Foundations

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I recently wrote about the Joy in Work course I had just started. You will be delighted to know I passed the assignment for lesson 2 and am progressing with the course.  I shared how you as a leader can start creating a safe environment for your team. Physical and psychological safety are essential elements that need to be in place before talking about increasing or establishing joy in work. 

The course has brought to my attention  three other factors to consider and that create a foundation for joy. All credit to the IHI course and the Joy in Work white paper for these definitions. 

Control - or a sense of coherence
Can you and your team make sense of your environment, do you all have the skills you need to do your job and if you understand what you have to do, does it make sense and do you connect with it emotionally as well as rationally. Is it meaningful to you? If you have no idea why you're doing what you're doing, if you feel your work environment is completely out of control and if you don't care or understand what you're team or organisation is doing, then creating a sense of joy is going to be much more difficult.

Connection to Purpose
Don Berwick says that the true source of joy in work lies in connection to purpose, in meaningful work. In healthcare it can be easy to presume that your team all have this connection to the why of the job. Is there a clear line of sight for you and your team from the work you do each day to the goals and vision of the organisation or service you work for? When did you last ask?

Sense of camaraderie
Camaraderie is about that mutual trust. Trust is foundational to high achieving teams. It's fundamental to the work that we need to do. To build joy in work, you need to spend a little bit of time thinking about trust. This sense of camaraderie is generated through productive teams, shared understanding, and trusting relationships. Do you feel like you have the mutual support of those you work with - does your team?  Do even feel that part of a team? Do you have a friend or someone who cares . Does your team regularly express appreciation for each other’s work? I've written a few times about trust in the past and it is a topic that I believe is one of the cornerstones for us all as leaders in health.