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Quality Measurement Framework

Employee Engagement

NHS National Services Scotland ISD Scotland & NHS National Services Scotland

Employee Engagement

The Employee Engagement quality outcome indicator is still under development, but there is strong justification for having one.

A workforce which is sufficiently supported and engaged is necessary in order to achieve the Quality Ambitions of Effective, Safe and Person-centred. It is necessary for the Health Service to be proactive in order to ensure that engagement is a reality, and it needs to be aware of aspects where there is progress that is made.

The evidence that staff engagement and positive staff experience are integral to high quality healthcare is strong:

  • there is a positive relationship between staff experience and patient experience.
  • lack of “trust” in an organisation has been found to be a factor in high-profile lapses of care (e.g. NHS Mid-Staffordshire).
  • there is a relationship between caring, supportive behaviour in staff, and better outcomes for patients, as well as satisfaction for staff themselves.
  • commitments to learning, clear leadership and empowerment of staff have been shown to lead to better care experiences.
  • high-quality appraisal and management systems improve patient safety.
  • stress and dysfunctional teams have also been shown to be associated with poorer care.

In addition, employee engagement is also associated with improved attendance, thus improving efficiency.

Work that should result in improvement in this indicator

The Scottish Government is committed to working with Health Boards through the Scottish Workforce & Staff Governance Committee and the Scottish Partnership Forum to ensure that employee engagement in the NHS is maximised with appropriate measures developed within each Board. The Staff Governance Standards set out the following requirements that employees are:

  • well informed
  • appropriately trained and developed
  • involved in decisions
  • treated fairly and consistently, with dignity and respect, in an environment where diversity is valued; and
  • provided with a continuously improving and safe working environment, promoting the health and wellbeing of staff, patients and the wider community.

The proposed employee engagement indicator is being developed from a review of the evidence on staff engagement and organisational performance, and testing of the measurement instrument with NHS staff. It is also designed to link to each aspect of the Staff Governance Standard.

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