Why Should the NHS Invest in HR/OD Technology?

Oct 7, 2015 7:44:31 AMlauramorrissey

It is estimated that over 20 million workers are not delivering their full capacity or given the opportunity to realise their potential within their workplace. A lack of engagement has been reported by 1/3 of UK employees. 64% of people said that that they had more to offer in terms of skills and talent than they are currently demonstrating in their place of work 

It is estimated that over 20 million workers are not delivering their full capacity or given the opportunity to realise their potential within their workplace. A lack of engagement has been reported by 1/3 of UK employees. 64% of people said that that they had more to offer in terms of skills and talent than they are currently demonstrating in their place of work.

While this is bad news for the individuals concerned, on an organisational level there’s bad news too. Companies with low engagement scores averaged only half of the net profit of those whose engagement scores were in the top quartile. Those in the top quartile also demonstrated revenue growth that was 2.5 times greater than those that were in the bottom quartile. In terms of productivity and interest; 59% of employees who were engaged felt that their job brings out their most creative ideas, against 3% of those less engaged. Companies with high levels of engagement show a turnover rate 40% lower than companies with lower engagement levels, meaning it is a win-win situation for the company who get to keep hold of an engaged and productive worker, and the worker who is happy in their workplace.

Engaging for Success by MacLeod and Clarke describes the 2nd level of employee engagement as employees being integral to delivering and developing the overall strategy of an organisation. It is estimated that only around 25% of organisations are currently in this category.

Enough of the figures then. If you are a Finance Director, CEO or any other figure of authority within an organisation that you even suspect may contain a large amount of unengaged workers, it’s likely your priority now will be finding a solution. We think we may be able to help!

What to Consider

We understand that many costs are outside of your direct control, however many can be negotiated down when your good management skills are paired with relevant metrics. Research has shown that many HR policies relating to ‘Performance Capability’ are simply not effective, or even worse, impotent. There are many stories of non-performing or drastically underperforming staff remaining employed in unsuitable roles. Often, the budget that you have on HR/OD is spent on courses that staff don’t attend or learning content that goes unabsorbed. Sound familiar? However if the correct internal learning takes place, you can spend less on something which has a positive impact on staff performance. Within the NHS, this will also improve patient outcomes.

An organisation which is currently deemed as high risk can also look for ways to reduce any insurance premiums such as NHSLA. When an organisation becomes as close as possible to 100% compliant on statutory or mandatory training within given time frames, risk levels can be reduced within a year and can provide key evidence to the NHSLA when recorded as data. What kind of savings could be made here?

What WorkPAL Can Do

The 2013 Francis Inquiry made 290 sweeping recommendations to the NHS, from the ward level through to management. Throughout the report, the common theme is that of fundamental cultural change, something that our system “WorkPAL”: WorkPAL can bring about. WorkPAL can help you as an organisation to get your Learning Needs Analysis right. Internal provisions of learning will be tracked so that you can analyse how successful or unsuccessful any given learning intervention is in terms of improving overall performance.

WorkPAL uses a ‘social media’ style approach for every member of staff to log progress, performance and to constantly discuss and debate issues within the organisation. A simple yet effective system, it can be used anywhere and makes it easy for you: no paperwork and you won’t be drowned in unnecessary information. Plus, your employees will have no excuse for not knowing what they need to be doing at any given time.

The data that is captured from every workforce level shows clear metrics that will be agreed by you as an organisation lead and the rest of the staff regarding quality. This data can be provided to the board as evidence of what appropriate training should be invested in.
Highlights of WorkPAL include picking up on lateness, non compliance on skill competencies, the forecasting of blocks of staff for renewals and the ability to ensure that the right person is in the right job at the right time, guaranteeing a safer service to patients, which is after all, our main goal.

Employees will all have access to letting their managers know their thoughts. This can help to stamp out low behaviour ratings due to access to bespoke improvement options. Performance improvement plans can be put in place and monitored every single day. Once all the basics have been tackled using the system, the organisation will become ready for their next challenge. With all your data in one place, you can look at vertical and horizontal job roles that will build improvement, and see what behaviours and skills are required for each one. The system will help you reward those that are most capable and can be recognised as talent, to ensure you invest in the right people for future developments and to avoid a future situation anywhere near as appalling as what was witnessed at Stafford Hospital prompting the Francis Inquiry.

WorkPAL is for Everyone

Non activity will also be picked up on within the WorkPAL system. Carefully designed, the system is simple enough for even the most technology phobic of employees to easily log their progress and comments.

We know though, that any organisation can trip up even when the technology is all in place and staff have the right qualities on paper (or in this case, in the system.) We also look to you as managers to use your discretion to come up with suitable plans for improvement for all employees. You, yourself also need to know how well you are doing. If a team on the whole has a problem, there could be communication difficulties that only you have the power to change. You will receive feedback from your staff and are able to enter into improvement plans. The organisation is invested in you so in return you must be the best you can. Data can help you make informed decisions. With WorkPAL, accessing the data you need has never been easier.

WorkPAL has the potential to help you make improvements, reward your staff, encourage other staff to be better, recognise learning curves and eventually bring about a cultural change. You will be able to deal with poor performance quickly and amend, shorten and sharpen your policies. After 1-2 years of implementation of the system, we forecast intangible improvements of 2.4% which we expect conservatively equates to savings of £.4.4m, alongside improved engagement and better standards of care, benefitting society on the whole.

For more information on WorkPAL and the work we do, please visit http://www.thirsty-horses.com/ and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you require further information/advice on bringing about cultural change, regardless of the nature of your organisation!

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