dekker meeting

Just and Learning Culture - Workforce Development

01 July Theme 13: Leading and Teaming Together

As the world changes following the pandemic, I would like to offer a final set of insight, resources and expertise from respected and credible sources. They are designed to support you and your resilience and effectiveness and our collective leadership during these continuing uncertain times. These are always in line with our Just and Learning Culture and Our Mersey Care Values:

Continuous improvement, Accountability, Respect, Enthusiasm and Support.

Previously, we’ve looked at the importance of compassionate leadership, human factors, respect and civility, working virtually, resilience, purpose, operating principles, psychological safety, innovation and effective team building. Today let’s think again about contributing factors to high performance and success; understanding team membership and the interdependence of teams.

The combined power of a group of people when they are working together that is greater than the total power achieved by each working separately. Confusion about team boundaries can create problems with decision making, communication and engagement. Clarity about membership enhances psychological safety and improves efficiency of team processes.

Role clarity about who is doing what can:

  • increase clarity of purpose /contribution,
  • prevent duplication of effort
  • enhance individual confidence
  • increase interpersonal trust and respect
  • reduce conflict and contribute to staff satisfaction (a predictor of patient satisfaction).

Good team working is associated with lower levels of errors, stress, injury, sickness absence, intention to leave and turnover, harassment and bullying from colleagues, and harassment and bullying from service users.

As a leader:

Make sure clarity for all about team membership roles and other independent teams

  • Ensure everyone is clear about their role in the team and each other’s roles. Ensure shared understanding of who is responsible for different types of knowledge and skill during the work and all are connected to the Team Purpose, Objectives and Operating Principles
  • Minimise hierarchy and boundaries between professionals and, when possible, encourage social interaction even if that interaction needs to be virtual
  • Cooperate with and support other teams in this crisis and acknowledge the shared, collective responsibility. Competition and conflict will be disastrous for patient care – everyone in the team should be clear about that

As a team member:

  • Have faith in each other’s integrity and competence. Trust other team members to perform at their best.

For yourself:

  • Get to know your Team and purposefully build relationships with those who are part of independent teams; promoting collaboration and cooperation

The expert view:

Professor Michael West, The key components of effective teamworking during the COVID-19 Crisis
https://people.nhs.uk/teamworking/the-key-components-of-effective-teamworking-during-the-covid-19-crisis/
Lessons from Crisis - the Chilean Mine Rescue; Insights and inspiration from Professor Amy Edmondson, Harvard Business Review https://hbr.org/2013/07/leadership-lessons-from-the-chilean-mine-rescue
The expert opinion:

CIPD 6 Steps to help your team thrive at work:     https://www.cipd.co.uk/Images/help-your-team-thrive-at-work-1_tcm18-55932.pdf

An offer for you:

Please click here for
Advancing Quality Alliance (AQuA) Team Wellbeing Huddle: with a guide, slides and video:
  • Intro
  • Need to know
  • Need to do
  • Plan
  • Understand Impact
  • Thank
Thank you for taking time to read and act on these resources.
Mersey Care has laid the groundwork for civility, respect and kindness in our Just and Learning Culture over recent years. We have feedback that shows the benefits of working in this way. We hope these updates during the height of the pandemic have been of value. 
Don't forget our guide to civility during the pandemic: here on youTube
Message Archives

23 June Theme 12: Leading and Teaming with Collaborative Operating Principles 

There has been a relaxation of lockdown measures and accompanying uncertainty and anxiety for some. As this happens, I would like to continue to offer you insight, resources and expertise from respected and credible sources. These are designed to support you and your resilience and effectiveness and our collective leadership during these ambiguous times. As always, they are in line with our Just and Learning Culture and Our Mersey Care Values:

Continuous improvement, Accountability, Respect, Enthusiasm and Support.

Previously, we’ve looked at the importance of compassionate leadership, human factors, respect and civility, working virtually, resilience, psychological safety, innovation, purpose and effective team building.

Today let’s think further about factors contributing to high performance and success. A key component is the creation of team operating principles or a team charter.

All teams have operating principles which direct the way in which individuals work:

  • Sometimes these are beautifully crafted guidelines which create environments in which every team member can contribute their best, grow and flourish.
  • Sometimes they develop unnoticed and subconsciously over time and create climates of negativity, inefficiency and fear.

