This site is intended for health professionals only

Employee engagement ‘key’ to improving services

7 May 2014

Share this article

Employee engagement is key to meeting the challenges faced by the NHS, a major new report has claimed. 

Research has shown that mortality rates would be 2.4% lower for every increase in engagement. 

High engagement was linked to staff wellbeing and lower than average levels of staff absence. 

Commissioned by the Healthcare People Management Association and NHS Employers, the report showcases eight case studies from well performing NHS trusts. 

Nita Clarke, director of the Involvement and Participation Association (IPA), who carried out the research, said that best practice sharing within the NHS must improve. 

Clarke said the report should be a blueprint for driving up engagement in the NHS.

Employee-led organisational values, visible senior leaders and a strong employee voice are key to success, the report claims. 

Joe Dromey, head of policy and research at the IPA said: “The NHS workforce has faced significant challenges in recent years. Yet employee engagement has stayed relatively stable and has even increased in the last two years. However, with engagement in the NHS being lower than in the labour market as a whole, and with substantial variations between trusts, there is significant scope for improvement. 

“Although senior leaders set the tone, line managers are the people who really make the difference to engagement. Line managers must ensure they have effective appraisals with their reports, as part of a year-round process of performance management. They need to encourage and support effective team working, something that has been found to be strongly correlated with engagement. Line managers themselves need to be engaged, and they often need training and support in order to better engage their teams.”

The research is available to view on the IPA website