Did you know that only 29% of the workforce is engaged in their work? That is an alarming statistic because employee engagement is shown to have a strong positive correlation with patient experience in healthcare. The answer to this problem starts at the top of the leadership ladder and fizzles down.
True Staff Engagement
True engagement of an employee is the emotional commitment employees have to the company and its goals, according to Medical GPS. The key word here is emotional commitment. Those who have an emotional commitment to their company also has an emotional commitment to their patients and coworkers. To bring out these emotions, employees need to have strong leaders.
Leadership – From the Top
Senior leadership is the number one driver for employee engagement. According to Towers Watson, “the most important aspects of leadership that drive engagement include the consistency of decision-making processes with organizational values and senior leaders’ encouragement of employees to give their best at work.” Sadly, many employees do not have confidence in their leaders. In order to set up quality leaders, organizations must have ongoing leadership training as well as consultants available to take their companies to the highest achievable level.
Management – The Middlemen
Managers act as “middlemen/women” to the senior leader and healthcare staff. Bridging this gap is tough. It is important for managers to frequently survey their staff and help remove the barriers that are inhibiting the staff to getting their work done and address those complaints.Employees will respond and become more engaged if they feel as if they are heard and their problems are address. Click To Tweet
How can managers help?
- Surveys – As mentioned earlier, surveys can help understand what is holding the team back from engaging in their work. Surveys should be mixed mode, including both qualitative and quantitative data.
- Analyze – After obtaining the survey data, pick the top 3 questions that have issues and address them.
- Know the Why – Before asking for answers from your staff for the problems, understand why the issue exists and why it is holding them back from being more engaged. According to Becker’s Hospital Review, employee engagement is related to the mix of external beliefs and internal beliefs about those conditions. If the manager and senior leader understand those beliefs, change can easily happen.
- Offer Opportunities to Engage – If managers understand the why, team members who feel strongly about the change can be offered the opportunity to help bring forth the change. For example, committee or group with a flood of ideas from the rest of the staff on how to improve the problem and the manager can facilitate the group to move towards solving the problem.
- Follow Up – Management and senior leaders must follow-up with staff, tell them they are doing well, and aid in any way possible to solve the problems.
If leaders follow these steps properly, staff will see that upper management is also engaged in the mission of the company, and they will be too. Take time to understand the employees in your workplace. You will hear great ideas and you, as a leader, can help make those ideas a reality, which will change the mindset of your disengaged employee.