Our NHS People

Creating a compassionate environment

Leading by example, with compassion and empathy, will be a significant step on the way to creating an environment where team members behave with compassion towards one another.  It is important to be clear that this is a mutual responsibility.  Leaders can have lasting influence here by establishing opportunities and protocols where it is the norm to show mutual compassion.   These opportunities might include:

  • Structuring team meetings and briefings to allow time for people to hear from and support each other – see our related guide on safety huddles [LINK] and Safe Spaces for examples of how this can be done
  • Times for low stakes, informal communication – again these may happen during formal settings like team meetings – the important thing is to encourage time for team members to relate to each other as people with lives away from work
  • Ensuring there are buddying arrangements in place to support people in situations such as joining the team, donning essential protective equipment, rota cover and checking in on people who are sick or self-isolating.
  • Creating listening events with teams, individuals and certain groups i.e. BAME colleagues, to truly understand what people’s experiences are and how you can lead them well 


In the long run, it is our collective resilience which is likely to see our people and organisations through this testing period.