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7 Strategies for Employee Engagement in Healthcare

How do you reach higher employee engagement in healthcare organizations? Here are 7 strategies to keep in mind.

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A strong and positive company culture is a must in the healthcare industry. Not only does it impact the well-being of your healthcare team, but it also significantly influences patient outcomes and satisfaction. For instance, a Gallup poll of 200 hospitals found that a higher engagement level of nurses resulted in lower patient mortality.

The good news? By actively working to enhance the employee experience, healthcare organizations can significantly reduce staff turnover, better support their teams and ultimately improve the quality of care they provide.

Here are some valuable tips for cultivating higher employee engagement in healthcare companies:

Building and maintaining a robust company culture in healthcare companies requires a strategic approach that addresses the unique challenges and demands of the industry. Here are some focuses to keep in mind.

1. Prioritize employee well-being

In healthcare, employee well-being directly correlates with patient care. A burned-out, stressed, or disengaged staff cannot provide the level of care that patients deserve. According to a study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, those experiencing burnout are more likely to make errors and have decreased employee productivity, both of which harm the patient experience.

Prioritizing employee well-being involves offering peer-to-peer and support systems, mental health resources, and work-life balance initiatives.

Encourage self-care activities and provide avenues for employees to destress and recharge when they need it. Simple strategies such as flexible scheduling, wellness programs, and access to counseling services can make a huge difference in the lives of your healthcare team.

How to get started 👉 Confetti's Health and Wellness collection is full of activities that will make your healthcare team feel refreshed and rejuvenated!
Health & Wellness by Confetti

2. Promote open communication

Open communication is the cornerstone of a healthy workplace culture, especially in the healthcare field. In a healthcare setting, it’s crucial for all team members to feel comfortable communicating with each other. Unfortunately, trust is a feeling that has decreased in the healthcare industry in the last 50 years, especially when it comes to patients and employees of color. A report by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement highlights that open and transparent communication is a solution that fosters trust, increases engagement and strengthens teamwork, which leads to better patient care.

Establish regular channels for feedback and dialogue, such as:

  • Regular town hall meetings with leadership
  • Anonymous suggestion boxes for confidential feedback
  • Weekly team huddles to discuss ongoing issues and solutions

3. Encourage continuous learning

Healthcare is an ever-evolving field, with new treatments, technologies, and best practices emerging constantly. Encouraging a culture of continuous learning and professional development among your employees is crucial. The American Hospital Association stresses that hospitals that invest in continuous education can see positive results such as improved patient outcomes and increased employee retention.

Offer training programs, seminars, and workshops to keep your healthcare staff updated with the latest developments in their respective fields. Investing in the growth and development of your employees not only enhances their skills but also boosts employee morale and job satisfaction. Here are some examples to get you started:

  • Host monthly training sessions on new medical technologies
  • Provide access to online medical courses and certifications
  • Encourage attendance at relevant industry conferences and seminars

4. Recognize and reward

Acknowledging the hard work and dedication of employees is essential for maintaining a positive culture. Recognize and reward employees for their contributions, whether it's through a simple shout-out in a public communication channel, an employee of the month program, or a performance-based incentive. A Gallup poll found that employees who receive positive recognition are 20 times more likely to be engaged and productive at work than those receiving poor recognition.

So celebrate milestones, both personal and professional, to show appreciation and build a sense of belonging amongst your team. When employees feel valued, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated, which directly impacts patient safety, satisfaction, and care.

5. Listen and lead by example

One of the biggest challenges to employee engagement in healthcare is poor internal communication. When healthcare staff feel their feedback is ignored by leadership, disengagement and dissatisfaction can quickly set in, leading to higher turnover and a decline in patient care quality.

To foster higher employee engagement, healthcare leaders must prioritize listening to their teams. Being accessible, approachable, and transparent is key. Leaders should cultivate an environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing ideas and concerns. Why? Because effective leadership fosters a positive culture where employees are motivated to excel and provide the best possible care. Regular employee engagement surveys are an essential tool for gathering insights into staff experiences and identifying roadblocks. By addressing the feedback received through these surveys, leaders can build trust and demonstrate their commitment to improving the workplace.

