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Have you been disappointed by a lack of engagement?

Have you been disappointed by a lack of engagement?

Children sitting on chair holding musical instruments up to their ears

Working on solutions to this, has really emphasised for me how priceless getting engagement is. So much either doesn’t happen, or goes wrong without engagement. Unfortunately, primary care and the NHS in general doesn’t do engagement well. You don’t need to look hard to see plenty of examples of poor engagement: 

🚫 Practices not engaging with PCNs and Federations

🚫 Practices not engaging with patient groups

🚫 Primary care not engaging with commissioners

🚫 Secondary care not engaging with primary care 

If you’re not getting engagement from others, it’s usually for one of the reasons below, and the solution is almost certainly in your hands. 

❗️ They don’t know how to engage.

❗️ They can’t see anything they can gain from engaging.

❗️ The cost and effort of engaging is too high or too hard.

❗️ They don’t feel they have anything to offer.

❗️ They don’t feel a part of what they’re being asked to engage with.

❗️ They don’t feel emotionally safe engaging.  

If you want people to engage with you need to do this: 

✅ Make it clear how you would like people to engage with you.

✅ Tell them how they’ll benefit from engaging, and make sure there is an actual benefit.

✅ Make it as easy as possible to engage, keep asking how could it be easier until you’ve done everything possible.

✅ Tell them why they’re being asked to engage and why their engagement is of value.

✅ Make sure your request for engagement connects with their work, interests or passion.

✅ Ensure engagement can happen freely and securely, without repercussion or harmful consequences. 

Engagement is priceless. If you're not getting it try following the steps above.


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