The Importance of Staff Engagement in the Public Sector: Part 2

In the last blog post we spoke about the importance of employee engagement within the public sector.

Using Portsmouth NHS Hospital Trust as a case study, Judy Greevy now delves into how they addressed their disappointing results from the 2012 National Staff Survey and on the path of listed as 1 the top 20% of acute trust.

Judy Greevy:

With staff engagement in the lowest 20% it was clear they had to make some big changes. Here is a detailed look at what they did…

  • Started an initiative called ‘Listening into Action’ to encourage an open culture, in which staff felt comfortable raising concerns
  • Created a framework that focused on: quality and safety, patient experience and working together – incorporating all aspects of how a department works
  • Empowering staff to identify solutions and look at better ways of working
  • Setting up a core sponsor group made up of representatives from all the staff

The results have been impressive:

In the 2014 National Staff Survey Portsmouth NHS Trust was placed in the top 20% of acute trusts, with a 15% increase in staff recommending it as a place to work. Likewise, the ‘Listening into Action’ initiative resulted in a number of measurable improvements to working practices resulting in a 25% increase in productivity.

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Evidence collected by many other organisations shows that engaged employees also:

  • Have less absence
  • Stay longer with an organisation
  • Are more innovative
  • Show improved customer service
  • Have greater staff advocacy of the organisation

But does engagement really impact on performance or is it the other way around – with performance comes greater engagement? Supporting the side of engagement, a study in a leading retail bank found that employee engagement levels predicted subsequent business level performance over a three-year horizon, whilst business unit performance only predicted engagement over a single year. No wonder 94% of the world’s most admired companies believe that their efforts to engage their employees have created a competitive advantage.

It is clear that any leader in today’s public sector needs to have a good understanding of employee engagement, as it is the key element of securing future success.

Empower your staff to identify solutions and look at better ways of working, click here to view all our courses or call 0800 542 9440 to speak to a member of our team.