Especially at this difficult time, if we consciously create collective, positive operating principles in line with our Trust’s value, we can improve performance. The team climate is likely to be more affirmative and engaging. Also the team will be more productive when all members understand and follow the ways of working and expectations that are kind, and that the team has defined.

As a leader:

Involve the whole team in defining and creating the Team Operating Principles/Team Charter:

  • Ask for views. Invite the team to share the conditions which would make the team the best place to be in terms of a pleasurable place to work and as a team that delivers its work and achieves its objectives. Collate this for the team.
  • Encourage kindness within the Team Operating Principles to each team member, and yourself. Instead of being critical, kindness  to the team and yourself involves being tolerant of flaws, caring for ourselves and others and accepting our responses when things have not gone as expected or as well as we would have liked, especially as we are working under increased pressure and uncertainty 

As a team member:

  • Share your thoughts and ideas about how the team should work, and  talk to others if they are not supporting the agreed principles
  • Help to explain and share the Team Operating Principles, enabling all to understand how the team aspires to work 

For yourself:

  • Think about the kindest, most compassionate person you have known. Treat yourself and speak to yourself the same way that they would treat you. Apply these principles into the way the team works together

An offer for you

Please see Affina OD: Effective teamworking during the Covid-19 crisis

https://www.affinaod.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Effective-teamworking-during-the-Covid-19-crisis.pdf 

A hidden role for Health Care, Emotional Labour   https://people.nhs.uk/compassion-spaces/emotional-labour/

17 June Theme 11: Leading and Teaming with Shared Purpose

As we continue to see the relaxation of lockdown measures, Amanda Oates would like to continue to offer you insight, resources and expertise. These come from respected and credible sources to support you, and your resilience and effectiveness and our collective leadership during these continuing uncertain times. As ever they are in line with our Just and Learning Culture and Our Mersey Care Values:

Continuous improvement, Accountability, Respect, Enthusiasm and Support.

Previously, we’ve looked at the importance of compassionate leadership, human factors, respect and civility, working virtually, resilience, psychological safety, innovation and effective team building.

Today let’s think about contributing factors to high performance and success - a key component is shared purpose.

Shared purpose is what happens when a group of individuals align their belief systems or values with a common challenge, vision or goal. Purpose is the 'why', not the 'what' or the 'how' of change, and should act as a guide, driver and motivator of decisions and actions. It taps into people’s need for meaningful work; to be part of something bigger than ourselves and encapsulates people’s cognitive, emotional and spiritual commitment to a cause. Purpose becomes shared when we find commonalities between our values, beliefs and aspirations and those of others and join forces to work towards a common goal; we have been doing this at pace through the Covid crisis.

As a Leader: Involve the whole team in defining and summarising the team purpose.

  • Step 1: Create a safe space - It’s important to create a space, real or virtual, in which genuine two way conversations can take place so we can listen to and understand others’ perspectives
  • Step 2: Looking for commonalities - Looking for commonalties helps us move beyond conflicting agendas and priorities to a common understanding and ambition. How would we explain our services to someone who didn’t know?
  • Step 3: Design together - Agree how to translate our shared understanding into an action plan that will get people doing things to contribute to achieving that shared purpose.

As a Team member:

  • We all have individual values, experiences, beliefs and aspirations which contribute to a shared purpose. We need to discover where these overlap. What is it we share? We can only find out by talking to each other.
  • Help to explain and share the Team Purpose, enabling others to understand what the team is trying to achieve

For Yourself:

  • Offer your words to describe purpose. We are all part of shared purpose and have a responsibility for our own contribution.

An offer for you:

Please see Helen Bevan’s slides on Creating Shared Purpose with templates and suggestions https://www.slideshare.net/HelenBevan/creating-shared-purpose

The expert opinion:

Creating a common purpose and a supportive culture: Jatinder Harchowal. Learning from the Nightingale Hospitals

https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/audio-video/common-purpose-culture-jatinder-harchowal

 

09 June Theme 10: Leadership and Innovation

Amanda Oates, Executive Director of Workforce, says:

As we see the relaxation of lockdown measures, I would like to continue to offer you insight, resources and expertise from respected and credible sources. They aim to support you and your resilience and effectiveness, as well as our collective leadership during these continuing uncertain times. They are presented in line with our Just and Learning Culture and Our Mersey Care Values:

Continuous improvement, Accountability, Respect, Enthusiasm and Support.

