Enhancing and Embedding Staff Engagement in the NHS: Putting Theory into Practice

IES partnered with Kent Business School, Warwick Business School and the University of Tilburg to carry out a systematic evidence synthesis of staff engagement in the NHS, on behalf of NIHR. The research project addressed the question: what evidence is there concerning the most appropriate models for engaging staff, and how can this be applied within the NHS? The overarching aim was to provide NHS managers with the knowledge and tools to improve staff engagement, and thus impact positively on staff morale, performance levels, and the quality of health service delivery and the patient experience.

To achieve this aim, the evidence synthesis had two core objectives: first, to review and evaluate theory and practice relating to models of engagement and second, to produce a set of evidence-based outputs to help and guide NHS managers in fostering high levels of engagement. The research team carried out a systematic evidence synthesis and wrote a report that examined the best quality evidence available on staff engagement as it was relevant to the NHS. The team also produced practical guides, podcasts and toolkit materials for NHS managers based on the evidence, and held a workshop, conference and webinar.