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Header image for the current page Organisational Development

NHS Organisational Development

In a rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, all NHS organisations need to be able to respond to change and deliver transformation that resolves challenges, creates sustainability and improves performance.

Effective organisational development (OD) can ensure you are future-ready by developing your competency and capacity and empowering your people to meet your strategic and operational objectives. Delivering services with fewer resources and increasing demand relies on optimal performance from your workforce. OD works to align the various cultural conditions central to effective and sustained high performance and to meeting the needs of your patients and wider stakeholders.

The Arden & GEM OD team delivers solutions that apply behavioural science to organisational and system challenges. We enable teams, organisations and healthcare systems to build the capacity and capabilities required for collaborative working and achieving shared goals. Our holistic approach places people at the heart of the process and, as an NHS organisation, we fully understand the need to carefully balance development activities with day to day operational pressures.

Our approach and OD solutions

Our partnership approach ensures we work collaboratively with organisations to deliver support that is tailored to your individual scenarios or challenges. We work at both a strategic and tactical level to enable clients to:

  • Establish purposeful and meaningful work
  • Facilitate cultural development, competencies and behaviours
  • Help co-design practices, systems and processes that create effective environments
  • Remove the blockages that prevent the workforce from adding value
  • Establish a learning organisation.

Our methodology allows us to operate as the ‘marginal outsider’ and challenge the status quo. It is designed to increase awareness, explore perspectives and help individuals, teams and the organisation learn and grow in order to improve performance.

Our work typically involves a combination of elements spanning eight interdependent organisational development domains. We work collaboratively with you to deliver end-to-end or modular solutions that empower your organisation to achieve its vision in what can often be a volatile, uncertain, ambiguous and complex environment.

We work with leaders and teams to build a common purpose, strengthen relationships and discover new ways of creating change through collaborative working. Our culture and values work includes:

• Aligning culture with strategy and purpose
• Developing responsiveness to system change
• Supporting cultural transformation
• Creating a learning organisation.

Developing a positive organisational culture takes skill, time, patience, humility and passion. Our solutions account for the complex nature of NHS organisations and health systems. We build the legitimacy required for successful outcomes by incorporating the perspectives of all stakeholders. Our systematic approach focuses on five key elements to ensure all stakeholders remain engaged throughout the journey of cultural transformation:

We see organisation design as a ‘people change’ process and support you to work together in shaping a structure that will enable you to deliver against your objectives.

Our structure solutions include:

  • Organisational transformation
  • Alignment and staff engagement
  • Individual and team psychometric tools and feedback
  • Workforce planning
  • Developing change management competencies.

To effectively respond to the needs of your population, and achieve your organisational objectives, your structure must ensure you have the right people, in the right positions. We work collaboratively with HR colleagues and leaders to understand the demands of their health economy and then develop the structure, competencies and capacity to deliver the required results.

Our seven-stage approach

  1. Agree a target operating structure and the work it is designed to perform
  2. Identify competencies, skills and temperament required to perform roles utilising psychometric and job evaluation analysis tools, and cross sector comparisons
  3. Complete a gap analysis through ‘As-is’ and ‘To-be’ task and relationship-based feedback questionnaires and interviews from a wide range of stakeholders
  4. Orientation of stakeholders to build awareness of how the team is perceived internally and externally in relation to the work that needs to be completed
  5. Co-design the work required to develop competencies and capacity, including a set of standards and outcomes against which individuals and teams can hold themselves accountable
  6. Implement the work required with a constant review against progress towards its objectives: team and individual coaching, group work, technical and inter-personal skills development, etc.
  7. Learning and reflection to analyse the present and improve future performance.

We can help you shape and maintain the health of your organisation by establishing effective systems and processes for improving efficiency and performance.

Our systems and processes support includes:

  • Continuous improvement
  • Applying Lean methodologies
  • Embedding behaviours
  • Team development tools/approaches.

Your organisational systems and processes play a fundamental role in the results you achieve. To improve outcomes you must understand what is currently in place, baseline performance metrics and understand the complex nature of interdependencies. Only at this point is it possible to re-design or re-engineer processes to deliver a more efficient and effective system.

Our experienced consultants/practitioners are skilled in methodologies that will determine your organisation’s start point, derive where it needs to get to and establish the processes and systems required to get there. We utilise an extensive toolbox including expertise in Managing Successful Programmes (MSP), PRINCE2, NHS England’s Quality Improvement Framework, and strategic assessment and knowledge.

By analysing operational systems and processes to understand their value, we work with clients to co-design new approaches that remove blockages and reinforce collaboration on values, corporate objectives, key performance indicators and cultural effectiveness. We also utilise the ‘5P Framework’ to ensure we fully account for the equality, diversity and inclusivity of your population and its health needs.

An engaged and motivated workforce can deliver discretionary effort that leads to higher individual, team and organisational performance.

Our staff engagement solutions include:

  • Developing an employee voice
  • Engaging managers
  • Visible, empowering, compassionate leadership
  • Organisational integrity
  • Diversity of thinking and discovery of potential blind spots

We know how essential staff engagement is to the success of individuals, teams and ultimately your organisation. By investing in improved engagement, you can encourage greater emotional investment from your staff and increase ownership, commitment, communication, learning and performance.

Our experts provide solutions that can help you to plan and implement strategies to increase employee engagement, satisfaction and retention. We work in partnership with you to assess your current levels of engagement, develop an engagement strategy and then implement and evaluate actions. To maximise the benefits, we can support you to design and launch staff surveys and pulse surveys, establish and run engagement groups, develop safe spaces that create opportunities for open dialogue, identify ways to improve staff recognition and promote diversity and inclusion.

