Guest Blog: Ann Johnson. “Joy in work is addictive and contagious, let’s all catch it and earn our cogs.”

We are delighted to welcome a guest blogger to @15s30m this week. Ann is an avid tweeter and dietician, in addition to being one of our #15s30m Heroes. We’ll let her introduce herself a bit more….

My name is Ann Johnson and I work for Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. I have worked in the Trust for 7 years and was an Operational Manager until last year. My current role is as an Allied Health Professional Clinical Lead and I am also on a 1 year secondment to HEE as an AHP Leadership fellow, 2 days a week. I realised that I needed a new challenge in a bid to improve my resilience.

Networking is vital to the success of the fellowship, so a challenge was presented to me when I started my secondment- to create a Twitter account. As a self confessed Twitterphobe I was always reluctant to get involved but took a leap of faith and jumped in with both feet.

In common with many of our followers, Ann discovered 15s30m through a network of colleagues outside her organisation.

After spending time improving my confidence with Twitter I became slightly obsessed (in a positive way) by social media. I became aware of 15s30m through Carrie Biddle one of the other AHPs on my fellowship and a 15s30m superhero herself.

One of the features of 15s30m is that it offers a ‘way-in’ to quality improvement for people who haven’t had any training or feel it is something that only specialists can do. Here’s how Ann describes it;

The concept was so simple it was brilliant, quality improvement without the scary ‘badge’ that comes attached to it.

Since changing roles my mantra became to “be kind whenever possible, it is always possible” and I looked for ways of empowering people to increase their confidence and joy in work. 15s30m was an easy way to fulfil this mantra.

At the heart of 15s30m lies compassion: that we can show compassion for each other and ourselves every day. It is the secret remedy to counteract so much of the burnout and frustration which is present as a healthcare worker in the modern NHS. Each 15s30m mission is a tiny way to make someone else’s day a little easier. So, how did Ann approach this?

My first mission was a singular affair and seemed to happen by accident. Since stepping away from operationally managing a team, I realised I was being contacted regularly for information. The lightbulb moment I had was that I could share some of the electronic folders I had created, with the rest of the team, using a shared drive. This would reduce the frustration they felt by not having the information they needed. They would also have the power to use the data without seeking permission, so increasing confidence. It was so simple and reduced delays and email traffic so an absolute win.

This has so many hallmarks of a great mission – that putting in a small amount of effort to organise or share information can have a long-lasting effect. Not only does it reduce frustration for the staff who no longer have to ask for info, it reduces frustration for the team leader who has fewer email enquiries to deal with. This mission will empower staff and increase their autonomy – such important factors in creating Joy in Work. But Ann didn’t leave it there!….

The second mission was a shared affair between myself and my manager, who was becoming frustrated trying to locate an old email. I showed her a different email filtering process which led her to pinpoint exactly what she needed without the endless searching. She then found an additional filter which she shared back with me and became a 15s30m hero herself. It was a special moment I can tell you! I know she passed on the mission to another colleague so spreading the joy. Who knows how far this ripple effect has now reached.

Only this week I encouraged a team to complete their own 15s30m Mission. During the monthly meeting, one of the clinicians revealed he had been working offsite and had problems logging on. He contacted IT and after 35minutes of waiting on hold, was given a simple fix which took seconds. Although frustrated at the wasted time, he explained the solution to the team. When I highlighted what had just happened, other team members offered shared fixes to other IT problems they had encountered and the team agreed to create an electronic folder with IT fixes which could be accessed by all. A fabulous shared mission to benefit all. I also know this created several new Twitter members…..

A social movement is only effective if it can sustain its own momentum. Our heroes are absolutely key to how effective we are and to spread the word far beyond the groups we could reach personally.

Ann’s mission demonstrates beautifully what she describes as the ‘ripple effect’ – how the impact of a mission can spread further than you originally intended. And as you can tell, the joy which Ann felt at having made a difference to someone else is immense. When you increase joy in work for someone else, the person who benefits the most is you!
So what’s next for Ann?

My next mission is to raise awareness of 15s30m at our next Staff Health and Wellbeing Group meeting as a way to improve morale.

My advice to anyone would be, think about the tasks you complete every day and you will be surprised by how many of them could be made simpler. If you encounter a barrier, there will be a silver lining courtesy of a 15s30m mission.

Joy in work is addictive and contagious, let’s all catch it and earn our cogs.

Have you started a #15s30m Mission in your workplace? Have you inspired others to join our social movement to reduce frustration and increase joy? We’d love to hear from you so we can add you to your Heroes Gallery. Please get in touch @15s30m or pop to the website

Dan Wadsworth and Rachel Pilling are co-creators of 15seconds 30 minutes. They were winners of the 2017 NHS Improvement Sir Peter Carr Award and would love you to follow them on twitter @danwods and @miss_pilling.