Zenon Consulting

Telephone: 0203 283 4164

E: marcblakewill@zenonconsulting.com


Reputation Management

Reputation is the most important asset for any organisation or individual and yet it is often left to fend for itself. Reputation, like brand, can hinge on the weakest link – how an organisation or individual handles a crisis or deals with a mistake is perceived as absolutely vital.

Reputation management is becoming an increasingly high priority for NHS Leaders....the relative reputation of an organisation can have a significant impact on how successful it is and influence the organisation’s ability to deliver high-quality, safe and responsive patient care.
For private sector organisations the impact of reputation on share price, market share and bottom-line profitability, ensures reputation management is high on the agenda of boards. For organisations working in the NHS the importance of reputation can be conceived of in similar terms.
Changes in the policy environment, such as the growth of the choice agenda, have meant that the financial position of their organisations, whether they are a commissioner or provider, can be influenced significantly by their reputation.
A positive local or national reputation can also make a significant difference to an organisation’s efficiency, with a positive workforce and a supportive, engaged community. The converse is that although reputation is hard-won, it is much harder to rebuild after a high-profile incident or negative investigation or report.

What is reputation?

Your organisation’s reputation consists of the perception that your stakeholders develop through their accumulated experience of your organisation, both through direct and indirect contact.
It is shaped by 3 key components:

1.Vision and values – these describe what you are trying to achieve as an organisation and how you go about achieving it.

2.Actions - what you do and how you behave as an organisation – from the services you provide to the way your staff are treated.

3.Communications – you may be delivering excellent services, but only clear communications will mean your organisation gets the recognition it deserves for success. Good communication can also help explain the reasons for any short comings.

Why reputation matters?

There is undoubtedly a growing imperative for NHS organisations to actively manage their reputation. Key reasons are:

1.Improve performance – a good reputation amongst staff ensures better levels of morale and an increased ability to attract and retain those people. It also increases an organisation’s ability to implement change, as staff buy into what you are trying to achieve.

2.Generate local support for change – there is an increasing emphasis on local accountability for public services. Good reputation management that encourages dialogue with stakeholders, and builds their understanding and support, will enable you to meet your duty of accountability and build consensus

3.Healthcare commission ratings link – with the results of the patient survey feeding into the Annual Health Check, the views of patients are important to how the performance of your organisation is judged.

4.Financial imperative driven by patient choice and payment by results – under the policies of choice, plurality and payment by results, the need to attract patients is vital to financial well-being. Research shows that more than half of all patients consider reputation when choosing a hospital.

5.Meet the requirements of world-class commissioning for primary care trusts – the first 4 competences identified in world –class commissioning can only be achieved where primary care trusts have a strong reputation amongst their stakeholders. These competencies are

Be recognised as the local leader of the NHS Work collaboratively with community partners to commission services Proactively seek and build continues and meaningful engagement with the public and patients Lead continuous and meaningful engagement with clinicians.

Understanding what drives your reputation

What drives NHS reputation varies at both a national and local level.
Unpicking what influences local perceptions is complex, but involves personal experience, perceptions derived from local and national media and demographic characteristics.
Research consistently shows that people are generally more positive about their local NHS than the NHS nationally.

Starting to build and manage your reputation

Your vision and values, your actions and how you communicate as an organisation are a helpful framework for thinking about reputation management.

Vision and values – developing your vision and values needs to be undertaken inclusively, involving your top team, your staff, partner organisations and local people, to understand their needs and aspirations, where they feel there are gaps in services and where potential solutions might lie.
Different stakeholders are likely to include; Staff, their representatives and unions Members and governors Patients and patient groups. The wider local public, Local partners in the NHS, including the strategic health authority, commissioners and providers. Other local partner organisations and individuals, including GP’s, independent practioners and voluntary and community sector groups. Local decision-makers and opinion formers, including local press and broadcast media, MP’s, local authority members and community leaders. Ensure the image you promote is the reality you deliver – your reputation can only be as good as the reality you deliver, through the contact people have with your organisation – whether they be patients, carers, staff, members of the public or other stakeholders.
Boards can play an important role in making the vision and values come alive for the organisation by translating them into meaningful targets that performance and progress can be measured against.

For more information about Reputation Management contact Julia Tybura at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call her on 0203 283 4164.


Current Assignments

Julia Tybura is providing OD support to Kent, Surrey and Sussex Leadership Academy. She is working with senior system leaders as the representative of the Local Leadership Academy, providing expert analysis, advice, support and OD interventions.

Rupert Wainwright has just completed his role as interim Deputy Director of Acute Services at the Isle of Wight NHS Trust.

Julia Tybura - along with Zenon associates - is providing continuing HR and OD support to City and Hackney CCG in London.

Julia is now an accredited Belbin Team Roles practitioner.  As well as giving a greater insight into the benefits of 360°feedback, team dynamics and job analysis, this gives Julia full backup from the Belbin office. Get in touch if you'd like to hear more about Zenon's team building workshops.

Julia facilitated an HR career speed dating event for over 50 people. The event was for the HPMA London Academy and feedback was very positive: "The structured format was one of the most constructive I have encountered.". If you’re looking for an experienced facilitator for team building or a time-out session. then give Julia a call.

Contact us if you need interim, outplacement, programme management or clinical strategy support by emailing Julia at juliatybura@zenonconsulting.com or call her on 0203 059 4599


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