Last year, we conducted a survey with the American Society for Healthcare Human Resource Administration (ASHHRA) to discover what the top initiatives for healthcare HR professionals across the country are. Healthcare recruiting and performance management initiatives are constantly changing, which is why we conducted the HR Initiatives Survey again this past summer. Just under 400 HR professionals at healthcare organizations across the United States participated in this year’s survey – a 69% increase in participation! 

Now I’ll let you in on one of the results that I found interesting…We asked, “What are your current HR initiatives to Improve Patient Satisfaction?” 100% of the respondents (really, I double checked) answered, “Improve employee satisfaction and increase employee engagement.” This means 395 HR professionals agree that increasing employee satisfaction to increase patient satisfaction is a top priority. Stephanie Drake, Executive Director at ASHHRA, noted, “It’s all about engaging and empowering the employee around delivering quality care. If employees aren’t satisfied, they’re less engaged about their performance and patient satisfaction scores go down.”

Inspired by the Planetree conference this week, here are 5 strategies for increasing employee satisfaction in order to increase patient and resident satisfaction:

1. Employees must know their hospital or community’s mission, values and vision.

A good reminder? Have your mission statement printed on every name badges. Employees are happy because they know they’re striving for common and meaningful goals, and patients will see the patient-centric values of the organization right along with employees’ names. 

2. Make sure employees know what’s expected from them.

Every employees’ job description should be easily accessible and easy to update. Job descriptions should include standards of behavior, not just duties. This way, when asked to go above and beyond for a patient, no one can say, “That’s not part of my job description!” 

3. Be authentic.

When you provide feedback about your employee satisfaction survey results, be clear about what you’re going to prioritize and change right away and what will take longer to accomplish. Employees want to be heard – this shows them you’re listening. Read our blog on employee satisfcation to learn how UMC Health System uses their survey to increase employee engagement. 

4. Recognize employees.

What makes healthcare impactful and so important is not just the medicine and procedures but the “humanness” of care. Make sure employees know they are incredibly valued for the incredible work they do. Start an employee reconition program to reward top performers. Build positive discipline into your performance appraisal process. It’s easy to focus on the bad stuff. Focus on the good. Look for our article – coming soon in HR Pulse Magazine – on Trinity Health System’s wonderful recognition program. In the meantime, watch our 8 minute video blog on Trinity’s performance management process

5. Celebrate your successes.

I’m sure you’ve heard that before. Now make it happen! The HR, patient services and employee development teams need to be rewarded for putting initiatives in place that really do increase staff engagement and patient satisfaction. Make sure you celebrate your achievements. 

 Increase employee satisfaction

We’ll be awarding a $5,000 ASHHRA Education Grant, on October 10, 2012, during our live HR Initiatives Survey Webinar. Four experts in HR and technology will be our panelists for the event: Stephanie Drake Executive Director at ASHHRA, David Szary, Founder of LEAN Human Capital & the Recruiter Academy, Joe Van De Graaff, Research Director at KLAS Research, and Michael Rochelle, Chief Strategy Officer at the Brandon Hall Group. In addition to announcing the winner of the ASHHRA Education Grant, the 2012 Healthcare HR Initiatives Survey Results Webinar will identify the top 2012 HR initiatives and compare responses provided in the 2012 Survey. Don’t miss out – register today!

About The Editorial Staff

The Editorial Staff is a team of writers with a passion for helping healthcare organizations manage their biggest and most important investment: their employees.