Healthcare professionals and hospitals face a daunting reality if employee engagement is low: patients’ health suffers. Nurses, doctors and service workers interact with patients frequently so what happens if they’re feeling disconnected from the hospital or facility where they work?
Every company deals with engagement issues but no other industry is so directly tied to customer (patient) satisfaction, outcomes and lives saved. Employee disengagement also has financial implications. According to a Forbes article, the National Health Service (NHS) in England conducted a study and found that “improvement in engagement reduced mortality by 2.4 percentage points…The same study showed a strong correlation between engagement and reducing staff turnover.”
The Forbes article also quotes Tony Armada, the CEO of Advocate Lutheran Hospital as once saying, “If people are not engaged, they have choices. Patients have choices too.”
As hospitals and healthcare facilities realize that employee disengagement has serious health and financial implications, they can take a closer look at redefining how they engage their staff. Here are some steps they can take toward creating a culture of engagement:
- Acknowledge exceptional work: Healthcare workers often have emotional connections with patients – whether it’s a nurse working with a terminally ill patient or a service worker who sees family members in the cafeteria each day. If they go above and beyond, empower and encourage them to recognize one another. Technology applications also allow patients to give direct feedback on their experience so managers have insight into high-performing individuals and those who might need more coaching.
- Provide a development plan: Giving staff a clear understanding of what it takes to advance is imperative to engagement. Set goals with your staff that allows for bottom-up and top-down feedback loops. When someone considers their daily work to be stepping stones toward a bigger goal, they’re more likely to be engaged and provide exceptional patient care or service.
- Empower real-time interaction: Everything today is mobile and with healthcare facilities moving toward more advanced technology solutions, it’s only natural to have a mobile, real-time system in place to engage staff. Patient care will always come first so staff needs an engagement application that empowers them to recognize others, give feedback and set professional goals on-the-go.
The healthcare industry faces the same engagement challenge as others but workers have an especially unique, personal connection with their daily work. The more engaged they are, the more likely they are to provide the exceptional care that sets one healthcare facility above the rest. Are you in the healthcare sector? What challenges have you faced in engaging your staff?