In 2017, the International Healthcare Institute (IHI) published its Framework for Improving Joy in Work, promoting the importance of restoring joy to the healthcare workforce in the face of growing pressures. It stated that:
“If burnout in healthcare were described in clinical or public health terms, it might well be called an epidemic. The numbers are alarming. A 2015 study found over 50 percent of physicians report symptoms of burnout. Thirty-three percent of new registered nurses seek another job within a year, according to another 2013 report. Turnover is up, and morale is down.”
The IHI Framework for Improving Joy in Work aims to enable healthcare leaders to identify impediments to joy, and introduce measures and strategies to restore joy to the healthcare workforce.
4 Steps for Leaders
The IHI white paper poses four key steps that healthcare leaders can take to pave the way towards restoring joy in work:
1. Ask staff, “What matters to you?”
By asking colleagues “What matters?”, leaders are better able to understand what is already working in their organisation, and where change is required. Crucially, it provides them with an understanding of what contributes to a good day at work for their colleagues.
2. Identify unique impediments to joy in work in the local context
System-level impediments to joy in work are likely to vary between organisations, departments and teams. Identifying these differences and their root causes will enable leaders to implement targeted, localised approaches to improving joy in the workplace.
3. Commit to a systems approach to making joy in work a shared responsibility at all levels of the organisation
Colleagues in all levels of the organisation have a role to play in making their workplace joyful. However, rather than ‘everyone doing everything’, it is necessary that responsibility is shared equitably throughout the different levels in the organisation. Delegating the appropriate responsibilities to senior leaders, managers and individuals is an important part of employing a systems approach to improving and sustaining joy in work.
4. Use improvement science to test approaches to improving joy in work in your organisation
The change to a more joyful workplace should be both rewarding and effective. It is therefore important to measure and test which changes are leading to meaningful improvements, which are most effective across the organisation, and which are sustainable. Thinking about how best to measure success is an important, and often overlooked, aspect of designing system-level changes to improve joy in work.
The ImproveWell Solution
ImproveWell’s three core feedback systems are designed to align with the steps set out in the IHI Framework for Improving Joy in Work.
Idea hub: Colleagues can share any improvement ideas that they identify. Themes can be set to gather solutions on specific topics, address existing challenges or support ongoing initiatives.
Sentiment tracker: The sentiment feature provides real-time insights into workforce morale and helps you to understand what contributes to a good day at work. This feedback system can be turned on or off at a user-group level.
Pulse surveys: Create and send tailored surveys to understand what matters most to colleagues. One-off surveys, repeat surveys and regular pulse surveys are great ways to support your programme.