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What is the challenge your project is going to address and how does it connect to your chosen theme?

People need to enjoy work more. Why? Because our jobs are hard, and improving happiness at work has been shown to increase effectiveness, performance, productivity, creativity and retain staff (The pursuit of happiness, Jessica Pryce-Jones). Burnout on the other hand can reduce safety, lower quality of patient care and reduce empathy (IHI Framework for Improving Joy in Work).

How does it connect with improvement capabilities across boundaries? This quote from the IHI paper answers this perfectly:
“Since joy in work is a consequence of systems, quality improvement methods and tools have a role in its pursuit. That is to say: organizations and leaders that want to improve joy can do so using the same methods of aim setting, tests of change, and measurement that they use in the more familiar terrain of clinical and operational process improvement.”

We therefore need to test how we can improve joy in work across different sectors and understand which approaches deliver/support healthcare.

What does your project aim to achieve?

The objectives of the project are:
1) By building on current knowledge (including that from the IHI and 15sec30mins), run a Collaborative of 10 teams (from various sectors, including but not limited to healthcare, universities, voluntary sector, patient groups) based on the IHI Collaborative approach, to understand the practical steps which can be taken to increase joy in work. QI methodology will be key to this.
2) Develop an easy to use electronic Toolkit/How-To Guide which will be available to all Q members and beyond.

By achieving the objectives, anyone will be able to take this learning and test in their own organisation/team. This means that those interested will not need to ‘reinvent the wheel’, thereby saving time and reducing some of the emotional strain which implementing change can bring.

Success will be through short, medium and long-term measurement. A suite of measures will be developed to fully understand what works and which tests of change reap the most benefit and why.

How will the project be delivered?

The IHI demonstrate that using their Breakthrough Series Collaborative Model dramatic results can be achieved. View here for info: Therefore, we anticipate, that by applying this same methodology, valuable learning will be gained.

However, assessing the benefits of collaboratives can sometimes be tricky. This can be reduced through clearly defining from the start how this Collaborative would be delivered and measured.

Interested organisations/teams will be invited to submit an expression of interest.

To run/design/troubleshoot a collaborative faculty team will be established. This faculty will be made up of a mixture of  QI experts and those who have implemented Joy in Work. Julia, Susy and Siobhan who submitted this proposal will be members of the faculty. All have extensive QI knowledge and Julia completed the IHI Joy in Work course in 2018. Julia/Susy run the Q Joy in Work SIG (membership 155) and ran an event in March. Others will be invited to join.

What and how is your project going to share learning throughout?

Learning during and on completion of this Collaborative would be through:
– regular updates on the Q ‘Improving Joy in Work’ Special Interest Group (155 members)
– regular updates to ‘Improving Joy in Work’ group for non-Q members (30 members)

In addition, a free electronic Toolkit/How-To Guide would also be developed. We would request the Toolkit/How-To Guide be placed on the Q website, and a comms campaign would be developed around this. We would encourage and welcome other website providers to include this document on their own platforms.

How you can contribute

  • Tell us what you think about this idea – we would very much welcome your input/view
  • Please share with us any organisations/groups you feel might be interested in being involved in the Collaborative. This helps us gage the interest in this work. We would love to hear from healthcare, social services, universities, voluntary sector/charities and patient groups
  • If you are already implementing Joy in Work, it would be great to hear from you because if this bid was successful we would very much like to tap into your knowledge and expertise

Plan timeline

29 Nov 2019 Expressions of interest circulated
29 Nov 2019 Faculty identified
3 Jan 2020 Deadline for expressions of interest
31 Jan 2020 Collaborative starts
6 Mar 2020 Events start
31 Dec 2020 Collaborative ends
31 Dec 2020 Toolkit/How-To Guide completed and comms plan implemented


  1. Hi

    I am keen to keep in contact so we can learn and share from each other. We have a similar idea in the SW. We want to use joy but also learning from excellence, compassionate care and culture to create the conditions for our staff to thrive across health and social care. We would value your comments on our project.

    Many thanks


    1. Hi Helen

      Yes, it would be great to keep in touch - I would definitely value this.

      I have had a look at your idea and there are some similarities - looks good!


  2. Hi,

    Don't forget to capitalise on the twitter campaign throughout your project @15s30m #JoyinWork #15s30mMission.

    I love this campaign. So easy to teach and such a compelling message.

    Breakthrough Series is a good platform too to capture the change Joy can make.

    What improvement measures are you thinking of?


    1. Hi Tony

      Thank you for your post and great idea about 15s30m. Yes, fantastic approach.

      As for measures we would be looking at short, medium and longer term measures so we can really understand the impact. If this idea is successful, the plan is to get a faculty group together to help design the collaborative and measurement would form part of this.


  3. Great minds think alike! I am working with Cerdic on our Q Exchange idea – “The Joy Collaborative”. Shall we join forces?! Perhaps the main difference is that we would like to focus on the quality of relationships and using our authentic selves in therapeutic relationships. Is this something that could fit with your idea?

    07990 755753

    1. Hi Nicola

      I have a call booked with Cerdic on Tuesday at 1pm, which came about following Cerdic's post. Feel free to join!


  4. Hi...... I'm working at Camden and Islington NHS FT, on a programme that relates to your work

    I'm interested in how you define joy?

    I'm reminded of the cartoonist Leunig and his different versions of happiness and hoping that the scope for joy is broad.

    I'm wondering how we can link up with your plans.....

    We are wanting to utilise a combination of Theory of Change and theatre methods to dive more deeply into the nature of effective, authentic relationships in healthcare to see what we can change/promote to foster more joy/satisfaction amongst staff.

    Would love to discuss.



    1. Many thanks for your interest!

      I will give you a call - it would be good to discuss.

      My view on defining joy is that it needs to be defined by the people who are wanting to create more joy within their own work - so in my view the scope is definitely broad.

      Speak soon.


  5. Thank you Kate!

    I will definitely contact you direct regarding this.

    Thanks again.


  6. I'd be pleased to share our experiences/learning at Southampton Children's Hospital following our participation in the IHI 'Joy in Work' programme and be involved moving forwards with this project.  Do get in touch

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