We help clients to develop leadership capability and effective ways of working by delivering a tailored framework based on your organisation’s values and desired leadership behaviours.

Our support includes:

  • Leadership development programmes
  • Board and team development
  • One-to-one development and mentoring
  • Talent management and succession planning.

Organisations that invest in leadership development are proven to deliver significantly higher levels of performance. Effective leadership can build capacity to improve efficiency, increase performance, drive innovation and improve services.

Our transformational leadership development programmes are designed to create persuasive and adaptable leaders. Based on the nine dimensions of the NHS Leadership Academy’s Healthcare Leadership Model, they accelerate the development of key leadership skills. Your leaders will gain the confidence to motivate teams, influence stakeholders, improve team performance and adapt to future challenges.

Leadership programmes can be tailored to specific requirements or can be offered as six discrete modules:

Drawing on best practice from both the public and private sector, we provide advice, guidance and active facilitation to help your leaders assess their performance, evaluate their skills, review their effectiveness and key relationships, and improve the quality of their leadership. Our programmes improve critical areas including communication, teamwork, decision-making, problem-solving, empowerment and empathy. This enables your leaders to improve performance through the effective use of goal setting, delegation and motivation.

We work with organisations to enable skills development that motivates employees and grows the capabilities required to deliver your current and future objective.

Our skills development solutions include:

  • Skills gap audits
  • Training needs analysis and planning
  • Competency frameworks
  • Talent development
  • Training and development programmes
  • Personal effectiveness and professional development.

Skill development is important for both your individual employees and the organisation as a whole. Personal development provides an opportunity to both empower individuals and to improve their performance. By training employees and investing in their career development, you can make them feel valued by your organisation, increase tenures and reduce staff turnover.

Our experienced practitioners can help you to understand the skills required to meet your objectives, audit current skills and build bespoke development programmes. Each skills development solution is built around your specific requirements; whether technical, inter-personal or management and can be aligned to an existing or co-designed competency framework. Skills development typically falls into one of the following 3 categories:

Additional modules can also be developed to meet any bespoke specifications. Participants on our skills development programmes are encouraged to recognise their inner qualities and to use them with confidence and efficacy. This empowers every individual to develop personal accountability for their development and to perform to the best of their ability.

We deliver coaching and mentoring that makes employees more valuable to your organisation by providing an enabler for targeted career growth and helping them achieve their potential.

Our solutions include:

  • One-to-one coaching or mentoring
  • Group coaching / action learning
  • Systemic team coaching including 360° stakeholder analysis
  • Developing internal coaching skills and capacity.

Coaching and mentoring are invaluable tools to increase the performance of both individuals and teams. Mentoring is a long-term process based on mutual trust and respect, delivering a positive change often through a direct transfer of knowledge and experience. Coaching is typically delivered over a shorter time period and covers a spectrum from tangible, skills, performance related development and action planning objectives through to less tangible highly personal individual or team development which has a significant impact on how individuals and teams engage with their work and the organisations objectives.

These more targeted approaches to development allow organisations to identify the strengths and weaknesses of individuals, delivering a positive change through a direct transfer of knowledge.

Our team of experts provide the experience and credibility required to deliver mentoring and coaching that maximises the strengths, talents and potential of your staff and leaders. Our support can help with career development, building capacity and resilience, enhancing learning, boosting confidence, increasing commitment and motivation, and can deliver a solutions focus based on goal and objective setting directly connected to the organisation and its role in your health system.

Investing in your employees' wellbeing can improve the safety and health of your team and is proven to increase organisational performance by 2-3%.

Our wellbeing solutions provide support across the entire health and wellbeing continuum:

  • Emotional and psychological wellbeing
  • Physical wellbeing and risk mitigation
  • Social wellbeing systems and initiatives
  • Financial and career wellbeing support.

Good staff wellbeing is critical to maximising the performance of your organisation. Creating a healthier workplace can deliver better staff morale, reduced sickness absence, more committed and engaged staff, and can also enhance skills retention and recruitment by becoming an 'employer of choice'.

We are experts in developing staff wellbeing schemes that are delivered efficiently while maximising the benefits available to your organisation. Our comprehensive portfolio of support utilises a toolkit including access to experts, online resources, printed materials, a network of specialist partners and signposting to nationally provided initiatives.

Investing in our wellbeing services will enhance individual employee's interpersonal relationships,
as well as improving and maintaining morale, motivation and productivity.

Why Arden & GEM OD services?

Our OD solutions are adaptive, flexible and constantly updated to meet the evolving needs of health and care systems. We put people at the heart of change, emphasise creativity and innovation, to positively influence the performance of your organisation.

  • We deliver OD that creates a continuous cycle of improvement, from strategy, through to implementation and evaluation
  • We are experienced in increasing communication across all levels of NHS organisations, aligning employees to shared values and manifesting change from employee feedback
  • We draw on our large, multidisciplinary workforce to meet your desired OD outcomes, including HR practitioners, change and project management consultants, communications professionals, population health analysts and digital specialists
  • As part of the NHS family, we understand your operating environment and are best placed to help you find solutions for your challenges
  • Our services improve productivity and creativity, reduce costs, minimise staff turnover, create a culture of openness and deliver a workforce that is adaptive to transformational change.

We would welcome the opportunity to discuss how our OD Consultancy can support you.



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