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Do your healthcare employees seem happy and involved in their work?
The recent dip to 32 percent in employee engagement across various sectors in the U.S., with healthcare workers experiencing a significant 7-point decline from 2019 to 2022, highlights a concern that demands immediate attention and action.
But with the right strategy and advanced tools, you can ensure your employees are happy.
So, without further ado, let’s help you improve the well-being of your staff and the patients they serve.
What does engagement mean in healthcare?
You must understand the difference between employee happiness and employee engagement.
Employee engagement describes how connected employees feel to their workplace. While happy employees might be content with their work, engaged employees are deeply committed to their organization's mission and values.
Unlike employee happiness, employee engagement directly influences team performance. In healthcare, engaged employees can make a significant difference, like:
- Higher patient satisfaction
- Increased patient safety
- Improved quality of care
A Gallup survey of 200 hospitals indicated that hospitals with more engaged nurses experienced lower patient mortality rates.
Financially, investing in employee engagement also has its merits. Hospitals with less engaged nurses tend to pay over $1.1 million more per year in malpractice claims than those with more engaged nurses.
Here are 10 ways to assist you in better supporting your medical staff, enhancing employee engagement, and improving patient satisfaction and care.
10 Ways to improve employee engagement in healthcare
Let's explore 10 simple ways to enhance how connected and committed your healthcare employees feel in their roles.
1. Listen to the employees
A hurdle to enhance employee engagement in healthcare is related to ineffective internal communications.
When employees perceive that the leadership overlooks their input, it can diminish engagement and dissatisfaction in the workplace.
You must implement periodic employee engagement surveys and formulate a strategic action plan to address the feedback received.
Conducting an internal survey can provide leaders with crucial insights into employee sentiments and potential obstacles hindering their performance and satisfaction.
By dedicating efforts to pinpoint these challenges and assess employee satisfaction, leadership can build trust within the organization.
2. Offer opportunities for recognition
Acknowledging employees can significantly influence their motivation and the likelihood of them staying with the company.
A report by SHRM highlighted that businesses with programs to recognize employees experienced a 63 percent boost in worker productivity and a 51 percent improvement in keeping their staff.
When regular acknowledgment and gratitude are missing, employees might feel overlooked. Implementing a program for employee recognition. Such programs inspire employees to:
- Express thanks to their colleagues for their dedication
- Highlight great actions
- Make team members feel valued
Utilizing an employee experience platform, such as Xoxoday's Empuls, allows employees to effortlessly appreciate and reward to boost productivity.
3. Quantify engagement
Every plan to enhance employee engagement should include evaluating the current engagement level within the healthcare organization.
Understanding your current position regarding employee engagement accomplishes two main objectives:
- It provides a starting point, enabling you to measure changes in engagement levels as you move forward.
- It allows you to identify the strong and weak points within your organization.
If you've initiated monitoring your company's engagement level, that's a positive step. The activity should be conducted regularly over an extended period.
Consistently observing employee engagement in your hospital will assist you in comprehending the elements that affect job satisfaction. Employee engagement surveys are a great tool when measuring and monitoring these metrics.
Employee engagement surveys solution offer a straightforward method to obtain immediate feedback from your staff.
Note: Conventional surveys can sometimes be long or mundane, potentially leading to notable survey fatigue over time, especially among time-strapped individuals like healthcare workers.
4. Prioritize employee safety and well-being
The primary goal of every leader in healthcare is to empower professionals to become superior caregivers.
Healthcare professionals, compared to various sectors, deserve to experience both physical and psychological safety at work.
A Harvard School of Public Health study indicates a robust correlation between employee engagement and safety.
Engaged healthcare professionals can significantly enhance the quality of patient care and safety. However, to realize this, a substantial shift is necessary.
The focus needs to expand from solely concentrating on patient health and safety to prioritizing the well-being of our healthcare professionals.
5. Focus more on patient experience
Healthcare workers are tasked with providing both physical and emotional dedication.
A Cornerstone study says that 13 percent of participants believed their organization's restricted focus on patients adversely impacted their engagement. Consequently, to diminish staff turnover and enhance employee engagement, healthcare leaders ought to consider several aspects.
Ensuring patient care quality is paramount, encompassing aspects like facilities, training, employee proficiency, and the efficacy of operational processes.
