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An evaluation of staff engagement programmes in four National Health Service Acute Trusts

Hewison, Alistair and Gale, Nicola K and Yeats, Rowena and Shapiro, Jonathan (2013) An evaluation of staff engagement programmes in four National Health Service Acute Trusts. Journal of Health Organization and Management, 27 (1). pp. 85-105. ISSN 1477-7266

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URL of Published Version: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=17083464&ini=aob

Identification Number/DOI: 1477-7266

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to report the findings from an evaluation project conducted to investigate the impact of two staff engagement programmes introduced to four National Health Service (NHS) hospital Trusts in England. It seeks to examine this development in the context of current policy initiatives aimed at increasing the level of staff involvement in decision-making, and the related literature.

Design/methodology/approach – A mixed-methods approach incorporating document analysis, interviews, a survey and appreciative inquiry, informed by the principles of impact evaluation design, was used.

Findings – The main finding to emerge was that leadership was crucial if widespread staff engagement was to be achieved. Indeed, in some of the trusts the staff engagement programmes were seen as mechanisms for developing leadership capability. The programmes had greater impact when they were “championed” by the Chief Executive. Effective communication throughout the organisations was reported to be a prerequisite for staff engagement. Problems were identified at the level of middle management where the lack of confidence in engaging with staff was a barrier to implementation.

Practical implications – The nature of the particular organisational context is crucial to the success of efforts to increase levels of staff engagement. The measures that were found to work in the trusts would need to be adapted and applied to best meet the needs of other organisations.

Originality/value – Many health care organisations in England will need to harness the efforts of their workforce if they are to meet the significant challenges of dealing with financial restraint and increasing patient demand. This paper provides some insights on how this can be done.

Type of Work:Article
Date:01 March 2013 (Publication)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:Health Services Management Centre
Keywords:Employees involvement, Evaluation, Leadership, National Health Service, Staff engagement, Staff satisfaction, United Kingdom
Subjects:H Social Sciences (General)
Institution:University of Birmingham
Copyright Holders:Emerald
ID Code:1315
Refereed:YES
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