In previous weeks we’ve looked at the importance of compassionate leadership, human factors, respect and civility, working virtually , resilience, psychological safety and  effective team building. Today let’s think about the importance of innovation and leadership when responding to new challenges.

Societal challenges require transformative solutions, and the last few months have been a reminder about the importance of innovation for the public good. Creative thinking at pace, breaking down of previous learned patterns of behaviour and established processes and methods of operating and collaborating are having to be reimagined. Support is needed to identify opportunity and resilience to contend with accelerating change.

 
As a Leader: To enable rapid improvements across health and social care using observed learning from the COVID19 crisis:
    Build knowledge and capability:  recognise frontline staff as the subject matter experts; having them at the heart of all processes is required for designing, testing, learning and spreading change in rapid timescales
    Establish regular processes to check in with staff on the frontline; ask staff during their daily handovers/debriefs, “What have we done well today/this week?”, “What can we share from what we have learnt to help others in a similar situation?”.  Collating feedback and responsive processes to allay concerns raised and share learning
    Build trust and engagement: trust staff to make decisions; reduce barriers to decision making
    Build positive communication: share  clear and agreed aims to support staff to work towards generating potential solutions. Keep communication succinct, accurate and up to date
 
As a Team member:
    Take a role in making sure as many team members are informed and engaged in the process with a clear objective shared – which may well change quickly
For Yourself:
    Be willing to collaborate, change practice together, share success and failures and learn as a team. Offer ideas and suggestions for change 

An offer for you: Please see AQuA KnowledgeXchange

The latest thinking and resources to support members on a range of topics. These include a range of publications, toolkits, videos, case studies and documents that we have specially curated from different sources within our network and wider health and social care organisations. They are based around these themes:

 
• Analytics and Business Intelligence
• Communications and Engagement
• Improvement
• Leadership
• Learning Package
• Person Centred Care
• Safety
• Systems Working
• Workforce Wellbeing
In particular around Quality Improvement and Rapid Change Learning, click here:
The expert opinion:
Corona Virus, Fear and Adaptive Capacity
Professor Sidney Dekker talks with Todd Conklin

03 June Theme 9: Psychological Safety in Teams

As we move out of strict lockdown measures Executive Director of Workforce Amanda Oates would like to continue to offer you insight, resources and expertise from respected and credible sources. They are designed to support you, and your resilience and effectiveness and our collective leadership during continuing uncertain times.

They are always in line with our Just and Learning Culture and Our Mersey Care Values:

Continuous improvement, Accountability, Respect, Enthusiasm and Support.

In previous weeks we’ve looked at the importance of compassionate leadership, human factors, respect and civility, working virtually, resilience and effective team building. Today let’s think about psychological safety, the ability to show and employ yourself without fear of negative consequences, in teams.

The learning capacity of teams and organisations is the difference between adaptation and paralysis. It is when people are able to be themselves, speak up, ask for help and offer an idea without fear of retribution. Distributed work and unusual circumstances are making us realise we have to be more deliberately—more proactively—open. We have to be explicit in sharing our ideas, questions, and concerns, because we can't just overhear what's happening in the workplace and join in a conversation.

As a Leader:

Always, you should be:

  • Setting the stage - reminding people of the importance of the work they do and the purpose and priorities that they serve. Also emphasising uncertainty and challenge; no one, leaders included, has all the answers in these circumstance 
  • Inviting participation - act of asking a question, ‘What do you think? What views do you have on this? What are we missing? How do you feel?’ Sharing and learning things together can be much easier than learning on your own. 
  • Responding productively - be respectful and appreciative of the fact that someone is willing to say something. Offer help, enable your team by creating the conditions in which they can best contribute to the joint enterprise.

