Case Study: NHS Employers

In: Case StudyDate: Dec 11, 2023By: Claire Lickman

NHS Employers are part of the NHS Confederation, and act on behalf of NHS trusts in England and Wales. We have worked with them to deliver Liberating Structures workshops and they have attended our Happy Workplaces Conferences.

“I love Happy,” explains Kathryn Grayling, Assistant Director of Engagement. “You are creative, you are different, you give us space to think, you are brim full of ideas, you are energising. Everybody we work with at Happy is highly professional. You never underdeliver.

“I couldn’t recommend Happy more!”

Helping NHS staff to prioritise and be more effective during the pandemic

Happy came into NHS Employers at the beginning of the pandemic, when they had faced a 150% increase on normal activity.

“The work you did was so helpful. Getting together in a virtual world and spending time together, deciding what was important, working out the way we wanted to function.

“We reviewed our internal operating model. Facilitating us to take the time to do that, work out how to streamline, strip away, and thinking in a positive way helped us to come together as a team and work well together over the pandemic.”

Using Liberating Structures to get everybody involved in a more creative way

“The work you did on Liberating Structures had a real impact in our external work. We work with the strategic workforce leaders of the NHS. The Structures allowed us to get networks thinking about strategic priorities, doing the unpicking around what you need to do.

“This library of different engagement techniques have allowed us to get everybody involved in a lighter and more creative way that has been really helpful. People are shattered but this helps – doing something different, rather than just talking about problems.

“In some areas, operational thinking was dead on its feet. These Structures focus on solutions and get people thinking in more positive way.

“We have been using them in our networks working on different strategic issues. Some have regular dominant voices, so Liberating Structures enables the smaller organisations to have a chance to contribute.

“Happy helped us to bond as a team during a really difficult time, and allowed us to remain vibrant among what is a crowded market in the people agenda.”

Using the Happy Workplaces Conference to spark new ideas

Kathryn, and some of her colleagues, attended the annual Happy Workplaces conference. “Several of the ideas that were sparked at the conference ended up in the overall NHS people plan. The idea, for instance, of having a wellbeing conversation that is solely focused on how well our staff are came from the speech by Nikki Gatenby.

“At first you hear these presentations and wonder ‘How could we ever do this in the NHS?’. The NHS is so big, you get a bit of ‘tunnel vision’. But sitting outside it and hearing from people across industry, who are doing things differently, can create real inspiration. You just get inspired and the seed grows.

“I couldn’t recommend Happy more!”

Give your leadership team the skills to create a happy and engaged workplace

We can create bespoke leadership programmes for your organisation. Whether you would like a programme over one-day or six months, your leadership team will learn the principles to create a work culture based on trust and empowerment.

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