5 ideas to improve employee engagement in Healthcare

Many people mistake employee happiness with employee engagement. But the truth is that they’re very different things. So what is employee engagement?

Employee engagement is the level of connection between employees and their workplace. While happy employees may be satisfied at work, engaged employees are truly committed to their organization’s mission and values. Like employee happiness, employee engagement has a direct impact on team performance. In the healthcare industry, an engaged workforce is a key to providing high-quality patient care. Most healthcare workers are experiencing some level of burnout.

By taking action to improve the employee experience, healthcare organizations can reduce staff turnover, better support their teams, and ultimately improve care quality. Now more than ever, it’s important that organizations invest in creating an engaging work environment for their healthcare staff. Investing in employee engagement can also affect a hospital’s financial performance. Hospitals with the least engaged healthcare workers pay more than those with the most engaged nurses.

Here are 5 ideas to help healthcare leaders better support their medical staff, boost employee engagement, and ultimately improve patient satisfaction and care.

1. Build a culture of listening:

One of the biggest impediments to employee engagement in healthcare is poor internal communications. When employees feel like their feedback isn’t heard by leadership, they can easily become disengaged and dissatisfied at work. This leads to more turnovers and a worse patient experience.

To increase employee engagement, healthcare leaders must conduct regular employee engagement surveys and create an action plan to address feedback.

An internal survey can give leaders valuable insights into how their employees are feeling and the roadblocks that might be getting in their way. And by taking time to identify the pain points and measure employee satisfaction, leadership can start to build trust within the organization.

2. Offer more opportunities for peer-to-peer recognition and manager-to-staff recognition:

Recognition has a powerful impact on staff motivation and turnover. A report found that companies with employee recognition programs saw a 63% increase in employee productivity and a 51% increase in employee retention.

Without consistent recognition and appreciation, employees can feel invisible. The solution is an employee recognition program. Employee recognition programs encourage employees to thank their peers for hard work; spotlighting heroic actions and making team members feel more appreciated. With an employee experience platform, employees can easily recognize and reward one another on the go through a web-based platform or mobile app. Not only can you spot-recognize your staff for excellent performance, but you can also send special gifts for birthdays, work anniversaries, and days such as nursing day.

3. Prioritize learning and development:

Offering learning and development opportunities for your healthcare staff have a measurable impact on employee retention. 70% of employees would be at least somewhat likely to leave their current organizations for a job that offers better opportunities for employee development and learning. Additionally, organizations with a strong learning culture enjoy higher employee engagement and retention rates than those that don’t.

Healthcare organizations that prioritize staff learning and development see improved turnover rates and higher quality of care. Offering ongoing job training, as well as leadership training for managers and supervisors, can have a measurable impact on team retention. If you’re using an employee engagement platform, you can incentivize employees to complete training courses with automated rewards.

4. Offer increased peer support and mentorship:

Strong support and mentorship can make all the difference in boosting employee morale. According to research, 83% of employees participating in a mentoring program said that their experience positively influenced their desire to stay at their organization.

A coaching or peer support program can lead to strong professional relationships and happier employees. For healthcare professionals who are experiencing difficult challenges in the workplace, a listening ear can make a world of difference.

If you choose to create peer support or mentorship program, be sure to measure the success through surveys and one-on-one feedback sessions. Gather on going feedback from participants and ask for ideas to improve the program.

5. Keep your organization’s mission front and centre:

Many healthcare workers are intrinsically motivated by a strong drive to help others. But unfortunately, they often don’t feel that same level of commitment towards their organizations. Over time, this can lead to healthcare professionals feeling disengaged and unmotivated.

Healthcare leaders can drive higher employee engagement by highlighting their organization’s core values and mission. Giving team members examples of how your organization is making a difference will help your healthcare staff feels more connected to your organization’s purpose, resulting in better patient care. And frequently reminding team members of examples of your core values in action will result in a more motivated, engaged team.

Key takeaways:

Fostering a workplace environment of high employee engagement is a challenge, but it is well worth the effort. In the Healthcare industry engaged employees are essential to providing high quality patient care.

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