Particularly in these challenging times:

  • Reduce – the impact of what your team are up against; anticipate and plan for future challenges, using learning from previous experiences 
  • Respond – well to the challenge together; resilience of a team comes from combining each other’s capabilities, sharing ideas and innovations to address the issue. 
  • Reflect and renew – this involves taking time to recover from stress, learning from experience, and adapting as necessary. 

As a team member: 

  • Share what you are thinking, be proactively open with feelings and ideas and encourage team members to do the same. Offer support and a listening ear to colleagues. 

For yourself:

  • Be conscious of your own inner voice: what can I do to help myself feel more psychologically safe? Challenge self limiting thoughts. Experiencing symptoms of stress doesn’t mean you aren’t up to the job, it means you’re human.

An offer for you:

Please see ‘Our NHS People’ website for guides: Team Resilience and Leaders; Looking after your teams

https://people.nhs.uk/guides/team-resilience/

https://people.nhs.uk/guides/looking-after-your-team/

The expert opinion:

Professor Amy Edmondson on the Power of psychological safety in distributed work:

https://blog.dropbox.com/topics/work-culture/amy-edmondson-on-the-power-of-psychological-safety-in-distribute

The British Psychological society: The psychological needs of healthcare staff as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic

https://www.bps.org.uk/sites/www.bps.org.uk/files/News/News%20-%20Files/Psychological%20needs%20of%20healthcare%20staff.pdf

27 May Theme 8: Inclusive Leadership

Mersey Care’s Executive Director of Workforce Amanda Oates says:

I would like to continue the offer of insight, resources and expertise from respected and credible sources. They are here to support you and your resilience and effectiveness, as well as our collective leadership during these uncertain times. As ever they are in line with our Just and Learning Culture and Our Mersey Care Values:

Continuous improvement, Accountability, Respect, Enthusiasm and Support

In previous weeks we’ve looked at the importance of compassionate leadership, positive human factors, respect and civility, working virtually, resilience and rest and effective team building.

Today I invite you to think about Inclusive Leadership. This is how we consciously make sure that we actively seek out and consider different views and perspectives, hear different voices and include diversity of thought, diversity of experience and diversity of perspective in everything that we do.

The world is changing rapidly and although we are all in the same storm we are not in the same boat; changes that are being made to ways of working may impact on people with different protected characteristics in different ways. It is important that we consider inclusion in our thought processes. We want to be sure that all staff feel they are treated respectfully and fairly, their voices and opinions are listened to, they are valued and that they feel that they belong.

As a Leader:

  • Demonstrates commitment - Visibly shows commitment to diversity and makes equality and inclusion a personal priority 
  • Humility - Is modest about capabilities, admits mistakes and create the space to hear different voices and for others to contribute
  • Awareness of bias - Shows awareness of personal blind spots as well as flaws in the system, works hard to give merit where it is due
  • Curiosity about others - Has an open mindset, shows curiosity about others, listens without judgement, seeks to understand others with empathy
  • Cultural Intelligence - Attentive to others cultures and adapts as required
  • Effective collaboration - Empowers others, pays attention to diversity of thought and psychological safety

As a Team member:

  • Support team members when they speak up to share ideas to increase feelings of belonging and reduce anxiety of saying the wrong thing
  • Reach out to colleagues with a protected characteristics or those with difficult personal circumstances to offer support 

For Yourself:

  • Put yourself in other shoes and don’t leave it to the person subjected to exclusion or poor behaviour to challenge it alone

An offer for you:

Please watch this film clip of Prerana Issar, the Chief People Officer for the NHS. Ms Issar has worked with Amanda Oates to support our own Trust’s Just and Learning messages.

https://people.nhs.uk/including-others/how-to-be-inclusive-while-leading-in-a-fast-moving-service/

Workforce risk assessment – a letter to all staff:

All Mersey Care staff have been encouraged to update their diversity data and have been reminded of the process internally this week with links on the staff intranet.

The expert opinion:

Harvard Business Review, The Key to Inclusive Leadership https://hbr.org/2020/03/the-key-to-inclusive-leadership

Roger Kline

Leadership in the NHS | BMJ Leader

https://bmjleader.bmj.com/content/3/4/129

19 May Theme 7: Resilience, Rest and Wellbeing 

During Mental Health Awareness week, executive director of workforce Amanda Oates says:

Particularly this week with its focus on kindness, I would like to continue the offer of insight, resources and expertise from respected and credible sources. They are here to support you and your resilience and effectiveness, as well as our collective leadership during these uncertain times. As always they are in line with our Just and Learning Culture and Our Mersey Care Values.

