3 Ways Healthcare HR Can Foster a Culture of Engagement
It’s no secret that employee engagement is a key driver of performance and productivity at any workplace. In healthcare, specifically, engaged employees offer fewer mistakes, put the patient first, and build stronger and more effective teams. William Pryor, Chief Human Resources Officer at Cape Fear Valley Health System in Fayetteville, North Carolina, says, “Employees do better in terms of providing quality healthcare and a great patient experience when they are engaged. Engagement really drives every facet of a health system. And it is contagious.”
If you’re establishing a culture of engagement or just reviewing your latest employee engagement strategy, here are a few things to consider.
1. Ensure Clear and Consistent Communication
High levels of engagement, performance and productivity has often been linked to clear and consistent communication. Howard Grant, JD, MD, President and CEO at Lahey Health in Burlington, Massachusetts, says, “Clear communication is a key driver to realize a high level of engagement initially and then to sustain it.” Furthermore, communicating with employees regularly helps ensure everyone understands your business objectives and goals as well as their role in achieving it. “Consistent expression of goals, expectations and aspirations to both internal and external audiences solidifies engagement, which in turn increases the likelihood of enhanced performance in all facets of the organization. It takes a concerted and protracted effort to establish a high level of engagement and persistent focus to sustain it,” Grant says.
2. Offer a Sense of Empowerment
Opportunities to be involved in social issues or good causes at the local level, enabled by employers, offer employees with a greater sense of empowerment. Employees who feel like their jobs have purpose or are able to make a difference often exhibit greater levels of loyalty and engagement. The Deloitte Millennials Survey 2017 states that it is in the workplace where millennials feel most influential. This is an important point for businesses, especially in healthcare, to acknowledge as it offers a platform from which to build each employee’s sense of purpose and, ultimately, a more engaged workforce.
3. Implement an Ongoing Employee Development Strategy
An approach that builds employees’ strengths rather than their weaknesses has proven to be very effective when developing employee talent. In fact, according to a Gallup report, employees who receive strengths-based development realize an increase of as much as 23 percent in their engagement.
In strengths-based cultures, their development is grounded in what they do right, not what they do wrong. As a result, employees look forward to going to work, produce more and significantly better work, stay with their company longer, and are more engaged. “When managers help employees grow and develop through their strengths, they are more than twice as likely to engage their team members,” says Jim Harter Ph.D., Chief Scientist of Workplace Management and Well-Being for Gallup’s workplace management practice.
Employee engagement may mean different things to different employers. However, the goal is often the same: to improve their organization’s overall success. What does employee engagement mean to you and your healthcare organization? Please share in the comments section below!