the relationship between sickness absence, patient experience feedback and agency spend as an indicator of staff experience. He said; "it's important to use the data for improvement, measuring is not the end it should be the start of improvement". He shared work with East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust following high mortality rates, negative media attention locally and poor staff morale. They used the Staff, Friends & Family Test to understand concerns to establish cultural change. Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust introduced "Let's Talk" focusing on staff engagement and support, directly informed by staff feedback which led to the implementation of leadership conferences, mentoring and additional communications packages including Podcasts.  The staff vacancy rate fell by more than 40%, they achieved CQC outstanding in 2018, and staff experience data showed tremendous improvement.  Both organisations follow a lot of improvement best practice applied to patient experience.  Chris finished by saying to improve staff experience takes good leadership, a strategic approach, good communication, patient and family involvement, and an approach of caring for the care givers.  Chris said; "There is a moral case to provide good wellbeing and experiences for staff at work". 

See the full programme here

Zoe Evans Head of Staff Engagement, Staff Experience and Engagement, People Directorate NHS England and NHS Improvement delivers a session on: Defining, measuring and taking action to improve Employee Engagement – a National view.

Zoe discussed how Employee Engagement is Defined in the NHS and how Employee Engagement is measured in the NHS:

"NHS has adopted the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) definition of employee engagement: “a positive attitude held by the employee towards the organisation and its values” (Robinson, Perryman and Hayday, 2004) and specifies that “engaged staff think and act in a positive way about the work they do, the people they work with and the organisation that they work in”  This views engagement as a deep connection that employees have with all aspects of their work life: their job, people they interact with at work, and the organisation that they work for. In this sense, the NHS defines engagement as both a psychological experience at work (i.e. the dominant view within the research community), and as a broader relationship with the organisation (i.e. the typical view taken by practitioners)."

"Within the NHS, employee engagement is measured as a multidimensional attitude via three dimensions (West and Dawson, 2012). This represents both engagement with work (i.e. motivation) and with the organisation (i.e. advocacy and involvement)"

Conference sponsors: 

Solution Marketing WorkdayCivica