Investing in our staff
We are committed to making sure our staff are properly trained, well supported and are able to balance their home life with their work – we will always try and fit in with the working preferences of our staff as long as the needs of each service are met.
Research indicates that progressive employment practices like these, which support the development of a positive and healthy work environment, are essential to the delivery of safe and effective care services. It is clear that investment in the Trust’s workforce will improve the care provided to service users and carers.
Our commitment to supporting and developing staff was officially recognised in 2005 when we were the first West Yorkshire NHS trust to be awarded the Improving Working Lives (IWL) ‘Practice Plus’ award. IWL was a national standard that aimed to make improvements to the working environment for all NHS staff.
Following on from IWL and reaffirming our commitment to staff, the Trust wanted to work with the Investors in People (IiP) standard. We were successfully accredited with IIP status in June 2009 and re-accredited in June 2012. Here’s what our report said:
‘The Trust, in many ways, epitomises the Investors in People philosophy. Not because everything it does is right, but because there is a constant drive to do things better which is underpinned by a real and honest respect for people as individuals – be they service users, colleagues, staff, managers or directors.”
IiP provides a framework that helps an organisation improve its people management practices. The focus is on continuous improvement and learning, using feedback gathered from staff and managers.
It focuses on seven key factors:
- Business planning process – ensuring that the Trust’s objectives are clearly understood by care groups, services, teams and individuals at a level appropriate to their role.
- Communication – effective two way communication with an emphasis on face to face discussion. All staff should understand what their service/team is trying to achieve and are encouraged to become involved in the development of their service.
- Appraisal – ensuring that all staff have a regular and meaningful appraisal.
- Managers – ensuring that managers are properly supported to achieve their objectives and that all staff understand the role of their manager.
- Induction – to make sure new staff to the Trust, and those who change job role, are properly inducted.
- Training and development – ensuring all staff have access to learning and development opportunities that will support their own personal development and the achievement of service objectives.
- Evaluation on all the factors above followed by action to improve people management and learning strategies.
We hope the Investors in People standard will:
- Help us be a model employer, enabling the recruitment of high quality candidates who have the right skills, knowledge and competencies.
- Support job retention and the career development/succession planning of the Trust’s workforce. IiP has been shown to improve levels of staff motivation and job satisfaction.
- Improve the effectiveness of our investment in learning and development by ensuring that there is a clear link to the Trust’s objectives.
- Encourage devolved decision-making and a greater sense of ownership, which fits in with the Trust’s performance management strategy.
For more information visit the Investors in People website.
What do our staff say about their about work-life balance?
“On my return from maternity leave I initially reduced my working hours. This was discussed with my line manager who fully supported me. When my children started school I re-arranged my hours to fit in with school hours. I was always fully supported in doing this.”
“I’m allowed to start and leave early to avoid heavy traffic. I have been on many training and development days which I have found beneficial both personally and in enabling me an improved service for service users. I also received support from occupational health –stress busting aromatherapy massages at reduced prices!“
“Staff can request their shift patterns. They know what the service requires and make sure the needs are met – they contribute a lot to the system working. Ultimately it improves working lives – people can fit their shifts around families and other commitments.”
“Working flexibly has hugely improved things for me. I couldn’t go back to working fixed hours it just wouldn’t work for me with young children.”
“When my mother in law was rushed into hospital I worked flexibly to care for her and take her to appointments when she had been discharged from hospital.”
“I work eight sessions a week and can vary start and stop times within limits. I can also vary my working days and times to suit work-based events for example undertaking training. This is incredibly helpful in promoting a work-life balance.“
“I successfully completed my degree and undertook a 12 month programme on leadership and career development. This provided me with the opportunity of director level mentorship. As a result I have a better understanding of organisations and several skills: managing people, time oppression, dealing with conflict and many others. Hence my enormous gratitude to the Trust for its continuous support.”