Also, enhancing patient outcomes is vital, which involves ensuring patients are satisfied with their care, maintaining functional status, safeguarding patient safety, and ensuring patient satisfaction.
It's crucial to monitor and evaluate patient experiences by consistently observing patient satisfaction levels and analyzing the elements that influence fluctuations in these levels.
6. Strenghten your leadership team
Effective leaders play a pivotal role in uplifting others. They act as exemplars and facilitate encouragement, mentorship, guidance, and motivation among their team members.
When leaders appear disconnected due to a lack of interpersonal skills, it can result in a harmful or pessimistic workplace culture.
7. Invest in succession planning
Upon implementing a succession plan, a healthcare system in New Jersey witnessed such a remarkable improvement in engagement scores that it was ranked first by HR Solutions International in terms of employee engagement, focus, and job satisfaction.
Healthcare workers often find themselves in high-stress, overworked conditions. The nature of the industry frequently involves emergencies, necessitating workers to work overtime to manage these urgent cases.
While emergencies are a given in healthcare, leaders can formulate a robust succession plan to prevent employee burnout from extended working hours.
Succession planning is a tactic that enables leaders to ensure that particular roles and duties are delegated to a designated employee or team during an emergency.
8. Mentorship programs
Robust backing and mentorship can significantly uplift employee spirits. Recent studies indicate that 83 percent of workers in a mentoring program reported that their experience favorably impacted their intention to remain with their organization.
Initiating a coaching or peer support program can foster solid professional bonds and more content employees. For healthcare professionals navigating challenging situations at work, having someone to talk to can be immensely impactful.
Should you decide to establish a peer support or mentorship program, it's vital to assess its success through surveys and individual feedback sessions. Continuously collect feedback from participants and seek suggestions to enhance the program.
9. Build a culture of accountability
Building a culture of accountability is pivotal, especially considering every role's direct impact on patient care and outcomes.
When discussing accountability in healthcare concerning employee engagement, it’s about creating an environment where every individual is involved.
Medical professionals and administrative staff own their actions, decisions, and consequences.
10. Reward and recognize winning behaviors
In the healthcare sector, recognizing the dedicated work of professionals is paramount. Often, the relentless efforts of healthcare workers might be viewed merely as part of their job description, which shouldn’t be the case.
Consider the case of Aster DM Healthcare, a healthcare provider that faced challenges in effectively motivating their doctors.
They turned to Xoxoday's Plum platform, which offered a wide array of options and enabled HR managers to track and measure the efficiency of the rewards program, ensuring that recognition efforts were timely, relevant, and impactful.
The example underscores a well-implemented reward and recognition program's profound impact on employee engagement and organizational performance in healthcare.
Now, let’s go through another example demonstrating the tangible impact of employee engagement strategies in healthcare, exploring how Xoxoday Empuls assisted a healthcare enterprise in doubling its engagement.
Case study: Xoxoday Empus helped a healthcare enterprise increase engagement by 2x
A digital healthcare enterprise with a presence in over 1600+ locations,dedicated to unifying patient data for global healthcare providers encountered challenges in maintaining employee engagement amidst rapid growth and expansion.
Although aligned with the corporate vision, its Reward and Recognition (R&R) program needed to be more scalable due to its dependency on numerous meetings, follow-ups, and email-based communications.
The enterprise turned to Xoxoday Empuls to transform its R&R program. Empuls streamlined their awards structure, integrated with existing tools like Zoho People and Slack, and automated the complex process of jury awards.
The results were notable:
- 380 percent increase in awards and gift points distributed within a year
- 76 percent surge in active engagements, (earlier it was 38 percent)
- 2x increase in their culture of appreciation
Empuls facilitated a user-friendly platform for nominating and awarding employees and enabled the company to maintain a thriving work environment during exponential growth.
Elevating healthcare employee engagement with Xoxoday Empuls
Xoxoday Empuls emerges as a pivotal tool in this context, providing a comprehensive platform to improve employee engagement within your healthcare enterprise.
Empuls provides a platform for visibly recognizing and celebrating their efforts, fostering a culture of appreciation and acknowledgment.
It helps align the organizational values with the daily actions of the healthcare staff by recognizing and rewarding behaviors that mirror these values. Empuls is vital in ensuring a motivated, engaged, and thriving workforce.