Every NHS and healthcare organisation wants to do the very best it can and deliver the level of performance that it can be proud of. At the same time there are often significant variations between organisations.
So how can leadership teams in the NHS boost performance and deliver the kind of results that they want to?
In busy organisations like the NHS it is often difficult to step back. By that I mean taking some time out to re-connect to what the overall core purpose is, the key values that the organisation wants to adopt and the key domains where the organisation wants to excel.
Identify A Few Strategic Aims
It is really easy to get lost in the detail when you get into these types of discussions. By identifying clearly and concisely a few strategic aims you keep the focus on the big picture. The temptation is to think that these strategic aims only need to be discussed at the top of the organisation. On the other hand organisations exist to serve specific needs of different stakeholders. These include:
- Patients/clients/service users
- Local communities
By involving these different stakeholders in the identification and agreement of strategic aims you build in engagement and support and increase the likelihood of achievement.
Break Strategic Aims Into Easy To Understand Statements
Let’s look this at this in a bit more detail. It’s likely that the organisation wants to deliver quality services. So what does this really mean in terms of your organisation? How will we know if quality services are being delivered? If the organisation can easily get to the point where they can specify what quality means, and reach consensus on some easy to understand statements then they have a strong basis for moving forward.
Develop Measures That Let You Monitor Success In Achieving Strategic Aims
It can be tempting to try and get bogged down with a whole load of measures. To make this effective you need to focus down on just a couple of key measures that will assure and provide evidence that you are on or off track.
Make Measurement Happen At The Point Of Delivery
While you might need a central unit to consolidate things, most of the measurement should happen as part of the delivery of services. This means people see themselves proactively contributing to the performance of the organisation. They will also be more likely to help refine measures.
Use Measurement As A Learning Tool Rather Than A Fault Finding Device
If you want people to go out of their way to deliver great performance, show initiative and innovate you have to provide the safety to do so. By seeing the results of measurement as a basis for learning and improvement you move from a supportive rather than a potential blame culture.
Help People To Perform To Their Potential
People are probably good within their professional discipline and of course you want to continue to develop their skills. At the same time you want to develop them so that they can make a much bigger contribution and really tap into their potential.
The Bottom Line: In reality it is often small changes in the way in which we agree aims and measure performance that contributes to better organisational performance.
Goals and Achievements help NHS and healthcare organisations deliver great performance. Learn more here.