Culture change – SWB Hospitals NHS Trust

Project Info

Client Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust
Skills Culture change

Project Description

When the world zigs, zag. How we helped a leading NHS Trust develop brand new, unique values and behaviours to embed a culture fit for the future

The brief:

With the CEO, Chair of the Board (Sir David Nicholson, ex-CEO of NHS England), Chief People Officer, and rest of the Exec as our key stakeholders, this was an important and high visibility programme of work. We were tasked with creating and embedding values and the behaviours to underpin them to shape and drive a healthy culture to deliver the Trust’s new strategy.

We began work with the shadow of Covid still looming long. The Trust’s staff were exhausted, running on empty with morale understandably low. Despite the unbelievable pressures it was important that we engaged with them from the word go as the values needed to be shaped with the voice of the employee at their centre.

The solution:

Woodreed quickly got to work to make the process as thorough as possible, while making it fun, engaging and easy for people to have their say. We first got our heads around the strategic ambitions of the Trust, interviewed and ran virtual workshops with senior teams with the help of the fabulous Lucid Spark boards.

We engaged leading experience management platform Qualtrics as our partner to gather the qual and quant employee voice insights.

With little or no time and ever-present survey fatigue, we needed to work out the best way to reach front-line and non-office based staff. We were also up against the constraints of the restrictions Covid put upon us. Our solution was an eye-catching on and offline campaign including easy to scan QR codes to take part in the listening exercise.

Once our values recommendations were approved, we repeated the process to gather employee voice ideas for behaviours to underpin the values.  Again, unanimous approval of our framework plus senior stakeholder workshops to ensure Exec bought into the need for the new culture to be lived and led by the top.

Alongside an internal communications campaign to keep everyone informed at all stages, as well as briefing packs for line managers, we also wrote the strategic narrative, the brand story and embellished it with real life stories of people living the values. Then came the fun part…the creative development!  Simple, bold, optimistic icons were developed, all perfectly in line with the Trust’s identity.

The results:

Brand new, never had before, values and a framework of behaviours which reflect the best of the Trust with headroom to achieve its ambitions. Values which were warmly embraced by the Trust’s people with a sense of pride.

Now the hard work begins as we embark on local translation (making the behaviours real for everyone at every level whatever role they perform) and an approved plan to begin to embed the values and culture into the heart of the Trust.