Measuring and evaluating the impact of our work is essential to understanding how successful our efforts have been. But how do you do this in a way that’s effective, efficient, and tailored to your own specific needs?
In this blog post, we explore a Lagom approach that we applied in a project with NHS England – to evaluate the impact of work experience across the NHS.
The importance of measuring impact
The ability to measure impact is becoming increasingly important for businesses, organisations, and governments. In today’s world, data-driven decisions are essential for success; being able to accurately measure the impact of those decisions is a powerful tool.
Measuring impact can help leaders make better decisions and optimise performance. It can also help to identify areas of improvement, new strategies, or even new policies.
Further, within the public sector, accountability is paramount. Stakeholders — whether they are taxpayers, investors, or beneficiaries — seek assurance that initiatives are both purposeful and effective.
Despite this clear importance, it can be difficult to evaluate the success of an action without evidence-based metrics that illustrate the true impact made.
Measuring the impact of work experience for NHS England
Our recent collaboration with NHS England illustrates our approach to measuring impact.
Tasked with a 12-week project, we set out to understand the impact of work experience on the career trajectories of young learners in healthcare.
Understanding the impact of work experience is important for the NHS in the context of the Long Term Workforce Plan, and the need to increase workforce supply.
Our work enabled the client team to understand the effects of early exposure to the healthcare environment. These insights will inform refinement of work experience programmes to best attract the future workforce.
Our approach was both rigorous and comprehensive. We:
- Engaged with a wide range of users: Through surveys and in-depth interviews, we explored the experiences of young learners, healthcare staff, and work experience coordinators. Their insights provided a rich tapestry of qualitative data.
- Analysed Secondary Data: Our team also delved into existing datasets within the NHS and other relevant institutions. This data allowed us to create a holistic picture, combining the fresh perspectives of our interviewees with the data already on record.
Our findings were significant and provided the NHS England team with new ways to use qualitative and quantitative evidence to measure the impact of work experience in the NHS.
Interestingly, our work proved some common perceptions about work experience. But we were also able to use the evidence to challenge some deeply held perceptions. For example, we found that increasing the duration of work experience does not significantly increase the likelihood of a young learner entering a healthcare career.
Our collaboration with NHS England offered valuable insights into work experience across the sector. We also provided the valuable evidence needed to inform the strategy and design of work experience programmes to meet future workforce supply challenges.
For organisations seeking to explore their own impact, our approach can help to uncover valuable data that can inform policy and strategic decisions.
If you are interested in finding effective ways to measure and understand the tangible results of your work, get in touch for a chat about how this approach could work for you!