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Posts: 1,648
Registered: ‎18-04-2018

Do you believe in happy work places?

Hi everyone, 

 

Earlier this year, O2 took part in the Northumbria Water Group Innovation Festival. This unique event aims to identify innovative and creative solutions for a range of societal and environmental issues. Over a 5 days Design Sprint, the participants generated a wide range of ideas, a lot of them focused around mental health and happiness in the workplace. You can read more about this on the O2 Business Blog here.

 

Screen Shot 2018-08-08 at 09.57.02.png

 

We all spend most of our time at work, and  it's really important to make sure that we feel valued and motivated there. Our time in the office shouldn't generate mental health issues, and the right environment and conditions can create a happier, healthier, safer and more productive workforce slight smile

 

Everyone has a different idea of what their ideal work place would be like, so I thought it'd make for an interesting discussion:

 

What makes your work place happy?

What do you think could make it happier? 

 

It could be more flexibility, feeling listened to, having office pets, some perks such as on-site gym, regular team activities or free breakfast ... nothing is too big or too small, so I'm looking forward to reading your comments!

 


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Re: Do you believe in happy work places?

[ Edited ]

@EmilieT wrote:

What makes your work place happy?

What do you think could make it happier? 

 

It could be more flexibility, feeling listened to, having office pets, some perks such as on-site gym, regular team activities or free breakfast ... nothing is too big or too small, so I'm looking forward to reading your comments!

 


Hey Em!

As I work in the civil service (on a fire watch), we have a gym [which is complety normal here on a watch] and we as the EMS-staff can use it aswell.

 

So at 9 o'clock we start (if we're not on a call, otherwise our plates wait for us to return) and have breakfast together. We have to pay it on our own (but as we're away from home so much hours a shift, we get a fix amount back via taxrefund). The money is used by the firemen to have an annual tour. Some EMS go on tour with them then. But not all.

The firemen have 3 shiftgroups and every of them is part of either group 1, 2 or 3. We have different groups, so we aren't a fix part of any of them. (Because FD = 24 hour shifts, EMS = 12 hour shifts, all have 48 hours a week).

The relax-chairs are exactly the amount of firemen aswell as the new bought (because of the extremely heatwave here) fans.

So the firemen are one happy family... Just we paramedics aren't fitting into it.

Both groups have daily tasks to do. The FD is ready at latest 11 am and already watching tv (they have ~1,25 calls in 24 hours) and we don't get our tasks done as we're always out (at least 8 calls in 24 hours, day shift around 5-6 with around 1,5 hours per call). Instead of helping us and just finishing our tasks, they complain about us working not enough.

 

Now... What would make us happy?

* equality

* helping each other

* appreciation

 

What would be nice to have?

* (free water/fruits - a private company here gives it their workers, but it's only nice to have)

* freebies like gym contracts on discount

* other discounts (had that on my old work. For example for musicals or so)

* free wifi (had that on the old work too. Nice to be able to watch videos on night shifts)

* tours/summer party/ christmas party

 

 

Cheers,

CC Smiley Wink

 

 

*Edit:

Nice co-workers and a good climate are a very important part too. I really really miss my old teammates. But the circumstances in the firm weren't. So I had to leave to find a better place. Hope the (hopefully) next work will be better. Perfect isn't possible, but you can try to get as close as possible...

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Re: Do you believe in happy work places?

I don't think there is a one size fits all answer to this question. It is very dependent on where you work. 

 

I worked in the NHS all my life. I know that any 'perks' would have been taken out of our NHS budget. 

If we wanted additional equipment for our particular ward or dept, we approached the League Of Friends who garnered funds via charity raising events.

 

Our Hospice, which provides care for people with life limiting illnesses, runs on only 28% funding from government. The remaining 72% comes from charity. 

 

So, I wouldn't particularly look for perks working in a hospital environment. I would look for a clean and safe place to work, which provided total efficiency and excellent patient care. 

A place where you can have a laugh (or cry) to relieve personal stress. It's important to ensure you aren't robots.

The one thing I totally disagree with is hospital staff being charged for parking. Absolutely outrageous. This should change, even if it takes an act of law to do it.

 

I could go on but probably best to stop there.

 

On a personal note, the greatest perk for me, is the care I received from my local hospital. Without going into any detail at all, I was ill last year. Once my GP referral went to the hospital, I was seen within 6 days. I experienced NO waiting times for anything at all.  Scans, tests, referrals, diagnosis and treatment.

As one of the staff said....'I had given 30 years to the hospital so it was the least they could do'

 

That's the only 'perk' that matters to me ...

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Re: Do you believe in happy work places?


@Cleoriff wrote:

The one thing I totally disagree with is hospital staff being charged for parking. Absolutely outrageous. This should change, even if it takes an act of law to do it.

 

On a personal note, the greatest perk for me, is the care I received from my local hospital. Without going into any detail at all, I was ill last year. Once my GP referral went to the hospital, I was seen within 6 days. I experienced NO waiting times for anything at all.  Scans, tests, referrals, diagnosis and treatment.

