Why behaviours matter...revolutionising performance management in the NHS
Many organisations’ selection, performance and development processes emphasise employee technical skills and job knowledge over and above occupational behaviour and attitude. Effective performance management requires a balance of these two elements, as technical skills alone are often not enough for sustained success. Attention to both will be a key differentiator for any service provision environment. Under the Government’s Agenda for Change programme, NHS staff job descriptions and remuneration rates are controlled and informed by the ‘Knowledge and Skills Framework’ (KSF).
Southend University Hospital NHS Trust believes that the KSF provides insufficient detail regarding the behaviour and attitude required to deliver world-class services in a true patient focussed manner. Therefore, Southend wanted:
● To develop a local integrated competency framework to specify performance expectations for all staff, with both behaviour and technical skill components.
● To ensure successful implementation by building high levels of employee engagement and ‘buy-in’ to the process and outputs.
The Keil Centre was engaged to help with this project, and developed an evidencebased, multi-method approach to analyse the jobs of Nurses, Midwives, Pharmacy staff, Allied Healthcare Professionals and Scientists at Southend. 250 staff participated in workshops and a sample of patients engaged in structured questionnaires. A structured competency framework was developed from the data,
organised under the acronym PRIDE: Positive Leadership, Relations, Information, Delivery and Expertise.
Having an effective and trusted mechanism to understand and communicate the key occupational behaviours necessary to drive a business forward is an important consideration for most organisations. In recognition of the need to achieve this in a flexible and practical manner, The Keil Centre has developed JobCraft™, an evidence-based tool-kit that enables the identification and definition of job competencies on either a single or multiple role level. Using our innovative card-sort approach, current clients have found this to be a highly user-friendly method for generating comprehensive competency descriptions.
● Recruitment and Selection
● Performance Management and Development Review
● Coaching and Personal Development
● Change Management
For more information on the PRIDE project, JobCraft or other issues relating to Performance Management and Competency Development , please contact Ken Gray
Improving Safety Culture in the Construction Industry
The UK construction industry employs more people than any other industry. Statistics would also suggest that it is one of the most dangerous industries in which to work. One of the UK’s leading construction companies, Mansell, historically out-performs the rest of the industry in terms of its safety record, but is continually looking for ways to further improve their performance. Mansell identified the need to spend more time investigating behavioural safety issues within their organisation, and they turned to The Keil Centre for help in doing this.
In a major undertaking, Mansell commissioned an assessment of the safety culture of their entire organisation using The Keil Centre’s Safety Culture Maturity® Model (SCMM). This is a workshop-based assessment method which encourages participation in assessing and developing the safety culture from a representative sample of personnel at all levels within the organisation. The assessment
covered all five of Mansell’s divisions in the UK, and comprised a series of 65 workshops for staff, managers, operatives and subcontractors. In total, 592 people attended workshops, to our knowledge by far the biggest project of its kind in the construction industry. The project resulted in five separate sets of recommendations, one for each division, to help tackle issues raised on a divisional basis. These recommendations are currently being used by each division to develop their own action plans.
There were several issues that were common across the five divisions, and an associated set of recommendations that will be beneficial to the company as a whole. Mansell has already developed an action plan for the top priority issues, and has formed teams which are currently working to implement several of the key recommendations. Mansell’s Scottish Division was the first part of the business to undergo the SCMM assessment in the winter of 2005. They have developed a comprehensive action plan based upon the
recommendations from the assessment, and have kept the momentum going with a strong and visible focus on behavioural safety over the past 18 months. Mansell believe that this focus on behavioural safety has helped them to achieve an excellent safety performance over the last year in the Scottish Division.
Work is good for you! Improving wellbeing at work, not just tackling stress
Many organisations are currently investing time and effort in tackling ‘stress’ at work: implementing policies, carrying out stress risk assessments etc. However, many organisations are failing to realise the benefits of a more proactive focus on psychological wellbeing. It is important to remember that work can have a positive effect on our wellbeing and there are many things organisations can do to improve psychological wellbeing and performance, other than just focusing on stress.
So what would this look like in practice? A simple example is training: The Keil Centre has run many successful workshops aimed at helping people manage stress. Our new offering: Keil 7 Steps to Optimal Performance combines some well-validated techniques for managing pressure with simple tips for becoming more resilient and personally fulfilled at work. The key message of our workshops is: Building interest and engagement at work will help you give your best performance, feel more positive and cope better with unavoidable stress. The benefits of a more positive focus are clear for individuals and for organisations. Managers can better
understand how pressure and stress affect motivation and performance; organisations can balance the focus on the minority who might be suffering with attention to the majority who are at work, possibly feeling a little under pressure but not unwell.