17 December 2018

Food and humour: Quality Assurance and their journey towards enjoying work

Read about the how the Quality Assurance team have been impacted by their Enjoying Work project and get inspired by the change ideas they have been testing. Words by Charlie Merrick, Project Lead, and Kay Spearman, Project Team Member.

How has having an Enjoying Work project been for you and the team?

Charlie Merrick: As project lead I have had a fantastic opportunity to engage the QA team in what really matters to them at work and to identify their intrinsic motivators to doing a good job. It was clear to see from the get go all the members in the team are highly motivated to do a good job and there was some real valuing in driving ‘enjoying work’. I feel the team have really benefited from this process not only in themselves but the wider network of colleagues within the QA network have seen a change. 

Kay Spearman: This project has really helped our team bond. This was especially important with so many new members of the team joining this year. The low cost change ideas like puns and Fruit Fridays have helped build rapport during work and our organised team nights out have allowed us to enjoying spending time as a team outside of work and been a great reward after we have met tough deadlines.

Change idea: Weekly Bake off – QA team v Legal team. This was the Christmas special: Mince Pie battle!

How has the Enjoying Work project impacted the team?

Kay: One thing I wasn’t expecting to gain from this project was a greater understanding of how small things can impact on your enjoyment of your day. This project made us all sit down and highlight all the small actions and interactions we have on a daily basis and how they make us feel. Some popular ones among the team were that we all liked feeling productive and learning something new and valuable.

What is involved in the ‘pun of the week’ change idea?

Change Ideas: Fruit Friday

Charlie: Pun of the week is a no cost, no time test of change which has so many benefits, I am surprised someone one has not written a thesis about it. Every Monday we change to topic of the week and the QA team – and sometimes the wider department – is brought together by facilitating a pun related to the specific topic. This may seem a little silly at first but the power of pun of the week cannot be underestimated.

What top tips or information would you share with other teams?
Charlie: You want to find out what are the blockers to people doing their job and what are the ‘non-tangible/unquantifiable’ elements which make a team what they are. It is these attributes that can help bring a team together or remove any disjointedness and improve communications which otherwise maybe an issue. People have to come here to work and everyone I have worked with in this Trust wants to do a good job. Adding some fun into their job is essential to bringing our work forward.

Would you recommend the Enjoying Work QI project to your friends and co-workers?

Charlie: Yes. It can be the single most important thing any team can do. This has only benefited the QA team.

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