How Tech-Enabled Mentorship Can Accelerate Career Development at NHS

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In June, Prime Minister Theresa May outlined her vision for the future of the NHS. She announced an increase of £20.5 billion in funding by 2023-24 to deliver core performance standards. Prime Minister May called for a “workforce that is empowered to deliver the best possible outcomes, flexible enough to adapt to new models of care and valued for their commitment to NHS”, emphasising career development for NHS employees. She called for alternative routes into medicine and healthcare roles to drive employee recruitment, retention and engagement.

Industry experts have criticised the NHS for its lack of workforce planning. They claim short-term strategies, such as recruiting qualified professionals from overseas, have neglected the careers of existing employees.

In July, Health Education England (HEE) published a draft Workforce Strategy for NHS to 2027. The strategy outlines six principles for NHS workforce decisions. Providing broad pathways for careers in the NHS will be a key principle. Another will be increasing NHS performance by creating high performing teams with skills mixes that benefit productivity and safety.

The NHS has committed to increasing the number of nursing associates and physician associates in response to a projected shortfall of 190,000 employees by 2027. Both new roles provide a work-based route into nursing and medicine for existing staff who may not be able to study full-time at university.

Accelerating on the job career development opportunities

In busy healthcare settings, there often isn’t time to step out of the workforce to attend training full-time. Managers can provide employees with on the job learning opportunities. Enabling trainees to shadow experienced staff and engage a mentor facilitates onsite learning.

WERKIN’s tech-enabled mentoring platform accelerates peer-to-peer learning and development. The technology prompts employees to create profiles of their skills, qualifications and experience. Algorithms digitally match employees with mentors, stretch assignments and multi-disciplinary teams. The technology prompts employees to join teams and meet with mentors. This dynamic approach is time efficient, measurable and scalable.

Skilled multi-disciplinary teams benefit patient outcomes and help individuals to achieve their full potential. They also provide performance support to staff learning new skills. It’s now possible to build high performing teams with the right mix of skills. WERKIN’s nudge technology helps managers to be more effective mentors, accelerating on the job learning for career development.

ABOUT WERKIN
WERKIN is a technology-enabled mentoring platform. The platform helps global organisations manage, measure and scale mentoring programs. More than 20 financial institutions use WERKIN worldwide. WERKIN is accelerating peer-to-peer learning in large organisations.

How Technology Can Drive More Diverse Leadership at NHS

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Last week, Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care at NHS, shared his vision for a more technology-driven NHS. His goal is to achieve better patient outcomes and improve the working life of staff. In his speech to the NHS Expo 2018 in London, Minister Hancock stated a digital transformation of this size required a cultural change. He claims this will only be possible with stronger leadership and management.

Earlier this year, the NHS published the results of their annual 2017 NHS Staff Survey. It is the largest workforce survey in the world. 487,727 NHS staff responded to questions about perceptions of their workplace. Staff responded positively to questions about learning and development opportunities. Yet 15.6% said they didn’t feel the NHS acted fairly in relation to career progression and promotion in relation to ethnic background, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability or age. The survey reported there has been a steady increase of this perception each year since 2013. The result in 2016 was 14.6% and 2013 was 12.5%.

The lack of diversity in NHS senior leadership is a persistent issue. The proportion of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff in Bands 8a-9 and Very Senior Managers is still only 10.4%. However, the NHS frontline workforce is more diverse, on average, than the UK's working population.

Increasing diversity among NHS staff is important. Evidence shows that diverse teams improve the quality of care for patients. Research also shows diverse leaders and managers increase innovation and organisational performance. Yet the survey results show barriers prevent underrepresented groups from achieving their potential.

Technology that democratises career development

WERKIN’s tech-enabled mentoring platform accelerates underrepresented employees into senior roles. WERKIN’s behavioural research-based nudge technology prompts employees to create profiles of their skills, qualifications and experience. Algorithms digitally match employees with mentors, stretch assignments and projects. WERKIN scans employees impartially for capabilities. The technology reduces bias by taking human instinct out of the selection process. Employees receive push notifications to meet, learn and contribute.

Increasing diversity among NHS senior leadership and management is critical to driving cultural change. Yet biases can prevent many employees from achieving their potential. WERKIN’s technology-enabled mentoring platform democratises career development, accelerating underrepresented groups into senior leadership roles. Building a leadership team that mirrors the community it serves is key to improving patient outcomes.

ABOUT WERKIN
WERKINs technology-enabled mentoring platform helps global organisations manage, measure and scale mentoring programs. More than 20 financial institutions use WERKIN worldwide. WERKIN is accelerating peer-to-peer learning in large organisations.