NHS employee engagement is high despite perceived lack of career development opportunities
David Woods, March 18, 2010
Engagement levels at the NHS have reached an all-time high but less than half of NHS staff think they have good opportunities to develop their careers within the organisation.
The findings were revealed in this year's NHS Staff Survey published by the Care Quality Commission
The findings show job satisfaction has never been higher in the organisation, and bullying and harassment are now the lowest they have ever been. But the organisation is continuing to promote a climate of openness and dialogue in which staff feel free to raise concerns.
The survey also showed the best-ever appraisal rates. They increased by 5% to 69% for the number of staff who had received an appraisal within the past year. Almost a third (31%) said they had a well-structured appraisal and over a half (60%) said they had appraisals with personal development plans.
Some 81% of staff agreed they have an interesting job with almost three-quarters saying they used flexible working options.
In spite of the positive improvements, less than half (40%) of staff think they are working in a well-structured team environment and work pressure felt by staff was ranked at 3.08 (1 = virtually no pressure and 5 = extremely high feelings of work pressure).
Only 44% felt that there were good opportunities to develop their potential at work, while well over three-quarters (79%) of the staff surveyed received job-relevant training, learning or development in the past 12 months.
Gill Bellord, director for core member services at NHS Employers, said: "It is particularly encouraging that the NHS Staff Survey shows staff are increasingly engaged with their organisations. The survey shows two thirds of staff reporting that they feel enthusiastic about their jobs. Emerging research demonstrates a clear relationship between the quality of staff engagement and excellence in patient care."
Bellord added: "More than anything else over the past 12 months NHS Employers has sought to drive home the message that ongoing emphasis on workforce development is necessary despite financial challenges. It is essential that NHS organisations now build on the success shown in the NHS Staff Survey to meet the future challenges with confidence."