NHS staff work under incredible pressure and Covid-19 has made things even harder. In the midst of this crisis, we worked with a dedicated group of staff from Barts Health to test our Stress and Resilience framework.
Over two months, a small group of staff from both clinical and non-clinical backgrounds participated in four workshops (between 0.5-1 day per workshop) exploring their organisational experience using our pillars to structure their thinking. Here’s what we’ve learnt so far:
The group highly valued the opportunity to “come together” (via zoom) with staff from different parts of the organisation and different backgrounds. Our workshops had plenty of breakout room discussion, which gave participants a chance to share their experience and find out how others were experiencing the organisation, identifying commonalities and differences and learning from each other.
Despite the high demands on staff, participants in the group took their time whenever possible to attend the workshops regularly. This provided them with a space to think and explore – something which is a luxury for most of them. Taking time to think also highlighted an interesting tension that the framework brings out: the pull between slowing down and thinking and the urge to act and make changes. It’s a tricky balance to strike and it’s something that we’re still exploring further.
Structuring the discussion
Participants appreciated the structure the framework brings, offering a different way to approach their thinking. Using the different pillars provides an alternative way of looking at what’s already happening in the organisation in terms of wellbeing and highlights gaps.
A different way to think about stress
It was inspiring to see participants engage with the different way the framework approaches stress and resilience – moving away from the individual and thinking about the wider system that staff work in. Participants recounted how they took findings from the workshop into their teams which prompted new discussions. It also ignited curiosity and a desire to discover more.
The workshops have been a great experience so far and we’d like to thank all staff involved for their engagement. We are looking forward to the next stage of the project.
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