Hello, my name is Anita DeHavilland and I work within the improvement team at the Academy for Research & Improvement. I have always had a passion for staff health and wellbeing, ensuring that staff feel happy and valued. That’s why when the opportunity came about for me to host the Happier Working Lives Programme with NHS Elect, I jumped at the chance.
Happier Working Lives blog part 2
Well, where do I start... Day one was amazing, there was such a buzz in the room, yes even after lunch and at the end of the day! The day was filled with engaging activities and sharing experiences of positive work already happening. It was lovely to meet the teams face to face and hear about their aspirations for creating happier working lives for all. During day one the main focus was on diagnosing. We started by looking at ‘Why be happier’ and the positive effects it has on Individuals, teams, and organisations. In support of this, the University of Warwick found that ‘happy employees are 12% more productive’.
I particularly liked a quote from Snowdon's ward ‘happiness is a natural pain killer’, followed by a great discussion on Patch Adams. The teams were asked to create a picture of what they would like to achieve from this programme, some great pictures (although a lot of stick men) of what the course means to them as a team, incorporating the wider team too.
Later we then delved a little deeper looking at how we engage with our wider teams and asking that all important question of ‘what matters to you?’. What makes a mostly good day as opposed to a mostly bad day. The teams have been tasked with asking their teams these all-important questions prior to day 2, as it will provide meaningful information about what our staff would like to create happier working and provides a baseline measure of how happy our teams currently are.
What I found most interesting is when the teams were asked to provide positive feedback to each other, some really struggled with this concept. I know it is common in healthcare, well any sector really, to focus on the negatives instead. Others found it uncomfortable to receive positive feedback. This is the mindset/culture we need to change! Personally, I love positive feedback as it gives you a sense of accomplishment, you are doing a good job and lightens your mood. If you are happy then this uplifts others around you too.
Did you know that by consistently doing the same positive task for 21 days, you can start to change your mindset? You become more focused on the positive and will seek it out. An example of this is 3 Gratitudes, everyday identify three new things to be grateful for.
Go on give it a go, what have you got to lose...
In the meantime check out this fab TED talk on the happiness advantage.
It goes without saying that I am really excited about day two where the focus will be problem solving.