Leadership sets the tone for the entire organization. Healthcare leaders should embody the values and behaviors they wish to see in their employees. This means demonstrating integrity, empathy, and a commitment to exceptional patient and employee care in every action and decision.

6. Emphasize purpose and meaning

Many healthcare workers are driven by a strong intrinsic motivation to help others. However, this passion often doesn't translate into a commitment to their organizations, leading to disengagement and a lack of motivation over time.

Healthcare leaders can boost employee engagement by emphasizing the organization's core values and mission. Highlighting how the organization makes a difference can help staff feel more connected to its purpose, ultimately enhancing patient care. Regularly showcasing examples of core values in action can foster a more motivated and engaged team.

Working in healthcare is not just a job; it's a calling. Emphasize the purpose and meaning behind the work that healthcare professionals do by reminding them of their positive impact on people's lives.

When healthcare workers feel connected to the purpose of their work, it significantly enhances job satisfaction and strengthens the overall workplace culture. A study published in the Journal of Healthcare Management found that employees who find meaning in their work are more engaged and less likely to experience burnout. Here are some ideas to get started:

  • Share Success Stories: Regularly share patient success stories and highlight the positive impact of staff efforts.
  • Express Gratitude: Frequently thank and recognize employees for their hard work and dedication.
  • Highlight Core Values: Continuously emphasize the organization's mission and values, providing concrete examples of these in action.
  • Connect to Purpose: Remind healthcare professionals of the significance of their work and its impact on patient lives.
How to get started 👉 Boost team morale with a round of Workplace Gratitude, where you can highlight each of your healthcare team member's valuable contributions!
Virtual Workplace Gratitude by Confetti

7. Foster Team Collaboration

Healthcare is a team effort, and collaboration among team members is vital for delivering quality care. Foster a culture of teamwork and collaboration by breaking down silos and encouraging interdisciplinary cooperation. Provide opportunities for different departments to work together, such as cross-training programs or collaborative projects. When employees work together seamlessly, it leads to improved patient outcomes and a more positive workplace culture.

Below are some tips to consider when putting together a plan for your healthcare team building, especially for those with differing shifts:

  • Consider virtual team building activities that can allow teams to participate remotely.
  • Rotate the timing of team building activities to ensure that all shifts have an opportunity to participate.
  • Consider providing opportunities after work hours and allowing employees to include their kids or significant others.
  • Create a digital communication hub and extend asynchronous opportunities to connect employees through fun virtual icebreakers that can be done whenever, wherever. An example can be a step challenge where employees can track their steps over a period of time.
  • Consider gamifying participation by raffling off free lunches or PTO.
  • Incorporate quick team building activities during shift handovers. Even a brief huddle where employees can share a positive experience or discuss a challenge would be nice.
  • Plan theme-based celebrations that can be celebrated across shifts and consider even getting patients involved. For example, you can “theme” a day where employees dress up in a costume or bring a certain snack.
  • Offer shift-specific activities. For example, if you’re doing a cooking class, you can provide a breakfast-based experience for those who aren’t working mornings and a dinner-based experience for those who already did a morning shift.
  • Rotate “Shift buddies” and pair a team member who is off for lunch at the same hour as another employee and subsidize their lunch or coffee for participation.

Most importantly, be flexible and open to various participation and continue to take feedback and adjust your team building efforts accordingly.

How to get started 👉 Download our Employee Engagement calendar to start planning your team building activities! 

Engage your healthcare teams with Confetti 🎉

Creating engaged employees in healthcare settings involves continuous effort and strategic initiatives. Platforms like Confetti can help you plan and execute engagement activities effectively, ensuring your healthcare team feels valued, supported, and motivated.

Enhance your employee engagement strategies and see the positive impact on both your staff and patient care. Ready to get started? Schedule a call with Confetti today!

Speak with our Happiness Concierge to learn how Confetti can help your team! Schedule a Call
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