Developing and embedding effective workplace cultures that are also good places to work

Dr Kate Sanders PhD, MSc, BSc (Hons), HV Cert, RN - Practice Development Facilitator

Kate Sanders, FoNS Practice Development Facilitator

The topic of culture in health and social care has been much spoken about for several years now, and yet, there is still work to be done to understand the nature of those workplace cultures where care is effective, safe and person-centred, and staff experience them as good places to work. How would we recognise these cultures and how would we develop and embed them?

Back in the late 2000s, as part of FoNS’ participation in the International Practice Development Collaborative (IPDC), I was involved in some work with Kim Manley, Shaun Cardiff and Jonathan Webster to deepen our understanding of effective workplace cultures in health and social care, culminating in the publication of an article in 2011: Effective workplace culture: the attributes, enabling factors and consequences of a new concept. As time has moved on since then, and our knowledge and understanding continue to develop, we met in early 2017 to discuss how we could update this understanding, in light of contemporary health and social care.

To begin this process we created a blog site:, each posting a blog to introduce ourselves and to share our interest in workplace culture. If you haven’t already visited this site, I encourage you to do so.

As we now approach the spring of 2018, we are starting a collaborative inquiry which we invite you to be part of. This commences with a Twitter Chat on 12th March 20.00-21.00 hrs GMT (21.00-22.00 hrs CET), using the hashtag #EWCulture, to explore four questions:

  • Why should we concern ourselves with workplace culture?
  • What if you came to work tomorrow and found yourself in a really good and effective workplace culture, what would it be like?
  • How would others (delivering and experiencing care) know that it is an effective culture and a good place to work?
  • How can we develop and sustain good and effective workplace cultures?

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