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Case Study: South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Cultivating a Culture of Care: A Healthy Partnership with SWYPFT

South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SWYPFT) stands as a beacon of employee-centric healthcare, boasting over 4,000 dedicated professionals. Recognised as one of the top NHS trusts to work for, SWYPFT placed a strategic emphasis on employee health and wellbeing and contacted Robertson Cooper to embark on a transformative partnership to measure employee wellbeing and empower their workforce.

The Challenge

Shifting the Paradigm: From Sickness Absence to Holistic Wellbeing

In the face of increasing service demands and financial challenges, SWYPFT acknowledged the need to shift from a traditional focus on reducing sickness absence to a more comprehensive approach that encompasses employee engagement and overall health and wellbeing. They recognised that the existing NHS staff survey fell short in capturing the nuanced drivers and barriers of employee wellbeing necessary for driving lasting cultural change.


Wellbeing Radar: Identifying and Tackling Sources of Stress

SWYPFT set out on a mission to identify “hot spot” sources of stress, determine the nature and severity of stress, pinpoint areas of positive wellbeing, tap into employee perceptions of wellbeing, and develop follow-up activities that would foster sustainable improvement. They sought to focus on specific demographic groups, benefit from shared learning and collaboration, and establish a foundation for positive cultural change.


Our Solution

A Healthy Alliance: A Comprehensive Approach to Employee Wellness

Understanding that quick fixes would not yield lasting engagement and cultural impact, SWYPFT embraced a holistic, long-term approach to mental health and wellbeing. Their partnership with Robertson Cooper has involved regular employee wellbeing surveys using the Good Day at Work questionnaire, providing valuable insights to shape their approach to sustainable wellbeing. The development of a distinctive wellbeing brand, coupled with targeted communications strategies, has enhanced survey awareness and engagement across all employee populations. Robertson Cooper’s full support spanned from design and communications to expert data analysis and reporting, allowing for benchmarking against other NHS trusts and the wider public sector.

Access to the Good Day at Work platform provided SWYPFT with detailed data breakdowns for in-depth exploration of survey findings. Solution groups enabled managers to identify specific cohorts for further engagement and interventions. Additionally, Robertson Cooper facilitated the development and implementation of wellbeing action plans, enabling SWYPFT to identify priority areas, create ownership, and monitor success.

“Working with Robertson Cooper made the whole wellbeing survey process more efficient and professional. Being able to benchmark our performance against industry norms – seeing what we were doing right, as well as flagging up any issues, was hugely valuable. Robertson Cooper helped us to reframe our thinking around wellbeing. The knowledge, tools and support they provide enable us to focus on achieving our wellbeing goals.”



The Results

A Healthier Bottom Line: How Employee Wellbeing Drives Organisational Success

Insights from the Good Day at Work survey highlighted that work-life balance, pay and reward, and work relationships at SWYPFT surpassed typical organisational benchmarks. However, the survey also revealed that nearly 50% of staff had encountered major stressful events, with around 66% of those events being work-related. Areas with poor survey results correlated with higher levels of sickness absence.

Within just six months, and with a newly targeted focus and support from Robertson Cooper, SWYPFT achieved notable outcomes; including a 3.6% reduction in staff turnover, a 7% decrease in stress-related sickness absence, and a significant reduction in overall sickness absence across the Trust, amounting to combined savings of £70,000. These early successes exceeded initial expectations and demonstrated the positive impact of the partnership on employee wellbeing and organisational performance.

As the partnership continues to evolve, Robertson Cooper remains committed to supporting South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust through regular measurement and training solutions, empowering them to further advance their employee wellbeing approach and nurture a thriving workforce.

Are you looking to take a more comprehensive approach to employee wellbeing?