There is increasing evidence of burnout among healthcare workers (HCW). Workers engagement is one solution to burnout with positive outcomes towards patient care and work satisfaction. Simple, low key positive activities have been shown to make differences to people in a pressurised environment. Our intervention aims to establish whether acts of kindness at work can affect workers engagement.Methods
Occasional Acts of Kindness (OAK) was a pilot intervention programme trialled in a large tertiary hospital in December 2016. All HCWs were invited to attend the 2 hours session when participants take a break from work in a friendly atmosphere, sit for a while, engage with one another and ask colleagues about how they were coping with work and life. The effectiveness of this intervention was evaluated using a validated staff engagement questionnaire, Utrecht Work Engagement Scale. Participants were also encouraged to leave their own comments regarding the intervention.Result
65 HCWs of varying grades and departments participated. 97% of participants agree that the intervention boosts collegiality and strengthens relationships at work, 90% agree it would make them more likely to take the initiative to help a struggling colleague, 80% agree it boosts their energy at work, 83% agree it increases their mental resilience at work, 90% agree it enhances their enthusiasm at work, 87% agree it helps them persevere even if things are not going well, 63% agree it helps them continue working even for long period, 84% agree it helps instil a sense of pride in workplace and 93% agree it boosts overall morale at work. Their additional comments regarding the intervention were also cohesively positive.Discussion
Our intervention proved that acts of kindness at work have multitudes positive effects on workers and work. A culture of kindness is one solution to the growing issue of burnout among HCW.