As one of the staff said....'I had given 30 years to the hospital so it was the least they could do'

 

That's the only 'perk' that matters to me ...


On one of my ex-workplaces we (and the hospital staff - our watch was on the hospital-area) and the hospitalstaff had to pay 1,50€ per day (hospitalstaff only 70 or 90 cents, sometimes if we had a nice service clerk we got their price). Some collegues parked outside the watch, but often got tickets (mostly 15€).

 

I often heard of (ex-)hospital-staff getting preferred screenings (I think that's just fair) and glad you got this perks @Cleoriff

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Community Manager
Posts: 1,648
Registered: ‎18-04-2018

Re: Do you believe in happy work places?

@ComaChameleon

I think a positive atmosphere and friendly colleagues is definitely helpful to be happy at work ... from my experience this can heavily be influenced by management, so I'd say a strong managerial team is a good start for a happy place. Perks are nice ornaments, but happiness at work requires a strong healthy foundation slight smile

It's really interesting what you say about your current workplace, that some groups support each others and isolate others ... sounds like they could do some work to make everyone realise they're a team and need to work together! Has there been any attempt towards that?

 

@Cleoriff

Definitely not a ones size fits all question, I agree. I've been part of workshops in the past where employees had to describe their ideal workplace to see if there were some trends and it was fascinating to see how everyone had different wishes, some complete opposites.

The one "perk" you had is only fair. As for the environment you're describing, supportive and everyone working together to provide the best care possible, ... it sounds very gratifying, which is key to make one want to keep going to work hugging Did you find some departments more challenging than others in terms of cooperation or letting out the steam when needed, or was it always similar?

 

 


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Re: Do you believe in happy work places?

Hi @EmilieT

The most challenging areas to work in without doubt, were Accident and Emergency and Intensive Care

A/E due to the type of trauma patients admitted. Particularly after terrible road accidents or major incidents (I was on call for three M.I's during my time in Nursing).

Add to that Friday and Saturday nights (or fight nights as we called them) when the pubs turned out and we were confronted with drunken abusive patients or those on drugs. Back then verbal and physical abuse was part of life working in A/E.

Intensive Care due to the workload and stress. Also the constant pressure for ICU beds. It was hard work and ICU nurses rarely get to see their patients improve to be discharged. Obviously once they are well enough to be moved out of the unit to the wards, you lose touch with them. It's a very specialised and isolated area of nursing.

For all that, team camaraderie was key to enjoyment of time spent in these areas. Smiley Wink

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Re: Do you believe in happy work places?

Happy and workplace... 

 

I read somewhere that companies should treat their employees the same way the treat their best customers... people can leave a job as quickly as switch to a competitor.

 

I must admit, where staff are just numbers on a spreadsheet, morale can drop dramatically in a short space of time. 

 

Endless questionnaires, allegedly anonymous, don't improve things much either. Who was it who said "If you don't measure it, you can't manage it."? Meh.

 

I would love to hear the experience of others... 

It is a well known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. Douglas Adams.
Community Manager
Posts: 1,648
Registered: ‎18-04-2018

Re: Do you believe in happy work places?

[ Edited ]

@Cleoriff

I truly admire everyone working in these intensive and fast-paced departments, it seems like it could so easily be overwhelming. Team spirit and support all the way hugging

 

@pgn

Anonymous questionnaires can only get employers that far, the results usually don't lead to much change and improvements. Nothing beats an honest, open and constructive conversation, but it takes good managers to allow that and turn it into something positive slight smile


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Re: Do you believe in happy work places?

The poor manager feels he or she has to react to the questionnaire results, setting up teams to dig into why and how, and hoping this activity will lead to improvements on the next questionnaire.

The good manager uses the results to guide the group and individual discussions, or constructive communications... That's a good way of looking at it, @EmilieT.

Why do employers rarely accomplish the second path?
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Re: Do you believe in happy work places?

Also the results of questionnaires can be manipulated to get the result you want.

 

I designed one in the 80's. It was for our ward managers and senior sisters. We wanted to provide training courses for our nursing auxiliaries to improve their clinical skills. (as we were losing 50% of nursing students from the clinical environment due to the changes in the RGN Curriculum)

 

It was so important we filled the gap if we were to manage.

 

The questionnaire never once asked the question 'do you think the auxiliaries could fill the gap left by our nursing students' Y/N?

I never gave them that option,otherwise over 50% or more would have said NO!

 

I also made sure I made appointments to speak to each participant whilst they were completing the questionnaire. (So I could answer questions asked) I went armed with Research, Plan of action, Timescales, etc etc etc.

 

Bottom line, I knew what we wanted. It was imperative we had every ward sister on board as their staff would be mentoring these auxiliaries once they were out of the classroom and achieving competence in the clinical areas.

 

We had a 99.6% success rate with the questionnaire results. innocent

 

 

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