Plenty of buzz surrounds the idea of patient engagement: research conclusively shows that patients who are involved in their personal health and healthcare enjoy better outcomes and lower costs. But how does employee engagement factor affect patient satisfaction, quality of care, and other hospital impacts? Let’s take a closer look.
The 411 on Employee Engagement
According to a recent workforce study from global professional services company Towers Watson, only 44 percent of U.S. hospital employees feel highly engaged. This is particularly problematic when you consider joint research from global performance-management consulting company Gallup and Loma Linda University Medical Center indicating that employee engagement is a critical part of enhancing patient safety. In short, disconnected feelings and lack of engagement can interfere with employees’ abilities to meet the standard of care and succeed in their jobs.
The study further linked employee engagement with attrition rates: just 17 percent of highly engaged hospital employees were willing to consider other employment compared to 43 percent of their less engaged counterparts. In other words, engaged employees don’t just offer better care, but also give hospitals a leading edge in the competition for the most talented, skilled workers.
Improving Employee Engagement
Gallup has identified the following three approaches as meaningful and sustainable ways to boost employee engagement. These include:
1. Talent Prioritization
Identifying and hiring the best employees allows hospitals to improve their overall talent base and build a culture that values excellence above all else. Incorporating outsourcing into your recruitment process will elevate your ability to source more of the best candidates with the potential not only to contribute, but to lead.
2. Investment in Employees
Because today’s employees value opportunities for personal and professional development, career planning training and other career-forward resources foster a more positive work environment. Performance reviews should focus on employee talents and strengths in order to encourage stronger connections between these strengths and workplace outcomes.
Today’s workers also prize flexibility. Organizations which acknowledge the need for balance between personal and work life create a culture of employee engagement.
3. Top-Down Engagement
In order to contribute to a hospital’s objectives, employees must not only understand the mission, but how their jobs relate to it. Hospital leaders, managers and other administrators who effectively communicate core organizational values play an essential role in building and sustaining engagement.
Research shows that the most successful organizations have happy, healthy and engaged employees. A high level of employee engagement isn’t just an incidental benefit for your hospital, but rather a strategic measure with the potential to impact everything from employee retention to patient care.
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