Supporting and developing board level leadership and engagement

people listening

28 / 10 / 2015 2.41pm

Like any important organisational change, a serious commitment to staff health and wellbeing requires a significant leadership commitment.

Leading NHS organisations are working on the detail for how to best achieve this leadership change. Their initial thoughts are to commit to:

  • identifying a Board level lead who will champion this agenda; and
  • identifying a senior clinician within the organisation to champion this for clinical staff.
Developing a healthy organisation does not depend on running a set list of initiatives. Prioritising staff health and wellbeing needs to be embedded in the culture of the organisation. This culture shift can only happen with strong leadership from the board.

When identifying the lead, it is important that the individual understands the impact of staff wellbeing and can speak with confidence and commitment about the evidence base and impact on patient care. They will need to be willing to challenge the Board to ensure the wellbeing of staff remains a core consideration throughout all work undertaken, as well as being a regular agenda item for Board discussion. They will lead by example, demonstrating their involvement and practice of wellbeing in the workplace. They will need to articulate how staff health and wellbeing forms part of helping meet broader organisational goals, including improving staff engagement and making financial savings.

The Board lead will have clearly agreed organisational objectives for their role in supporting staff wellbeing across the organisation. This will include:

  • actively and visibly lead the engagement across the organisation on the wellbeing agenda including speaking to staff, new starters and the Board about the importance, organisational commitment, and organisational impact of staff wellbeing;
  • regularly meeting with the wellbeing lead and/or wellbeing partnership group to support this work and report key progress to the Board, championing this agenda and challenging commitment where needed;
  • ensuring reporting on wellbeing data, initiatives and outcomes is routinely discussed and used to influence targeted work in key areas; and
  • offering their expertise to influence their peers on the impact that this agenda has on organisational performance both internally and externally.
We have created a new resource with the eleven NHS organisations, which includes role descriptors for both the board level or equivalent leads and the clinical lead. This resource is to help NHS organisations identify the right leaders to champion wellbeing and help embed a new culture of care for NHS staff. You can download the role descriptors from our resource page.

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