Background/context In recent years evidence suggests that a happier workforce improves productivity and the quality of care being delivered to its service users. Restorative practice is an alternative, yet effective response to improving performance and avoiding unnecessary grievances. This approach saves time and the anxiety that can occur when there is conflict and unhappiness in the workplace. Restorative practice helps people to find their own solutions to problems and focuses more on the person rather than procedure.
Aim In 2016, the clinical department at Princess Alice Hospice began to adopt a less procedural approach to managing staff, and saw as a result the number of grievances fall with a happier workforce that played to the strengths of individuals. In 2017, the hospice trained six of its staff as restorative facilitators. Those chosen were skilled up to an accredited level to help individuals or teams find their way out of conflict without following a formal grievance procedure.
What do our restorative facilitators do?Our restorative facilitators act as:
an advisor – support individuals and help them to work out their options;
a coach – help individuals practise how to frame their argument;
a facilitator – help to facilitate a conversation where there is tension and conflict.
Outcomes The hospice’s restorative facilitators work across the organisation, and this has led to a more positive, supportive culture. There have been no formal grievances undertaken since 2016 and feedback suggests that restorative practice has played a significant part in achieving this. Time has been saved and the hospice now has empowered managers and a happier more productive workforce whereby issues are discussed as and when they arise and staff are enabled to have direct, honest conversations with each other without fear of retribution.
Conclusions Restorative practice supports emotionally intelligent leadership, reduces formal grievances between staff and ultimately supports a positive organisational culture which has the potential to increase productivity and happiness at work.
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