Continuous improvement, Accountability, Respect, Enthusiasm and Support.

In previous weeks we’ve looked at the importance of compassionate leadership, positive human factors, respect and civility, working virtually and effective team building now and in these difficult times.

Today I invite you to think about personal resilience. This is the way we cope with challenging and difficult situations in order to overcome them; it’s how we personally recover from stress.

The world is changing rapidly. It would be hard not to worry about what it all means for yourself, and for those you love. It is difficult but crucial to manage your worry and anxiety. As people working in healthcare, we are already hugely resilient, committed and skilled. We can become more resilient, even in the most stressful and unpredictable times such as now by understand the reality of our own personal circumstances and the things we may need to act on. This will better prepare us to start taking positive actions, no matter how small, to give us a sense of moving forward with our lives.

As a leader – the role of leader is crucial to role model self care and compassion:

  • Work it through; be prepared for these new situations by thinking through and mentally rehearse some of the likely scenarios you may face, to give you thinking time and confidence
  • Role model taking care of yourself and asking after the wellbeing of others
  • Be a realistic optimist; it’s tough, but at some point, the crisis will be over 

As a team member:

  • Watch out for the behaviour of colleagues, support each other and signpost to help available
  • Offering support to those struggling with the current situation. Ask the question ‘how can I help you?’, to understand the challenge and pressure colleagues are feeling 

For yourself:

  • Recognise and feed your own needs. Sleep, food, drink, break times, feeling secure, human factors
  • Set boundaries and explore the appropriate use of ‘no’. This doesn’t have to sound obstructive
  • Let go of what no longer benefits you or areas of your life
  • Set achievable goals and constantly work towards them
  • Keep connected and ask for help

The expert opinion:

Dr Matthew Whalley and Dr Hardeep Kaur from Psychology Tools share a guide to help manage worry

https://www.psychologytools.com/assets/covid-19/guide_to_living_with_worry_and_anxiety_amidst_global_uncertainty_en-gb.pdf

Our NHS People: ABC Guide to personal resilience

https://people.nhs.uk/guides/abc-guide-to-being-personally-resilient/

An offer for you: watch this resilience video from Ben Towell and Becky Dickens, featuring colleagues from across services.

13 May Theme 6: Collective Leadership Virtually

 Amanda Oates, Executive Director of Workforce, says:

I would like to continue to offer you insight, resources and expertise from respected and credible sources. They are there to support you, and your resilience and effectiveness, as well as our collective leadership during these uncertain times. As ever they are in line with our Just and Learning Culture and Our Mersey Care Values:

Continuous improvement, Accountability, Respect, Enthusiasm and Support.

Today I invite you to think about how virtual working can be as positive and productive as possible.

Many people are now working remotely, without having had much time to prepare. It’s challenging to manage yourself in quarantine without face to face human interaction and without the structure of a typical workday. It’s even more challenging to manage a team under those conditions.

Pressurised conditions, heightened uncertainty, and an overall sense of dislocation are making doing all our jobs even more difficult. We need to reset expectations for how work gets done and adapt our collective leadership style to a new context. We must consciously reach out and connect with others, to gain and give support.

Mersey Care has introduced Skype for Business which has enabled people to stay connected effectively. However when work communication becomes mediated by screens and text, we have to allow for a higher likelihood of misinterpretation.

