Each year the Health Service Journal’s (HSJ) Best Places to Work celebrates UK’s ‘top’ public sector healthcare employers: “these organisations have proven that they know what it takes to create environments where people love to come to work.” Each year, all healthcare trusts are required to conduct an employee engagement and satisfaction survey that is compiled into reports about trusts that are also made public by the NHS and the Picker Institute at www.nhsstaffsurveys.com. HSJ works with Best Companies Group (BCG) – an independent workplace research firm – to analyse the survey and determine who was in the top 100, and to create benchmark reports used by HSJ.
Each trust’s data is categorised into seven different core focus areas to determine their reported quality and, once analysed, then ranked:
- Leadership and planning
- Corporate culture and communications
- Role satisfaction
- Work environment
- Relationship with supervisor
- Training and development
- Employee engagement and employee satisfaction
Each trust also has the opportunity to complete an employer questionnaire (conducted by BCG) and the information is used by HSJ to complete organisational profiles and “to dig deeper into what make (it) a great place to work”. The employer questionnaire is not used in the determination of the top 100.
In her article accompanying the survey, Dr Noeleen Doherty, principal research fellow at Cranfield University School of Management says that “there is a continuing need to address issues that are relevant to the workplace, as well as those that are relevant to the creation and maintenance of a safe physical and positive social work work environment. Good practice principles in achieving this include:
- a clear policy on wellbeing;
- resources to help ensure appropriate provision and support; and
- regular monitoring of practice.
She adds that “one major challenge for organisations is the need to recognise the importance of the interconnected nature of employee and organisational health.”
Action for NHS Wellbeing takes an ecosystemic view of this interwoven relationship and the need to address the health of the pond and not just the tadpoles that thrash around in it.