Developing and embedding effective workplace cultures that are also good places to work

06 February 2018

Kate Sanders, FoNS Practice Development Facilitator

The topic of culture in health and social care has been much spoken about for several years now, and yet, there is still work to be done to understand the nature of those workplace cultures where care is effective, safe and person-centred, and staff experience them as good places to work. How would we recognise these cultures and how would we develop and embed them?

Back in the late 2000s, as part of FoNS’ participation in the International Practice Development Collaborative (IPDC), I was involved in some work with Kim Manley, Shaun Cardiff and Jonathan Webster to deepen our understanding of effective workplace cultures in health and social care, culminating in the publication of an article in 2011: Effective workplace culture: the attributes, enabling factors and consequences of a new concept. As time has moved on since then, and our knowledge and understanding continue to develop, we met in early 2017 to discuss how we could update this understanding, in light of contemporary health and social care.

To begin this process we created a blog site:, each posting a blog to introduce ourselves and to share our interest in workplace culture. If you haven’t already visited this site, I encourage you to do so.

As we now approach the spring of 2018, we are starting a collaborative inquiry which we invite you to be part of. This commences with a Twitter Chat on 12th March 20.00-21.00 hrs GMT (21.00-22.00 hrs CET), using the hashtag #EWCulture, to explore four questions:

  • Why should we concern ourselves with workplace culture?
  • What if you came to work tomorrow and found yourself in a really good and effective workplace culture, what would it be like?
  • How would others (delivering and experiencing care) know that it is an effective culture and a good place to work?
  • How can we develop and sustain good and effective workplace cultures?

For further information about the Twitter Chat, please click here.

We very much hope that you will participate.


Facilitative leadership in creating a caring culture

28 November 2017

Jo Odell, FoNS Practice Development Facilitator

Last week I had the pleasure of leading a workshop at the Nurse-led Clinics 2017 run by Healthcare Conferences UK. The aims of the workshop were to:

  • Enable participants to identify their own leadership qualities and behaviours against a framework
  • Explore the ‘Creating Caring Cultures’ model as a framework for developing nurse-led clinics.

The participants were from a wide range of clinical practice and were currently running nurse led clinics or wanting to develop them in their own sphere of practice.

I started the workshop by describing the resources that FoNS has available to health and social care staff on our website. We then used Evoke cards to introduce ourselves and to share our expectations of the workshop. Participants were then invited to look at the Facilitative Leadership Model

and to select 10 characteristics that they felt they used regularly in their roles. They then looked at these identified characteristics in relation to the three styles: Visionary, Manager, Facilitator. This was an opportunity to identify their strengths but also to think about and discuss the merits of each style. During the discussion we identified different situations in which each style maybe more appropriate within their role and work.

I then introduced the participants to the Creating Caring Cultures animation and resources. We watched the 5-minute animation and discussed each of the ribbons (as in the picture) of the model in turn and the different approaches and methods that could be used under each one. So, for example if you were looking to establish a nurse led clinic it was important to develop a shared purpose for the new clinic, but not to do this in isolation, but in collaboration with patients, staff and other key stakeholders. If you wanted to evaluate an existing nurse led clinic, you could look at the gaps between your shared purpose and what was really happening in practice. You could do this in several ways:

  • Asking staff “what’s it like to work round here?”
  • Ask patients about their experiences in a meaningful way for example using an emotional touchpoint approach

Lastly, we talked about the importance of celebrating success on a regular basis and recognising small achievements as well as formal final evaluation outcomes. We all identified that a facilitative leadership style would be the most helpful when working with these resources. We closed the workshop by sharing individual learning points from the workshop. Participants fed back that they liked the simplicity of the resources and felt they could really apply them to their roles and in relation to working in nurse-led clinics.

If you are a clinical leader and would like to explore the Creating Caring Cultures resources, to get some support to apply these to your own practice and to look at methods and approaches for implementation, come and join us at the masterclass on the 22nd January 2018.

More information and discounts are available via the FoNS website.