Joy in Work


More than ever I think we need to talk about and truely understand what brings joy in work and what actions we need to take together to make that more of a reality for everyone.  

I'm currently doing this course , the IHIs Joy In Work and on lesson number 2, so I'm in the early stages of the 12 week course and waiting to see if my assignment I submitted has been accepted (actually rather nervous about it). 

The idea of joy in work has been in my mind for some time. It connects with my personal 'why' and I've latched onto conversations about it for what feels like years before the ideas of staff wellbeing and caring for staff were as common place as there are today. I am delighted that there is finally serious commitment across healthcare to this, and hence why signing up for the course was important to me. 

Equally as important is sharing what I learn with you so the ideas and thoughts can spread. So I can use your wisdom and experiences to build on and share back for us all to benefit. 

Here is the overview and the goal of the course:

"An epidemic of burnout among health care professionals is affecting quality, safety, and health care system performance. To help reverse the worrying trend, IHI partnered with experts around the world to create Finding & Creating Joy in Work. This 12-week virtual training is full of new thinking, resources, strategies, frameworks, and solutions to help workforces truly thrive — not just survive. The course will share proven methods to create a positive work environment that fosters camaraderie, meaning, choice, and equity, and ensures the commitment to delivering high-quality care, even in stressful times."

Before getting into the steps and conversations about how to understand more about joy in work there has to be a safe basis to start with. You can't create, improve or build joy in work if staff don't feel safe. Addressing the physical safety of staff is a basic need. Staff need to be safe to get to their cars after their shift has finished. Staff need to feel safe and cared for at work. These basic human needs have to be in place for you to begin this work. 

Secondly there needs to be a sense of psychological safety for your teams. As a leader in healthcare you play a pivotal role in creating this type of safety and there are some simple behaviours and actions you can build into your daily work to do this

  • Be visible and approachable - being out and about, the welcoming smile or inviting office space

  • Acknowledge your limits - hold that authentic curiosity, you don't know everything or sometimes anything about the situation 

  • Consider how you view and frame your failures- every defect is a treasure

  • Provide a clear line of sight - your story and the stories of your teams remind people of where you are heading and why

  • Understand what daily work is happening and recognise it - celebrate the work, the successes and the staff. 

I've not been surprised that understanding your own (well my own) individual needs for being able to maintain joy at work are a part of the course. I've been presented with a new way of looking at this that I'll share with you soon. Knowing what you need to do when feeling depleted are essential skills for you as a leader and not only a first step, but a step you have to keep coming back too. 

Interested and intrigued??

Walk with me through this course - tell me what matters to you?