Tag Archives: employee engagement

profDameCarolBlackProfessor Dame Carol Black is Principal of Newnham College Cambridge, Expert Adviser on Health and Work to the Department of Health, England, Chair of the Nuffield Trust, and Chair of the Governance Board of the Centre for Workforce Intelligence. She was a keynote speaker at the recent International Conference on Physician Health


Whatever the nature of their work, whatever skills they bring to bear, however strong their calling and dedication, employees come under the influences of their workplace and of those who employ them. It is as true for doctors as it is for the drivers of tube trains, the builders of Olympic stadia or civil servants in Whitehall. The evidence, gathered painstakingly over many years, in such different arenas of work, is consistent and strong.   It leaves no doubt about the characteristics that we look for in identifying good work and a good workplace.

The effects of workplace influences are felt and measured to varying degrees in ways that are clear. First is the personal health and wellbeing of employees – their physical health and their mental health, the former often measurable declared, the latter often masked and hidden.

Second is the performance of the group, the team, and ultimately the institution for which they work. In health care such performance is measured in terms of the quality of patient experience, the safety of care and health outcome.

These measures correlate with features common to organisations which have achieved success in promoting staff physical and mental health and well-being. ...continue reading

forgie_2014_2Prof Sarah Forgie is a pediatric infectious disease physician at the Stollery Children’s Hospital and associate professor in the University of Alberta’s Department of Pediatrics

I asked a few colleagues, “You have a monthly meeting scheduled in ten minutes…how do you feel?”

“Dread…because I’m not really sure why I am there or what I am contributing.”

"Frustration…it feels like my time is being wasted.”

“Stressed…because I have all of this work to do but I can’t get to it because I have to go to a meeting…and then when I get back to my office there are 400 more emails waiting.”

“Annoyed, you are just getting on a roll and then you have to break for a meeting.”

Interestingly, I did not even specify which meeting – it seemed to be a universal feeling.

A colleague once told me that the true cost of attending a meeting (the opportunity cost) is the cost (time, other more productive work, or money) of what you have given up to attend. That can be substantial. But I think that a few small changes to meetings could reduce those opportunity costs ...continue reading