- Do you know what is expected of you at work?
- Do you have the materials and equipment to do your work right?
- Am I treated with dignity and respect by everyone?
- Do I have what I need so I can make a contribution that gives meaning to my life?
- Am I recognised and thanked for what I do?
- Agree and define your ideal culture from the outset – successful organisations know what their ideal workplace culture looks like before the recruitment process even begins. More importantly, they learn from the past to define the future. How many people join the NHS with high hopes only to have them dashed by the systemic failings of a healthcare culture that centres around fear and blame? If your staff continually ask themselves “What will happen to me if something goes wrong?” now is the time to act quickly.
First, eradicate the fear that discourages staff involvement and paralyses productivity. After all, most people who have suffered grief and bereavement following the death of a loved one are actually more concerned with what you are doing to prevent this happening again to somebody else rather than punitive measures.
Introduce a just culture that supports fairness, openness and learning by making staff feel confident to speak up when things go wrong, rather than fearing blame. Find ways to create a workplace environment where staff are encouraged to be open about their own mistakes as well as the potential failings of other individuals or the organisation as a whole. This allows valuable lessons to be learnt so the same errors can be prevented from being repeated.
At the same time, change the leadership style and be a servant leader, one that focuses on building systems and processes that enable people to flourish in their roles and to be the very best that they can be.
- Interview smart – develop an interview process that promotes your culture. Look beyond the usual pool of direct line managers. Instead, identify those individuals who express pride in working for your organisation, generate pride in themselves and in others and have the ability to enthuse and exhibit your ideal culture. Build and cultivate this network of culture champions and involve them in the critical first steps of the recruitment process.
Don’t forget to re-assess – and amend if necessary - your corporate interview process. It should reflect your open, transparent culture that provides a platform for potential candidates to shine. Interview smart and you’ll be rewarded with the best, motivated talent in the healthcare industry.
- Cultivate the art of mentorship – going back to the IPPR’s alarming statistics that the NHS could lose up to 350,000 valuable staff after the pandemic and the outlook is frightening on so many levels. Assuming that a large proportion of these people have years of experience behind them, then organisations risk losing an incredible bank of knowledge and expertise that has built up over decades. What is more, they lose a collective organisational memory of what works and what doesn’t, valuable learning that would be shared with new recruits. The lesson is: nurture experienced talent to build a highly effective pool of mentors that are critical to the success of your onboarding activities. Mentorship empowers and influences not only the new employee, but the mentor themselves.