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Retention Please

Monday March 05, 2018


Posted on: Monday March 05, 2018

How Could Employee Engagement Transform the NHS?

With more than 10% of the nursing workforce leaving NHS employment in each of the past three years, retention strategies have become a key issue. Engaging employees is critical for retaining valuable talent and is an important piece of the employee satisfaction puzzle; as disengaged employees are more likely to leave their jobs. Therefore, organisations with high engagement are able to reduce turnover and hiring costs.

Engagement and the NHS

Employee engagement is quickly becoming one of the most important factors in gauging employee happiness and workplace satisfaction. Engaged employees lead to long-term employee retention, higher levels of productivity and improved quality of work. Employees today want to be involved in their work, believe in the goals of the organisation they work for and friendly with their fellow workers.

With 71% of managers identifying employee engagement as one of the most important factors in overall organisational success, it is clear that NHS leaders need to start viewing employee engagement as a strategic business objective. Yet, 42% of employers don’t know what methods to use to keep employee engagement at a stable level. Attrition and absenteeism costs money, better retention and effective employee engagement improves the bottom line and, as the NHS received less than half the £4bn they advised was necessary to look after patients properly next year, cutting down on costs is of vital importance.

So, let’s look at how Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust manged to reduce sickness related absence by 12.3%, reduce staff turnover by 8.5% and reduced their time to fill vacancies by five weeks.

Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust

What they did

Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust decided to implement Personal Group’s employee engagement and benefits platform – Hapi. This included access to a multitude of retail and lifestyle discounts in addition to the NHS discounts scheme, salary sacrifice schemes for home technology and gaming products as well as access to affordable loans, which allow for repayments over a longer period directly from salary, and access to financial education to help reduce the effects of financial stress on NHS employees.

Hapi also integrated Sandwell’ s entire existing benefit’s offering into a single app making it easily accessible and available for staff on the go – vital when three quarters of the Trust’s workforce spend 80% of their time away from a desk.

How staff reacted

The benefits offering is already playing a key role in enabling the trust to realise its vision of becoming renowned as the best-integrated care organisation in the NHS. Additionally, over 300 employees have taken up the scheme: delivering estimated savings to the trust to date of a whopping £64,000.

Impact on the bottom line

By incorporating the Let’s Connect home technology salary sacrifice scheme in the platform, the Trust was able to neutralise the cost of the entire engagement platform through the employer savings from the technology scheme – a ‘win – win’ situation.

As well as launching this as a cost neutral initiative, the Trust’s focus on employee wellbeing and other engagement activities have resulted in some dramatic improvements in their other KPIs. Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust manged to reduce sickness related absence by 12.3%, reduce staff turnover by 8.5% and reduced their time to fill vacancies by five weeks.

If you’d like to find out more about our work with Sandwell and other NHS Trust’s please drop an email to

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