Long term impact of the junior doctors’ strike

On Friday 11th March junior doctors returned to work after a 48 hour strike.  It’s a strike no one wants.  It’s additional stress on an already struggling NHS. There’s a lot of talk about junior doctors leaving the NHS as a result of the new contract. Less talked about is the long term impact of the junior doctors’ strike; the impact on employee engagement.

Macey & Schneider (2008) define engagement as “involvement, passion, enthusiasm, focused effort and energy”. There’s evidence that a strong relationship between engagement and organisational performance markers e.g. increased profitability, reduced employee turnover and greater customer satisfaction.  There’s also evidence of the link between employee engagement and personal performance outcomes e.g. increased job satisfaction and career progression (Fleck & Inceoglu, 2012). The work environment shapes our experience of work.  The organisational context may enhance or undermine our motivation and our sense of meaning at work (Kahn 1990). Could the result of the current impasse and contract imposition lead junior doctors to become disengaged?  Could this lead to reduced organisational and personal performance outcomes?

The stakes are high. Those involved with negotiations need to think about the long term implications of this conflict. What is needed is collaborative resolution not compromise.

We can apply this to our own organisation and think about:

* All organisations work within fast moving external environments meaning organisations adapt and change. Part of the DoH argument is the need to change junior doctor working arrangements to deliver an effective and efficient 24/7 service. Is your organisation failing to adapt? Could failure to adapt threaten your organisational viability?

* Human resources are your most precious resource. Do you recognise this? Employees provide a means of gaining unique competitive advantage.  But, only if they’re developed and they can align personal and organisational goals. What does your organisation do to truly appreciate its employees?

* Change can be challenging. For some it means excitement, to others, threat. When considering change it’s important to consider how employees and teams will react so you help them to embrace change.

Interested in learning more about employee engagement? Go to www.synergies.org.uk and get in contact to talk about your needs.

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Conflict Resolution