As a leader

The role of leader is crucial to role model positive words and behaviour and virtual presence:

  • Ensure communication is regular, clear and concise. Refocus and agree goals and check on progress.
  • Use active listening, listen for:
      • FACTS: listen to the fact, data and the specific details that people share
      • FEELINGS: listen to the feelings expressed or implied through the tone of voice or pace of delivery
      • INTENTION: listen to what the speaker intends to do, their commitment to any intended actions. Listen for any unconscious intention (reading between the lines) 

As a team member:

  • Ensure purpose of work and principles of working together are agreed and well understood
  • Be sincere and straightforward; check understanding. Celebrate achievements explicitly
  • Offering support to those struggling with the current situation. Ask the question ‘how can I help you?’, to understand the challenge and pressure colleagues are feeling

For yourself:

  • Reframe your role and priorities, establish routine, balance boundaries of work and home, set goals, stay connected, take breaks, ask for support
  • Be forgiving of what others are doing and writing as we all adapt to new ways of working

The expert opinion:

The King’s Fund: Leading through Covid-19 project

https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/leading-virtual-meetings-top-tips

Harvard Review: 8 Ways to Manage Your Team While Social Distancing

https://hbr.org/2020/03/8-ways-to-manage-your-team-while-social-distancing?utm_campaign=hbr&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social

An offer for you:

Mersey Care’s guide to Skype for Business

http://sharepoint.merseycare.nhs.uk/Documents/MCT%20CUSTOMER%20UPDATE%20%20Skype%20for%20Business.docx

Our NHS People Remote Working Guide

https://people.nhs.uk/guides/remote-working-guide/

5 May Theme 5: Respect and Civility

 Amanda Oates, Executive Director of Workforce, says:

In this time of extreme pressure and adversity, I would like to continue to offer you insight, resources and expertise. They come from respected and credible sources and can support you, and your resilience and effectiveness, as well as our collective leadership during these uncertain times. They are in line with our Just and Learning Culture and our Mersey Care Values:

        Continuous improvement, Accountability, Respect, Enthusiasm and Support.

In previous weeks we’ve looked at the importance of compassionate leadership, positive human factors and effective team building.

Today I invite you to think about how behaviour can have a positive impact. Evidence shows that in healthcare civility can save lives. Our response to pressure and anxiety can sometimes manifest in frustration or anger which although understandable can have a wider impact then we realise.

Civility in work environments matter because it reduces errors, reduces stress and fosters excellence. Excellence in healthcare is dependent on teams, and teams work best when all members feel safe and have a voice. Civility between team members creates a sense of psychological safety and enables us to come up with better ideas. It is a key ingredient of great teams.

Incivility robs teams of their potential. In times of stress, anxiety and uncertainty can lead to safety concerns, distrust and conflict.

You can see the evidence and references on the trust’s Just and Learning microsite.

As a leader

 The role of leader is crucial to role model positive behaviour:

  • Role model civil and kind behaviour, being mindful of the impact of what you say and do, to others directly and to bystanders
  • Acknowledge the complexity and unprecedented circumstances
  • Model fallibility, no one has all of the answers and we are all learning how to navigate these circumstances
  • Offering support to those struggling with the current situation. Ask the question ‘how can I help you?’, to understand the challenge and pressure staff are feeling
  • Giving evidence based feedback to those who display uncivil behaviour and help them to understand the impact of civility

As a team member:

  • Be civil and supportive to colleagues
  • Share feedback positively and constructively; the SPEAK framework can help (see below).

For yourself:

  • Before you speak, or make comments in writing ask three questions: is it true, is it necessary, is it kind?

The expert view:

Consultant Dr Chris Turner, ‘When rudeness in teams turns deadly’

https://www.tedxexeter.com/speakers/chris-turner-2/ 

(Dr Turner has worked with Mersey Care on the next stage of online training)

An offer for you:

Mersey Care’s SPEAK framework can help to give feedback effectively

Seen it – Check in

Prepare – Read the situation

Emotion check – understand the feelings

Ask – explore

Key points – summarise conversation and agree next steps

Learn more:

Two free modules of online training here.

Be Kind in Lockdown – a new video from the Trust’s civility team

 

28 April Theme 4: Team Based Working

 Amanda Oates, Mersey Care’s Executive Director of Workforce, says:

In this time of extreme pressure and adversity, I would like to offer you insight, resources and expertise from respected and credible sources. These can support your resilience and effectiveness as well as our collective leadership during these uncertain times.

They are in line with Mersey Care’s own values and our Just and Learning Culture:

Continuous improvement, Accountability, Respect, Enthusiasm and Support

Today I invite you to think about the way we can work together to respond to this unprecedented situation. Research shows that team decision making as close as possible to the patient or service user has the best outcomes and consequences.

