Compassionate Leadership in Practice
Creating Compassionate Cultures in NHS Wales
How we experience work, the culture of the organisation is one of the most powerful influence on behaviour in our organsiations. Every interaction by every individual, every day shapes the culture of our organisations.
The role of leadership in contributing to organisational culture cannot be over emphasised. Leaders who ensure a culture of wellbeing, continuous improvement, openness and psychological safety will ensure healthy work environments where our employees and therefore patients will thrive.
To ensure wellbeing and motivation at work, and to minimise workplace stress, research evidence suggests that people have three core needs at work. Compassionate leaders constantly strive to understand and meet the core needs of the people they work with. These are the needs for:
- Autonomy: the need to have control over our work lives, and to be able to act consistently with our values.
- Belonging: the need to be connected to, cared for, and caring of others around us at work, and to feel valued, respected and supported.
- Contribution: the need to experience effectiveness in what we do and deliver valued outcomes.
Over the last few years, our people processes have undergone transformation with a focus on prevention, restorative practices and learning aimed at driving compassionate and collective cultures.
There are a number of national initiatives within NHS Wales that are focused on creating compassionate and collective cultures:
Back in 2021, we created a framework that promotes compassionate and collective leadership approaches to resolving conflict in the NHS in Wales. The framework provides autonomy and an expectation that we all have a responsibility for raising issues and concerns constructively and need to work together to resolve them ensuring that we all feel as safe as possible.
Employee relations investigations can cause real harm to those being investigated, as well those involved in the process. They can harm your organisation’s culture and reputation and divert time and resources from meeting the needs of those you exist to serve. Whilst they are necessary and important for addressing major workplace issues, understanding their potential impact and building in compassionate support for those going through them needs to be an integral
part of the process.