Project name: Your voice, our future

Objectives: To bring the voice of staff to the centre of performance improvement and culture change.

The background and issue to be solved

Norfolk Community Health & Care NHS Trust recognised the need to improve their engagement with staff following staff survey results which indicated that there was some concern about staff not feeling listened to.

Their new CEO recognised that she needed staff engagement to sit at the centre of her broader approach to change and improvement.

Why did they choose Clever Together?

Having read about our work in industry press, the CEO invited us to share our experience then commissioned us to support the development of a new staff engagement capability. Our project was seen as an essential investment into the development of a more positive culture, by connecting leaders with staff, and creating a voice for the people.

Our Journey together

After helping the leadership team to define and agree a clear mandate for our work, we wrote a “project narrative” to generate interest from staff:

  • we developed a staff engagement brand called ‘Your Voice; Our Future’ and created a smart platform for engaging with staff on a range of topics;
  • we designed their first online workshop process;
  • we helped the CEO to champion the campaign throughout, leading the promotional communications including ‘Save the Date’ cards which were posted to staff;
  • we helped leaders issue a series of countdown communications to a “launch day”, supported by an active steering group including staff from clinical, staff-side (union reps) and corporate services.

Generating insight

We designed, hosted and facilitated the first ‘Your Voice; Our Future’ campaign as a series of high-intensity online workshops focused on barriers and behaviours. This significantly improved the number of people engaging in strategic discussions. Compared to past exercises, three times more staff participated than in traditional face-to-face meetings – the latter also took four times longer and lacked transparency.

As an example, during one 20 day online workshop, 900+ staff posted 8,500+ ideas, comments and votes about what behaviours we should expect from staff. Our semantic analyses helped convert this input into new insight – a new, co-created behaviour framework, which has been embedded to enhance mandatory training and the Trust’s “people offer”.

Getting into action

We helped the leadership and steering group to take action in response to the results of our first campaign in two ways, by embedding:

  • the demands and goals co-created by staff into strategy and programmes of change;
  • our methods as the main way of keeping staff involved in change, informed and inspired.

The legacy and impact of our work

Our methods enabled NCH&C’s new CEO to rapidly develop and deploy a new action plan – formed around the key themes generated from our analysis of the lived experience of their staff. Within a month:

  • workstreams were allocated to different members of the Executive Team as a promise to staff that they would get into action;
  • each Exec in turn used the data we captured to identify and act immediately upon a number of quick wins;
  • we developed comms to provide staff with ongoing updates on progress – visible signs of change, such as improving signage and making the gym more accessible; and
  • longer term and complex issues were embedded into strategies and explored through online conversations.

The impact of this work led to NCH&C being shortlisted for a national Health Service Journal award (won by our other client that year) and shared as best practice in the ‘Towards Commissioning for Workplace Compassion’ guide. Better still, NCH&C became the first Community Trust to achieve Outstanding in their CQC rating – our partnership is cited as being critical to that journey. Our methods are now part of the Trust’s way of doing things fully aligned with their values of community, compassion and creativity.