Teams that clearly understand what they are doing and striving to achieve, how they are working and who is doing what, perform most successfully. They can also be the most motivating and positive teams to work in. The current challenges are building these team structures, processes, supportive relationships and communities of interdependent teams at pace. Often people are coming together to form a team for the first time.

Right now, the situation we find ourselves in requires collaboration, communication and the sharing of expertise at many levels. Leadership now brings time pressures and the need for teamwork with a great many people from different departments, organisations, areas of expertise and over wide geographical areas.

As a Leader:

  • the role of Leader is crucial to guide and support the team, keeping the holistic view
  • Keep in contact with the team, ensure everyone is effectively briefed, updated and personally supported
  • What: be clear on the purpose of the team and the task
  • How: share and discuss how the team will work together; speaking up, sharing ideas, show compassion and respect
  • Who: enable everyone to feel sense of belonging by being clear who is part of the team and who is supporting them more widely

As a team member:

  • Share what’s happening and what you need with leader and other team members; help others understand the team purpose, ways of working and support network

For yourself:

  • Be compassion and considerate to others, acknowledge people can behave differently under pressure

The expert view:

Professor Michael West, The key components of effective teamworking during the COVID-19 Crisis

Lessons from Crisis - the Chilean Mine Rescue; Insights and inspiration from Professor Amy Edmondson, Harvard Business Review

An offer for you:

Please click here for Advancing Quality Alliance (AQuA) Team Wellbeing Huddle: with a guide, slides and video

  • Intro
  • Need to know
  • Need to do
  • Plan
  • Understand Impact
  • Thank

20 April Theme 3: Human Factors, Essential Operations and Safety

Amanda Oates, Executive Director of Workforce, says:

In this time of extreme pressure and adversity, I would like to offer insight, resources and expertise from respected credible sources to support your resilience and effectiveness and our collective leadership during these uncertain times. These are in line with our Just and Learning Culture and Our Mersey Care Values:

Continuous improvement, Accountability, Respect, Enthusiasm and Support.

Today I invite you to think about the way we can deliver our essential operations and keep safe. We need to consider human factors as we work across unfamiliar environments, across boundaries and with new procedures. And always we’re seeking compassionate, collective leadership and psychological safety in these new circumstances.

Human Factors are organisational, individual, environmental and job characteristics that influence behaviour in ways that can impact safety in clinical and healthcare contexts that means lives are at stake.

It is the application of scientific methods to the design and evaluation of tasks, jobs, equipment, environments and systems to make them more compatible with the needs, capabilities and limitations of people. In healthcare human factors can improve human performance, optimise wellbeing, improve staff and patient safety and experience. They can improve the overall system performance.

Human factors have an increased role when working under pressure and pace. Effective leadership, teamwork and communication can help to keep us safe.

 

 

As a leader:

The role of leader is crucial to guide and support, and to keep the holistic view and the emergency plan:

  • Brief the whole team, even if rapid and concise
  • Encourage staff to speak up and raise any concerns
  • Encourage staff to rehearse their practices and processes in preparation for working under increased pressure

 

As a team member:

  • Raise safety concerns or operational issues, note that everyone has different perspective

  • Watch out for colleagues who are under stress and support them by sharing workload and giving emotional support

 

For yourself:

  • Look out for the stresses that affect performance in yourself and others, such as tiredness, worries, other’s poor behaviour, illness, noise, distractions and hunger.

 

An offer for you:

  1. Key human factors messages – when working under pressure This is a two page 2020 aide memoire from the Clinical Human Factors Group.

 

  1. The expert view: Clinical Human Factors Group, Martin Bromiley OBE: Working under Pressure, Podcast 1: “Everything has Changed” – Audio podcast team briefing about working with Covid Patients

 

  1. The Support Workers Collective. Readiness: Human factors have been linked to readiness to work - an article from Manchester University’s Dr Nathan Smith

14 April

#BeKind – Theme 2: Compassionate Leadership and Psychological Safety


Mersey Care, like every part in the health sector, found itself on an uncharted front line when the Covid-19 pandemic began. Our work on encouraging respect and civility has been vital to help our staff to be more enabled as they face the challenges of delivering care in unique circumstances. Amanda Oates, Mersey Care's Executive Director of Workforce, told staff: "In this time of extreme pressure and adversity, I'd like to offer you insight, resources and expertise from respected and credible sources." This is to support you and your resilience and effectiveness and our collective leadership during these uncertain times, in line with our Just and Learning Culture and our Mersey Care Values. "


Continuous improvement, Accountability, Respect, Enthusiasm and Support.


