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Healthier relationships, work & workplaces


Good work is good for us! It is also good for our patients and others we serve. How we feel about each other and how we get on with each other is a really important part of work.

We are all different - so all relationships have difficulties; this is no different at work. Misunderstandings and not being clear with each other as to what we want, and need can harm us all.

Since our 2018 staff survey and the launch of A Healthier Wales, it has become even more important for us to do whatever we can to improve how we work with each other. Where relationships are not valued, it harms care.

In full partnership with NHS, trade unions and Welsh Government experts and leaders across Wales, we have developed this very different approach called Healthier Working Relationships.

Healthier Working Relationships is about changing what’s expected of all of us in NHS Wales. We are all responsible for our relationships. Taking time to listen, recognise, value, know and like each other helps us bond. Better relationships means better care.

What does this mean for us?

Green traffic light A simple straight forward traffic light approach replaces our grievance and dignity at work policies and processes. Most of the time, things should be great and green; sometimes amber, where we deal with things ourselves or with others; very occasionally it might be red where we need formal processes.

Good work and workplaces are where we are: listened to and where we pay attention to others; clear about what we need to do; trusted to make decisions; valued in and value our team/group(s); self-compassionate; able to take part in reflections, decisions and actions.

Amber traffic light Relationships are never perfect and conflict/disagreement between people is really normal and often healthy (it helps us do things better). Where it isn’t healthy, the most important thing is to realise that the relationship (s) is/are an issue. Being honest about this, is the first step to changing things.

If we’ve got an issue with someone, we should tell them. A simple cuppa conversation is a great way to do this. This short video will walk you through how to prepare and hold a 'Cuppa Conversation'. (Cuppa conversation video transcript).

If we can’t do this, or we see someone else needs help, we have resolution prompts to help us work out what we should do and how we can make things better:

Sometimes we need other people to help us have a difficult conversation, so we can ask for someone to facilitate a meeting.

By April, we will also be able to access a fully accredited NHS Wales Mediation Network. For more information, contact

Traffic light on red Finally, as a back up, although we hope no-one has to use this, we will launch the new Respect & Resolution Policy in Spring 2021. This replaces our Grievance and Dignity at work policies. 

Find out more about how your organisation is living this through your local link and trade union representatives.

Clearer expectations for each of us.
    Simpler approaches.
        More conversations.  

Healthier Working Relationships will help all of us…including our patients.

Better relationships help us all have A Healthier Wales.