Employee engagement is critical to the success of any healthcare organization. Because, all employees in healthcare impact the patient directly or indirectly. When healthcare employees are engaged in their work, patient outcomes are likely to improve. So, it’s essential for leaders in healthcare organizations to pay attention to how their employees feel about their work.
A research by HBR revealed that employee engagement improves hospital performance.
HBR’s research showed that higher employee engagement levels can improve outcomes such as:
- Hospital costs (Any legal action taken by a patient against a hospital for negligent complications)
- Treatment effectiveness and patient outcomes (Measured by the rate patients are readmitted)
- The level of hospital acquired infections and conditions (Surgical complications, etc)
In addition, the research reveals 3 basic ways to increase employee engagement in healthcare institutions:
- Prioritize Patient and Staff Safety
Genuine employee engagement is only possible when workers believe that their safety and their patients’ is a priority. To provide this foundation, hospitals can encourage employees to observe, report, and fix errors or problems that place patient or staff safety in jeopardy. One approach that can help achieve this is to select employees to serve as role models and give them occupational health and safety training to reduce workplace hazards (e.g., occupational violence, bullying, work-related fatigue) or operational and service process training to improve patient handling.
- Build a Culture of Accountability
The research shows that when health care workers are not held accountable for their poor behaviors or underperformance, there are adverse cascading effects that undermine patient and hospital outcomes. These effects include an unwillingness to speak up and fear in providing feedback.
Hospitals that proactively build and nurture a culture of accountability ensure that employees are held responsible for their actions and give employees room to learn from mistakes. They also encourage staff to be forthcoming about errors, identify the problematic behaviors of others, and speak up when they witness actions or behaviors that don’t comply with hospital policies.
- Provide Proof That New Practices Will Be Worthwhile
When hospital workers are asked to adopt new practices, they want to see the evidence that they are effective. Recommendations include using open platforms and establishing transparent procedures to report and address incidents, behaviors and actions that undermine patient care quality and staff and patient safety.