Each week I will share a theme that ties into JLC around leadership, teamworking and personal effectiveness and resilience. Today I invite you to think about the way we can continue to build compassionate, collective leadership and psychological safety in these fast changing circumstances. As the NHS responds to Covid-19 challenges it is vital that as leaders and managers, we model and promote compassion in an enduring way including self-compassion. Connection and compassion are certain and unchanging. They provide a safe refuge in the face of this onslaught on health and care systems and our wider communities. Compassionate leadership is the most potent way people can deal with what can feel frightening and overwhelming, always with awareness of core human needs at work.

As a Leader:

The role of leader is crucial to guide and support, keep the holistic view and emergency plan:
  • acknowledge the complexity and unprecedented circumstances
  • model fallibility: no one has all of the answers and we are all learning how to navigate these circumstances
  • ask the question ‘how can I help you?’ to understand the challenge and pressure staff are feeling
  • people need to feel autonomy and control; give voice and influence over decisions which affect care and environment
  • create sense of connection and belonging and support to help people cope with being frightened or overwhelmed
  • staff want to deliver high quality care, ensure competence and skills, breaks and manageable workloads for sustainability
  • ensure team is always supported by communicating who is in the chain of deputies for key leadership roles. 

As a team member:

  • share what you are thinking, be proactively open with our feelings and ideas.

For yourself:

  • we are all leaders. We all have a responsibility for our own contribution. This is Personal Leadership.

  • be conscious of your own inner voice: what can I do to help myself feel more psychologically safe? Challenge self-limiting thoughts

Resources - offers for you:

Please click here for a dedicated Mersey Care checklist:
This is our checklist and team succession planning tool, adapted from Amy Edmondson’s "The Leader’s Tool Kit for Building Psychological Safety".

The expert view: Please click here to read and watch Covid-19: why compassionate leadership matters in a crisis - insight on compassion and human needs from Suzie Bailey and Professor Michael West from the King’s Fund
Compassion is core during the pandemic; a video of reflections from Professor Michael West of the Kings Fund:
Supporting our people: Managing health and wellbeing whilst looking after others (new guides and support from #OurNHSPeople)

 

7 April message

Amanda invited us to think about the way we can adapt to working in this unfamiliar territory, transferring our skills, working flexibly and maintaining our wellbeing and confidence. For some, the anxiety in this crisis will be a difficult feeling to work with. It may inspire fear about relationships, loved ones, or work.
 
This can induce feelings of being overwhelmed or wanting to withdraw to safety. It may impact how capable people see themselves in their role and how they work. Some of our colleagues will have to make decisions or work in a way that challenges their values.
 
Yet what comes out of this type of anxiety is an ability to overcome obstacles, and triumph – particularly knowing that this is a distinct period of time. 
As a leader:
  • Share that leaders don’t necessarily have all the answers in these new and rapidly changing circumstances
  • Ensure protocols are clear and practices and equipment are explained. If time, give new staff the opportunity to practice using simulation
  • Invite ideas, views and perspectives from the team.
 
As a team member:
 
  • Share ideas and perspectives. Speak up if you don’t understand
 
For yourself:
 
Apply FACE COVID steps (see below) using the principles of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) to support you to respond effectively to the crisis.
 
The expert view:
Please click here to watch ‘Perfection is the enemy of the good’, Michael J Ryan from the World Health Organisation speaking on Twitter. He says that if you need to be absolutely right before you move, you will never win. Perfection is the enemy of the good when it comes to emergency management.
An offer for you:
 
FACE COVID eBook – by Russ Harris
 
 
 
F = Focus on what’s in your control
A = Acknowledge your thoughts and feelings
C = Come back into your body
E = Engage in what you are doing
 
C = Committed action
O = Opening up
V = Values
I = Identify resources
D = Disinfect & distance