Worker feedback drives HR policies at NHS trust

first_img Comments are closed. An Essex NHS trust has based its HR policies on feedback from staff to boostrecruitment, development and motivations and improve services to the publicAn innovative NHS trust is aiming to boost recruitment, training and patientservices by building its HR policy around what staff want. Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust has surveyed staff, and is basingrecruitment, selection, induction, training and appraisals on what they saidwas important. Nick Groves, the trust’s director of workplace development, believes it isessential to feed staff opinions into HR processes, and in turn, for this toform part of the trust’s overall strategic vision and corporate objectives. In response, it has introduced a two-day team ship and communicationprogramme – developed in partnership with a team of business psychologists –which spells out what an individual is good at and potential areas forimprovement. It has also adopted a behavioural interviewing process to picksuitable employees and an induction programme which empowers staff to managetheir own learning progress. The trust first made fundamental changes to the way it formed policy afterconducting a staffing review in 2001 and 2002 when it found many workersbelieved they weren’t respected. Groves said: “We had a lot of comments from domestics saying ‘I love myjob, but don’t like being looked at like I am a bit of dirt on someone’s shoe’.Or a healthcare assistant saying ‘I am happy to do more, and take on moreskills, but why should I when the nurses are sat on their arses at the nursingstation?’” It became clear the way staff felt about their job and the trust related tothe way people behaved on a day-to-day basis. The trust gave workers a questionnaire asking what they liked and dislikedabout working there. In all, 800 staff replied, and their answers helped createa new staff charter. “People have their own values, and it’s abouteliciting them,” said Groves. Now the trust aims to use these values when determining all HR policy.”We are trying to attract, recruit, appraise, develop, re-organise, andmanage employees based on our staff values,” added Groves. “There isno use conducting a staff review unless you are prepared to address the issuesthat are fundamentally important to them.” Groves said it wasn’t difficult to get senior management buy- in –especially as research backs up the theory. “Focusing on behaviour can beseen as one of those woolly HR things. However, it helps to have research byAston Business School which shows a clear relation between team-working and patientoutcomes [when getting senior management on board].” A copy of the staff charter is included with the trust’s recruitment pack,so people are aware of the organisation’s work culture before applying for aposition. Its application form puts emphasis on the values outlined in thestaff charter, more emphasis on teamwork, and asks what people have learned inthe last year. Groves said the new application pack asks people questions that have to befilled out in their own words, rather than using tick boxes. Groves believesthis helps the trust pick the best candidates at the shortlist stage. Mid Essex has adopted behavioural interviewing which focuses on what peoplehave done, rather than say they will do. A new induction programme includes teaching about managing your own learningand organisational values. It also asks people what they liked and dislikedabout their last job. The teamship and communication programme tests employee strengths andweaknesses. To date, 17 per cent of staff have been through the course, whichculminates with individuals being presented with a report showing what they aregood at, and potential areas for improvement. Groves said the trust is also focusing on skills escalators – getting staffinto training and moving through the ranks – to ensure individuals are able toreach their potential and to meet skills shortages. He believes one of the ways to solve recruitment problems in the NHS is notonly to make itself a great employer, but to tell people that it is. “Ifyou consider that a million people in this country work for the NHS, if ourexisting staff simply told their friends and family that it was a great placeto work, that would probably solve most of our recruitment difficulties,”he said. By Quentin Reade Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Worker feedback drives HR policies at NHS trustOn 3 Jun 2003 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more