When the going
gets tough

Clinical Commissioning Groups can be pressure cooker places – sandwiched between the often-competing demands of service providers and the intense monitoring from watchdogs and politicians.

One CCG has found a way to tackle this head on, increasing feelings of employee engagement, and winning the Best Places to Work award for CCGs along the way, all by developing greater individual resilience.

“As a CCG, we want to do everything we can for our staff, not just to get through the day to day, but to actually feel fully mentally and emotionally equipped to deal with work challenges, and enjoy the day to day. Reducing stress levels was one goal but just as importantly we wanted people to feel really positive about working here, and that’s why we looked at resilience as key.” said Allan Kitt, Chief Officer at South West Lincolnshire CCG.

The CCG turned to The Work Life Balance Centre to help develop workplace resilience. To date the project has included some 27 staff members in three phases, each with a mixture of small group sessions, individual coaching, and psychometric measures examining the impact employees had on the wellbeing and stress levels of colleagues and direct reports, as well as providing techniques and tools for them to use every day.

There was a real emphasis on the positive during the project, equipping people with what they most needed to deal with difficult times as well as positively flourish in better times. The whole approach was evidence-based so incorporated the latest in research about how resilience can be increased.

While the programme covered some typical work-based skills such as communication styles, and workload management, it also included more unusual items such as meditation, the science of increasing personal happiness and practical tips for increasing positive mental balance.

During the programme the South West Lincolnshire CCG’s staff surveys have shown positive ratings from staff across several key indicators such as recommending it as a place to work or receive treatment, levels of motivation at work, recognition of staff by managers, and management interest in health and wellbeing, when compared to the national average for CCGs.

The individuals taking part reported a variety of improvements including:

  • I feel more able to effectively manage my time and workload.
  • I feel more productive and feel that I can be more productive and focused at work.
  • More efficient and effective time management.
  • More positive outlook to work.
  • More confidence in myself and my abilities.
  • Utilising mindfulness and adapting to circumstances.
  • Maintained a 100% attendance record to date (year 1 plus)
  • Developing self-compassion
  • Greater involvement and use of skill sets

“It was not always easy to juggle a commitment to the programme with work demands, particularly if something happened unexpectedly, but clearly people found a benefit from participating, and we benefited as an organisation too.” added Jo Wright, Chief Finance Officer.