Why Employee Engagement is a Priority in 2023 

Employee Engagement

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Employees are the backbone of any organization and without them, an organization cannot properly function. Employee engagement thus takes center stage, especially  within the healthcare industry. The pandemic has drastically altered the course of employee engagement in healthcare. 

According to a new Gallup report, the vast majority of workers remain disengaged with their jobs. Figures from the 2022 Gallup survey show that only 32% of workers remain engaged in the workplace. The number of engaged employees has declined from 36% in the year 2020

 In the healthcare sector, employee engagement is closely tied with patient outcomes.

Without employee engagement, you’re never going to get the kind of ultimate patient experience you’re hoping for,” said Mike Packnett, CEO of Parkview Health. 

What is Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is understood as the emotional commitment employees hold towards the company and its goals. Engaged employees are committed towards the healthcare organization and actually care about the patient’s well-being. 

Engaged employees make discretionary efforts! An excellent example of an engaged healthcare worker would be that they are in no rush when patients ask questions over their medications. The engaged night-shift workers take note of not making any noise. Another example could be of an engaged nurse who makes hourly rounds. 

Engaged caregivers are less likely to make mistakes while administering medications. All of these discretionary efforts by engaged health caregivers bring about improved patient satisfaction and better clinical outcomes.  

There is no denying that engagement holds power. In the words of Tony Armada, the CEO of Advocate Lutheran Hospital,  

If people are not engaged, they have choices. Patients have choices, too.

Benefits of Employee Engagement 

When healthcare organizations invest in employee engagement, employees bring more productivity, have a much better work ethic and have less chances of errors with improved patient outcomes.

In addition to that, engagement can lower employee turnover as well as reduce costs. It can amp up the ratings of a hospital, thereby building on its reputation. Perhaps, the greatest plus point of employee engagement is that it benefits the patient at the end of the day!

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According to a research study by HR Solutions, the majority (85%) of engaged employees were more likely to hold positive and caring attitudes towards their patients

Higher levels of engagement produce a work environment where this is positivity and collaboration. It creates a workspace where leaders show concerns over employees and are responsive to their needs. Having this work environment in the healthcare sector is crucial, especially with the devastating effect the pandemic has had on healthcare providers. 

Strategies that Build Employee Engagement

The healthcare industry can achieve this by making improvements in the way healthcare workers communicate with one another, by backing team-building initiatives, lauding staff accomplishments and supporting mental well-being.

Disengaged employees who continue working can have a negative impact on patient outcomes.They are more likely to make errors, not follow safety guidelines properly and less likely to show caring attitude towards patients.

What drives employee engagement is a sense of commitment individuals hold towards the work they do!

That commitment among healthcare workers is necessary for achieving the best possible outcomes for patients. Given the current climate among healthcare providers post-Covid 19, employee engagement should be a top priority in 2023! In order to improve employee engagement, one needs to lay the foundation for a “caring culture”, where employees are valued and are reminded just how valuable their contributions are. For that, the three strategies need to be prioritized accordingly:

Communication: Clear means of communication is necessary for employee engagement. Healthcare professionals want to be listened to, and to know that their feedback is taken into consideration by the administration. 

Team-building activities: With turnover rates skyrocketing in 2022, valuing each and every employee as an integral part of the team is quite important. 

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Recognition: One engagement strategy that is bound to work is when employee contributions are given recognition. This will drive positive engagement among healthcare workers, as appreciation gives meaning and purpose to their everyday efforts. 

The only question that remains is, 

How do we create a Culture of Engagement among Healthcare Workers?

The answer being ‘technology’, as it has the potential to increase employee engagement in the healthcare industry.

Clinicians will be more likely to accept technology into their practices if they see the benefits that come with it. One such example could be if it saves their time or reduces their workload. Employee engagement is bound to see an upward trend, when you have technology solutions that facilitate providers in their day to day tasks. 

Healthcare facilities need to change gears now.

In order to boost employee engagement, they should consider how they can incorporate mobile-friendly communication systems into their workspace. 

Communication is what drives employee engagement at the end of the day.

Hucu.ai is one such technological innovation that creates a culture of engagement among healthcare workers. Hucu.ai allows healthcare workers to communicate securely with other members of the team, regardless of their location. Hucu.ai builds on that ‘team feeling’, where different members of the same organization feel part of the team. 

Through patient-centered channels, Hucu.ai saves healthcare workers a lot of time as it focuses all of the information in patient channels. This allows providers to multi-task and makes their jobs a whole lot easier!

Hucu.ai is able to set up channels for work related communication and other team-building activities. In order to create a culture where employees are engaged and committed, one must create a culture of listening. Through Hucu.ai, healthcare workers can interact with each other and listen to what everyone has to say. This places equal value on the insights every individual team member brings to the discussion. When someone feels that their input is given importance and recognition, they work twice as hard and are more committed to the organization’s vision. 

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Building Community within the Workspace

Healthcare leaders must adhere to an organizational commitment of listening to each other. If not, there will come a point where employees stop putting in the effort and feel discouraged. That is something to avoid because a disengaged employee triggers a chain of events that will not end well for that employee, their organization or the patients they serve. 

According to Jim Harter, who is the Chief Workplace scientist at Gallup, “There’s a growing disconnect between employee and employer. You could almost equate it to employees becoming a little bit more like gig workers.” 

Gig work naturally doesn’t lead to long-term relationships between employees and employers: this creates an atmosphere where employees lack the motivation to put in their best efforts. 

A small percentage of employees being engaged does mean that they do not find meaning or purpose when it comes to their work. Growing levels of stress among employees is another obstacle to their engagement. The well-being of employees and their engagement is closely knitted together because engaged employees are less likely to experience stress, anger or other health problems. 

The relation between engagement and well-being works both ways, because people’s work experiences affect their life outside of the workplace and similarly, their well-being affects the way they experience the workplace.  

Sources

How Healthcare Can Improve Employee Engagement. Matt Tenney

The ROI of Employee Engagement In Hospitals. Kevin Kruse. 26th February, 2015

5 Ways to Encourage Employee Engagement in Healthcare. February 28, 2022

America, we have a problem. People aren’t feeling engaged with their work. January 25,2023. Andrea Hsu

State of the Global Workplace: 2022 Report

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