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NHS Staff Survey 2017; will you really value the insights? You should.

The NHS Staff Survey is the largest workforce survey in the world, today, the results of the NHS Staff Survey 2017 have been released. The survey was distributed to almost 1.1million staff across 309 trusts, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and commissioning support units (CCUs) in England.

On a local level, the results from this year’s survey will be monitored against previous year’s results and will be used to inform local improvements in staff experience and well-being. Nationally, the NHS Staff Survey results provide a baseline measure of performance against the commitments outlined in the NHS Constitution.

487,227 NHS staff members completed the survey from October through to December last year, with an overall response rate of 45%, an increase on 2016 participation. This illustrates and confirms that NHS employees want to be given the opportunity to share their views on a wide range of areas, including how to improve patient service and their own job satisfaction.

The survey collates answers from individual survey questions and groups them into 32 summary indicators, referred to as ‘Key Findings.’ Key Findings are then grouped into nine themes.[1]

11 Key Findings improved since 2016. 21 Key Findings are in decline.

Job satisfaction is one of the nine themes analysed. This area saw a decline from previous year’s results and ended the five-year high which peaked in 2016. There was a decline in staff engagement, staff motivation at work and staff satisfaction with the quality of work and care they are able to deliver. 

With this in mind, there is an opportunity for forward thinking NHS organisations to maximise the opportunity to engage with staff to uncover meaningful and actionable insights, with a key focus on employee engagement and satisfaction.

The return on investment from engaging with staff to interpret the feelings and behaviours behind the results will be measurable, teams will be more productive, there is likely to be increased collaboration, staff retention will increase, and lower rates of sickness and absence will be recorded.

The results have been published, what next?

The survey is the first step in uncovering insight, the decision to then independently engage with staff on the results of the survey could be one of the most valuable marketing and human resource (HR) activities organisations undertake. The results are now in the public domain and there is a need to effectively communicate the results into meaningful action for your employees.

Using a range of research methodologies and engagement approaches independent market research will support organisations to understand how to engage, uncover insights, benchmark, and measure to improve results.

Translating the data into actionable insights will be the key to driving and embedding change and improvement. Understanding the research methodologies and solutions that are available to deep dive into the survey results will allow forward thinking organisations to translate the themes within the data and then engage with staff to co-create action and improvement plans.

Having worked with NHS organisations for over a decade on projects including complex service change consultations, public health behavioural change projects, and research to understand behaviours linked to accessing services and new care models, Explain Market Research has developed a unique and relevant skill set pertaining to independent research and engagement within the health sector.

How we deliver meaningful insights:

  1. Interpret your results and identify the ‘hot spots’ through a detailed review of the survey data
  2. Identify those teams or departments that are most dissatisfied and understand what they are dissatisfied with
  3. Undertake qualitative research with those teams or individuals and get ‘under the skin’; and then
  4. Co-create with respondents to identify solutions and provide strategic recommendations on actions for improvement which can be embedded in the organisation
  5. Continue to track engagement throughout the delivery of actions.

Our team at Explain Market Research are experts at putting in place research programmes to deliver for clients. Contact us today to understand how we can support you and to find out more about the solutions we provide. 


[1] http://www.nhsstaffsurveys.com/Caches/Files/P3088_ST17_National%20briefing_v5.0.pdf