Building trust with all staff

Two of my priorities for the next 12 months are to engage and build trust with staff and invest in leadership, writes Ms. Rosarii Mannion, newly appointed HSE National Director for Human Resources.

Ms. Rosarii Mannion
Ms. Rosarii Mannion

I feel very privileged to be given the challenging opportunity of helping health service staff to shape and improve health and social services for clients and patients throughout Ireland.   This is the reason we all work in the health services. Wherever we work, we all collectively have very significant responsibilities. We can change people’s lives, in so many cases we can enable people to lead better lives, and we can protect and restore their health.   I think we are all so fortunate to have jobs which can make such a real difference.

My five priorities for the next 12 months centre on engaging and building trust with employees, investing in leadership, using ICT to avoid duplication of data and paper based systems, addressing workforce planning and recruitment with a clear transparent system and investing in learning opportunities. These priorities are based on listening to issues raised by staff and on the gaps and recommendations which emerged from this year’s employee survey. And indeed, I am re-assigning staff to specifically address issues raised in the employee survey.

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I will look forward to the help and advice of the Health Management Institute in implementing these priorities.

My initial plans are to develop at least one future leaders programme in each of the HSE Delivery Units and I also want to support and enable delivery units leading to greater organisational effectiveness.

I want to strengthen the capacity of line managers to manage performance and address staff relations issues in a competent and supportive manner and I believe it is imperative to ensure a developmental focus underpinning performance management.

I see investing in staff wellbeing and development as an integral part of our work in HR and I am also examining initiatives in relation to career planning, rotation, succession planning, knowledge transfer, preparation for retirement etc.

I will look forward to the help and advice of the Health Management Institute in implementing these priorities.

We will also reconfiguring SAP HR to our current organisational structure and I am reviewing all HR Policies and Procedures to ensure legal compliance and responsive staff approaches supported through elearning. I also want to improving HR communications so that we can reach staff who may feel isolated for a variety of reasons.

A number of existing HR staff from across the system have already agreed to take on lead roles in key priority areas such as staff engagement, communications, quality improvement, National HR Helpline, supporting positive attendance, diversity and inclusion, etc.

As HMI members are only too well aware, health is a very complex area with huge challenges for the staff who deliver its many services. I see it as my job, and the job of my team, to help each and every member of staff to meet these challenges, which are as diverse as individual jobs, but- which I think broadly hinge on planning for and meeting increasing patient demand and expectations with finite resources.   This involves very hard work and ongoing change in how we work and deliver our services. And most importantly, it requires leadership and support at every level.

And that is where the HSE HR Directorate comes in. We want to help staff to live our common values, to work with care, compassion and trust, to have their integrity and skills recognised and acknowledged, to be supported in difficult times and to develop their skills through an environment of constant learning.

I want to assure the HMI and all staff that we have taken on board the concerns which emerged from the first national HSE employee survey and I see it as my job, and the job of my staff to address these concerns in the months and years immediately ahead.

Over the past few weeks I have met with and listened very carefully to the views of HR Staff across the organisation on the best way forward to meet these challenges. During the coming months I hope to meet many of more staff who work in the many areas that comprise the HSE and hear their views and hopes for the future.

In our people strategy, we have commenced charting a way forward to enable staff to work as efficiently and effectively as possible and to get as much job satisfaction as possible.

In partnership with staff and their representative organisations, we want to and will develop leadership and management capacity and skills, embrace and utilise modern technology to make jobs easier and ensure that workforce and career planning will be carried out openly and transparently.

We have developed key priorities and we plan to keep seeking staff views so as to ensure, these are meeting perceived needs. We will also hold a second staff survey next year which I hope will show improvement or if there are other areas which staff believe we should explore.

In this regard, I want to pay tribute to my HR colleagues for their generous welcome to me and for their work, support, skill, experience and eagerness to deliver the best possible HR services.   I hope to be worthy of their trust.

In conclusion, I am really looking forward to working with all staff and hope that collectively we can create a modern, inclusive, caring, supportive and high performing HR service that will support the delivery of high quality services to those who depend on us to do so.