Liverpool Community Health – A Caring Organisation
May 18th, 2015 by Suzanne Sweeney
Liverpool Community Health (LCH) is an organisation that is in the business of caring. ‘We care for our patients, their families, each other and the community’ tops the list of core organisational values.
So when LCH embarked on a significant change and improvement programme in 2014 they recognised that ‘taking care’ of staff affected by the changes would be critical. Windmills was asked to support that process and provide a group of staff with the skills and tools to positively progress change and build organisational and individual resilience.
When one senior manager joined the first personal development and capacity building workshops, her primary focus was on how the Windmills approach and tools would help her support her team. Quite quickly however, she began to realise how beneficial this would be on a personal level. At the time, her job satisfaction was low and feeling stressed at work meant she was struggling to keep her resilience levels up. To cope with a huge workload she was working long hours and still taking work home. Not sleeping well, her general mood was up and down. Not the best place to be if you are going to support others.
During a practice session with a colleague, she was asked to draw her WLPG blend. Predictably the largest circle by far was work but seeing this represented visually had a huge impact. She became quite tearful, realising that her life was ‘consumed by work’. Reflecting on the situation with the help of her colleague she decided to do 3 things to take better care of herself. Spend less time at work, make more effort to go out for a meal on Saturdays with her husband and find something to do away from work that would allow her to make new friends.
Four months later those changes have had a massive impact. ‘The circles are much more even – work is still a dominant factor but nowhere near as big as it used to be. I still reflect on those circle in the original WLPG and can still see them in my mind – they prevent me from back tracking on my commitments to have a more balanced life. I feel I have more control. I feel better; I am enjoying my new life. I feel like I have grown as a rounded person’.
The changes have also impacted on others – her family, in the organisation and wider. She decided to join the Samaritan as a listening volunteer and has enjoyed learning new skills and meeting new people – ‘it has opened up a new area of my life.’ Despite being in a very demanding role, she has managed her time and herself more effectively and has used the Windmills tools to support 74 other LCH employees. As well as helping people on an individual level, she believes sharing the Windmills tools with various teams has broken down barriers, encouraged people to be more open with each other and improved working relationships.
‘I have improved my listening skills and my ability to empathise with others. I feel I am more tolerant and supportive. I am happier and that makes me a better person to be around – I hope I can use my knowledge to prevent others overworking by encouraging them to have a more balanced life. I try to talk about life balance in all my supervisions with my teams.’
Her ultimate goal for her own team is to help them become ‘self managing’ – able to build their resilience and take care of themselves.
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