Prioritising health and wellbeing to improve morale and performance
Our health and wellbeing strategy has proven to have improved the morale and performance of our staff. It was also recognised by HR Magazine with an award for Best Health and Wellbeing Strategy as part of their HR Excellence Awards.
With staff feeling exhausted after the pressures of the pandemic, staff wellbeing, motivation, morale and mental health were more important than ever. At a time when the NHS is undergoing vast change, we wanted to ensure that our people were well, engaged and motivated in order to deliver high quality work which ultimately impacts on patient services.
The approach was person-centred, focusing on individual needs and preferences balanced with the needs of the team and the organisation. Wellbeing was prioritised as a major part of achieving our strategic and corporate objectives.
We teamed up employee engagement and our workforce data to identify pressing issues and shaped a comprehensive plan of wellbeing activities and interventions. They were broadly framed under physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing and financial wellbeing.
To implement these changes, we employed several enablers:
- Week-long virtual health and wellbeing festival
- Training and education campaign to help managers and employees better understand remote working, resilience and physical fitness
- Weekly wellbeing sessions to discuss tips and resources
- A trained team of mental health first aiders
- Enlisting health and wellbeing champions to push from below and members of the board to role model and communicate healthy behaviours from above
- Embedding health and wellbeing into one-to-ones and appraisal documentation
- Blogs and intranet forums.
The effect on staff wellbeing was evident in the latest staff survey and workforce data:
-92% said that they did not feel pressured by their manager to come to work when ill
-94% said that they felt empowered to take informed decisions about their health
-number of people saying they had felt ill because of work related stress dropped
-15.5% increase in people who recognised the organisation was taking positive action on health and wellbeing
-18% drop in the number of days lost due to stress, anxiety or depression.
This clearly showed that engaging with employees and acting upon their feedback was positively received, and we were making huge gains with our people’s wellbeing offering.
The health and wellbeing festival had 759 attendees at 42 sessions over the course of the week. The average score was 4.83 out of 5 for overall experience by staff and 4.73 out of 5 for whether staff felt the session had benefited their health and wellbeing.
The network of 14 health and wellbeing champions played a key role in spreading and embedding the corporate initiatives as they connected with colleagues at a local level.
Messages from the board, both in video clips and written blogs, were also received well with people saying that they like the fact that they can relate and feel empowered to do the same.
“What is remarkable about this strategy, labelled outstanding by judges, was that it was delivered on a shoestring budget by a generalist team, driven by a passion for its people.
“Judges praised its clear focus on the business issue at hand and the engagement at every angle with its end goal of providing top-quality services to patients.”
“A brilliant session and surpassed all of my expectations.”
“Fantastic session and really helped me to readjust my thoughts.”
Staff feedback on health and wellbeing festival sessions
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