Strangely, our sixth Learning Organisation Collaborative (LOC) conference this year was also a first – as like much of our new world, we moved to a virtual format. While COVID-19 restrictions meant that we may have missed this year’s opportunity to network with colleagues face-to-face, it was great to see nearly 100 people connected during the launch event and engaged throughout the morning via a lively chat box.

One thing that COVID-19 has done is shone a light on the importance of the wellbeing of our care givers, and this year we were able to pause in our day to reflect on the impact of the last 15 months and the importance of recovery. We often think that looking after our wellbeing is at the expense of performance but, like many athletes know, there is strong evidence that health and recovery are critical for performance and those organisations that prioritise wellbeing and create the right conditions are the most sustainable. In his keynote speech Paul Chudleigh, organisational psychologist and expert in resilience, presented the case for wellbeing and showed us where organisations enable wellbeing, they are 3 times more productive and 4 times more likely to retain staff (Dornan and Jane-Llopis, 2010). However, providing information on how to stay well and promoting access to wellbeing support and services alone will not create change we need to change our everyday working practices and create the environment where people feel safe and can thrive – when a flower doesn’t bloom we fix the environment not the flower! 

These themes were picked up by a range of workshops offering practical steps to enhance workplace wellbeing and share good practice from across the UK – from resilience tools, to starting and ending your day well, simple improvements to save more time as well as supporting teams post-pandemic, and creating joy at work.

Charlie Cannon, performance coach, provided an interactive session challenging leaders to consider the shadow that they cast and how important it is to put our own oxygen mask on first so that we be at our best in working with patients and colleagues. He shared very practical steps to control stress and conduct our energy so that we can create the high challenge high support environment that motivates staff.

For the remainder of LOC week, colleagues in health and care had the opportunity to access an additional 15 workshops providing taster sessions in wellbeing activities such as mindful pilates, better sleep and culinary medicine, or practical skills sessions helping us to control our worries, time management or have a good wellbeing conversation.

The week of events has formally evaluated well and attendees have described it as ‘inspiring’ and ‘energising’ taking away new insights and practical steps to use in their working lives. 

If you feel like you have missed the events don’t worry - information relating to the LOC week workshops and recordings of the launch event will be made available over the coming weeks on the CLIC website at www.theclic.org.uk/training-and-events/conferences/loc-2021