18–24 March 2019
National Kitchen Table Week is one of our favourite times of year! We get to see conversations rooted in kindness play out across the country in such a joyous way.
Over the course of Sign up to Safety, we have realised that relationships and how people talk to and listen to each other is at the heart of creating a safety system and culture. And we have more recently grown to understand that safety is also about learning about success as much as failure, and that there is an undeniable link between staff health and wellbeing, and safety.
In truth, safety is about everything; leadership, teams, quality, staff and patient experience, well-being…
For us staff health and wellbeing is not just that they are physically or psychologically cared for or that their basic physical needs are met such as food, hydration and sleep. Staff health and wellbeing is dependent upon the way they are led, the way they are trusted and supported, especially when things don’t go as planned.
Staff health and wellbeing is also dependent upon the way people behave towards each other, whether they are kind to each other. It also means building a positive workplace; increasing morale and enjoyment at work.
A Kitchen Table is an opportunity to explore these thoughts and realisations with your colleagues; to find out what they need to help them work effectively and safely, what they think goes well now, what needs to change, what brings them joy, and what they may have on their minds.
Kitchen Tables have been tried out by hundreds of organisations across England since 2017, in a variety of different locations and settings, and the response from people who have experienced it has been incredibly positive.
Some questions & conversation starters to help people to open up:
What makes you feel safe in your work?
What keeps you awake at night?
What makes you feel cared for?
What does a day look like where you feel appreciated by your colleagues?
What does a day look like when you feel actively helped to do your job?
Is anything bothering you today?
What’s made you smile in the last week?
How are you feeling today?
Tell us about a day that went really well
Tell me about your strengths
Tell a story about a day when you felt proud
All you need for #NKTW2019
A kitchen table is a humble place of warmth, safety, and trust. A place at the heart of the home and the heart of the family, where we feel safe and cared for, and are able to have truly open and honest conversations.
The beauty of the Kitchen Table is in its simplicity and flexibility. You can have a Kitchen Table anywhere, anytime and with anyone. It’s an opportunity to evoke a feeling, an experience that helps people feel comfortable and able to speak, listen, heard and understood.
Here is everything you need to try it for yourself this year, or to build on what you’ve already started. We are asking you to print your own materials this year as that is the only way we can make sure everyone who wants to take part has access to it all within our small budget.
Lessons from the last few years…
The last two National Kitchen Table Weeks were successes that we just couldn’t have anticipated, and it was all down to you! You held kitchen tables in cafés, boardrooms, gardens, in corridors, on the move with help of trolleys and…in actual kitchens.
You were just brilliant and what made it even better was that we felt like we were part of it through the amazing photos that were springing up on social media. Our Twitter and Facebook were flooded with gingham!
The stories and experiences that came out of these weeks were equally brilliant to hear about. We were delighted that not only were people enjoying themselves, but they were learning more about the power of talking to each other too; about what works well, what needs to change and what safety means to them.
- The team at Frimley Health have written a blog to share some really insightful tips, which is a great read for anyone who wants to take part
- Suzanne Quinney has shared more about how to use Appreciative Inquiry to help people focus on the positives and their strengths, including some example questions you may feel useful
- And hear how Appreciative Inquiry helped the team at Walsall Care Home during their Kitchen Tables
And be sure to head to our Flickr page to see all of the wonderful photos. We love these as inspiration and for reminding ourselves that we’re all part of a wider community of people who care about working safely.