Staff experience in the NHS

This page details why staff experience is so crucial, and what employers can do to bring the NHS People Promise to life.

15 April 2024

When excellent staff experience is achieved, staff become inspired to be the best people they can be, which in turn delivers the best patient care. To achieve excellent staff experience employers must create an environment where staff can feel valued, supported, encouraged and ultimately succeed.

Why is staff experience important?

The Long Term Workforce Plan sets out how employers will address existing and future workforce challenges by recruiting and retaining more staff and working in new ways to support staff experience. 

To meet these aims, employers must prioritise giving space for employees to stay and thrive within the NHS, continue to build on lessons learned and ensure that the NHS People Promise is a lived reality.

Despite the continued pressures on NHS trusts, we are seeing great examples of innovation and transformational change to enhance the experience of staff. We know employers are working hard to provide a supportive, compassionate and psychologically safe environment for all NHS employees. 

Bringing the NHS People Promise to life

The NHS People Promise explores seven elements that would make the greatest difference in improving the experience of NHS staff. We have created a visual (above) to demonstrate how, when these seven elements are combined, meaningful staff experience can be achieved. 

"This is a promise we must all make to each other – to work together to improve the experience of working in the NHS for everyone."

Our visual details the key people who can influence, shape and bring the NHS People Promise to life – including leaders and line managers. When people work together collaboratively they can shift cultures, challenge ideas, maximise impact and make a lasting difference to the experience of NHS staff.

We understand organisations may not have one person responsible for each of the people promises, or may have one person responsible for more than one promise. However, we wanted to show that when all these roles are combined, real improvements to staff experience can be achieved. The people involved just might look a little different in each organisation.

Staff Experience in the NHS: routes to retention

On 5 December 2023, our annual staff experience conference explored how a positive workplace experience is crucial to staff retention, and how the retention aims of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan can become a lived reality. 

We looked at the key themes of what good work looks like, how to better support employees and the practical measures employers can take to help staff to remain and thrive in the NHS.

We also launched a suite of retention resources for both practitioners and workforce leaders to support in the planning and implementation of organsisational retention plans. 

Explore our suite of staff experience retention resources here


Key staff experience resources

As part of our core programme work we produce and collate a range of resources showcasing adaptation and innovation in staff experience within NHS trusts. This information is aimed at helping strengthen local approaches to staff experience and improve attraction and retention of our valued workforce. 

You can find a wide range of resources across our staff experience web pages. A selection of key resources are highlighted below: