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.

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.