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Home > Living the dream – creating a great place to work

Living the dream – creating a great place to work

Posted by admin on October 5, 2018

It has been three years since colleagues at UHMBT developed our Behavioural Standards Framework (BSF). It was developed to respond to feedback received through the national staff survey where our employee feedback was telling us that we were not a great place to work. 

Written by our employees, for our employees, using their words, the BSF set out how people should (and should not) behave in their daily interactions with colleagues, patients, partners and relatives. The BSF applies to everyone who works at the Trust and it is part of everyone’s role.  It has become part of what we do every day – with high visibility across the Trust. 

Whilst we receive a lot of positive feedback, we know that not everyone has a positive working environment. Some people do behave in ways that are unacceptable and we all need to do more to make sure that we call out unacceptable behaviour and take action. We will only provide the best possible care to our patients if every one of us gets our behaviours right, every day, in every contact. 

So far much of our communications and focus has been promoting the positive behaviours our colleagues have articulated as important. An example is asking colleagues to identify a behaviour they will focus on developing as part of their annual appraisal and development reviews. However, recent feedback from teams has included ‘the BSF lacks teeth’, ‘lack of consistency in application’ and ‘too much focus on informal processes’. Our plans for the next six to twelve months include going back to basics to the 26 core behaviours that our colleagues originally identified as important - those we do want to see and hear and those we don’t want to see and hear. 

Behaving in a manner which is professional and respectful should not be rocket science. However, we work in pressured environments, often with challenging staffing levels, and lives outside of work may also impact on how we act and behave at work, but we must recognise that how we behave impacts on those around us. 

I love the simple messages from Civility Saves Lives ( - a group of healthcare professionals aiming to raise awareness of the power of civility in medicine, highlighting ‘the importance of respect, professional courtesy and valuing each other’. Rudeness (or incivility) impacts on the lives of those around you. There is no place for incivility in any workplace – it can only negatively impact on the experiences of colleagues and it can only negatively impact on the experiences of patients. 

I believe we will only create a positive culture where every colleague feels valued and respected through leadership, engagement at all levels and building a social movement around the belief that every individual matters.  

Our BSF is central to this and we have more opportunities to develop this further in the coming months. Firstly, through our Big Conversation events, where our teams will allow us get an update on What Matters To Them so that we can identify priorities through a Colleague Experience Strategy. Secondly, through a Positive Culture Conference where we will be utilising the collective knowledge of renowned experts and lived experience of employees to further develop our anti-bullying approach. 

We are asking all colleagues to reacquaint themselves with the BSF; to really consider how their behaviour impacts on others; and to identify the contribution that they can make to create a better working environment for all. Together, we can create a great place to work but only if we all take action.

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