Why can’t the NHS value junior staff the way top companies do?BMJ 2016; 355 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i5740 (Published 26 October 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i5740
All rapid responses
I am a recently qualified doctor, currently doing a trust grade job in intensive care. Prior to applying for medical school I worked for several years as a young employee for different companies within the tourist industry.
Though the morale crisis we currently have is by and large due to how people in positions of power, far removed from our daily working lives, are treating us, I thought it would be relevant to discuss some other differences I have picked up from personal experience.
I have listed the ones that seem most relevant here:
Incentives and regular recognition for work done.
There would be small incentives regularly awarded to staff after working through particularly busy periods or achieving over and beyond set targets. It would only be something small, like shopping vouchers or time in lieu, but it would be achievable to all members of staff and regularly given out.
Regular morning briefings with news about the whole organisation and regular educational visits to other departments.
This created a sense of a common goal and allowed members from different departments to appreciate the challenges colleagues face, thereby becoming more sympathetic and helpful towards each other
Continuity - most people would work in similar roles for several years and then progress within the company, often within the same department.
By knowing you would be in the same place for as long as you choose, people more readily stepped up to take on projects and responsibilities outside of their normal role. Coupled with this, there was also a willingness from management to allow junior staff to pursue interests within the organisation.
By virtue of continuity, you got to know management and colleagues and - if you got along with them - could build trust and valuable working relationships.
There are of course many more differences, most of which are inherent to the nature of the jobs, but it felt as though the above helped to unify the workforce and make everyone feel a valued part of the team.
During my time in the NHS as a junior doctor I have had many different experiences. Some good and others less so. Common to the good ones have been regular morning meetings and structured handovers, willingness of supervisors to allow annual leave and study leave and regularly time for breaks.
Looking at the above, the easiest change may be to expand daily handovers and have a short morning briefing including doctors, nurses and allied health professionals to aid the feeling of working together and breaking the barriers between roles.
This is something I will attempt to trial at my current workplace after writing this response.
Competing interests: No competing interests