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Lydia Gojke on being on CRN South London's Wellbeing Panel

Staff wellbeing is an important priority for the NIHR CRN South London. Our Research Nurse, Lydia Gojke, talks about the Wellbeing Panel and how it champions staff and tries to work with the Network’s leadership to overcome challenges in the workplace.

Why and when did you join the Wellbeing Panel?

I joined the Wellbeing Panel in June 2022. I was already a volunteer member of a wellbeing committee for a charity in my local area, so I thought I could be of use! It's also nice to take on something new every once in a while.

What do you like about the Wellbeing Panel?

Being part of the panel adds another dimension to my working life and it increases my knowledge and understanding of an area outside of my current role. We have members of the panel from various teams within the CRN, which is important so that each team has a voice. During meetings, we get to know and understand the challenges specific to each team, which I have found interesting. Our meetings are an opportunity to generate ideas to help the CRN collectively.

Why is staff wellbeing important?

We might take measures to improve our health and wellbeing in our personal lives, but much of our time is spent at work, so it makes sense that we give this a similar level of attention. The benefits of prioritising wellbeing in the workplace include reduced stress levels, increased job satisfaction and productivity, improved team cohesion, better retention of staff, reduced sickness absence and a more engaged workforce.

What has it been like to chair some of these meetings?

If you’re not often required to chair meetings like me, it’s a friendly, relaxed environment to practise the skills needed. Everyone always raises good points during these meetings, so although we might start with a relatively small agenda, we always have plenty to discuss!

How do you feel working for an organisation that focuses on staff wellbeing?

As cliché as it may sound, it's nice to feel valued. In my experience, it works well when employee wellbeing is integrated throughout an organisation and embedded in its culture and leadership.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.