15 March 2018

Luton Wellbeing Service: achieving enjoyment at work through engagement and communication

In this blog, the Enjoying Work QI team at Luton Wellbeing Service share their journey towards increasing the percentage of staff having a good day at work from 55% to 75% in four months. Words by Kelly Gale (Improvement Advisor) and Sharon Gugerly (Project Lead).

Luton Wellbeing Service was one of services at East London NHS Foundation Trust that volunteered to be an early prototype team for Enjoying Work, which is aimed at helping increase staff experience of work using quality improvement methods.  The team comprised of Sharon Gugerly (Project Lead), Douglas Hiscock (Coach), Brian Toye (Sponsor), Jen Taylor-Watt (Improvement Advisor), Giap Huynh, Sandra Brown, Syed Ali Naqvi, Faz Parker (Team Members) and  Shefa Begum (Business Partner – Human Resources).

The project was launched in June 2017 and the first task was to gather baseline data using the online survey tool Survey Monkey.  The survey asked all staff to rate their day using the Likert Scale:

To what extent do you agree with the following statement?:

Did you have a good day at work yesterday?

The answers on the Likert Scale were:  “Strongly Disagree”, “Disagree”, “Agree”, “Strongly Agree”.

All staff members were asked to complete this daily for the month of June and 185 responses were collected. Of those, only 55% said they “Agreed” or “Strongly Agreed” that they had had a good day. Using that baseline as starting point, the team created their driver diagram and identified which factors they needed to work on.

The team used a board to communicate with staff.

From the responses to the survey and from engagement sessions with the whole staff team, four themes emerged which were contributing to people not have a good day.  They were: Stress, Work Environment, Management Communication and IT.

The staff engagement session had developed many change ideas, so all staff were invited to rank them in order of importance, so that the project team could start on identifying change ideas that meant the most to most staff.

Some ideas were tasks, things they could just get done without the need to test first. Staff were also asked to rank these in order of importance to them. The results from the staff ranking were acted upon and a communications board was placed in the main staff area so that everyone could be informed and kept updated as to what was happening.

Changing the way the whole team meeting was used and executed was ranked as the number one change idea, so the team started a PDSA (Plan, Do, Study, Act) cycle on how they were going to do this.

Changing the time of the meeting was the first thing that they tried; this was quite successful with the team. The next change they agreed on was to add a lunch break in the meeting as it was conducted over the whole of the lunch period.  Their third cycle was to have a much more structured meeting with an agenda and a way of providing feedback about the meetings.

The team created a Kanban board, the board was a great success as the staff team were able to see what had been completed, what was in the process of being done and what was lined up to do next.

Kanban board

The whole team were asked to continue completing the survey throughout the project to see whether the changes and improvements being made were having the desired affect and whether this would be reflected in the data.

The percentage of staff members who responded with “Strongly agree” or “Agree” that they had had a good day increased from the baseline of 55% to 75% and this was being maintained.

Towards the end of 2017, the service was commissioned to a different provider, which meant that it would be transferred from ELFT. Staff enjoyment at work was subsequently affected and the project team decided it was not viable to continue with the project in its current format.

Although they were not able to run the project in its entirety as they intended to, they used the learning and structures they had developed to refocus the work on supporting staff during this period of change. They also took time to capture and share some of the outstanding work and valuable learning from their original project.

The lessons from the project are:

Complete the small tasks first – this shows that things will be done and encourages others to become involved and builds the momentum for the others to join in.

Involve the whole team:  the project was designed to help everyone in the team and the more of the team involved, the better the ideas generated and the outcomes will be.

Clear communication:  Let everyone know what is going on, get everyone involved and keep them updated.

If you are part of ELFT and are interested in taking part in an Enjoying Work project please click here to know more.

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Learn more about this project on Life QI – Project Code #103865

East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) has been using the Life QI platform since June 2015 to manage our Quality Improvement (QI) portfolio. Projects are proposed, approved and worked on through the platform. Learn more about how important this platform is in this blog by our Data Manager Forid Alom. 

Copyright © 2018 East London Foundation Trust. All rights reserved.

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