I recently came across an Inc.com article that said: “The success of any facet of your business can almost always be traced back to motivated employees. From productivity and profitability to recruiting and retention, hardworking and happy employees lead to triumph.” This most certainly rings true for healthcare; employees who are satisfied with their work are essential for healthcare organizations in order to deliver high-quality, patient/resident-centered care. When staff members are happy in their jobs, it has a positive effect on the quality of care being delivered. Remember, happy employees = happy patients and residents. Here are three ways you can motivate employees to boost employee satisfaction thereby increasing patient/resident satisfaction:
1. Promote Strengths-based Coaching
Strengths-based coaching is a great way to energize and enable employees to reach their full potential. With this coaching method, managers identify areas of growth that each employee should work on and set corresponding goals. They also provide consistent positive feedback. When combined with supervision, strength-based goals help employees stay connected to their purpose. Libby Westby, Recruiter at Hospice of the Valley agrees, she notes: “If a person has a consistent positive attitude and heart, we can teach them.” Strengths-based coaching is a great way to motivate employees, while increasing communication between managers and employees.
2. Align Employee and Organizational Goals
When setting individual employee goals, they should be measured against organization-wide goals to reinforce how the employee’s work supports the organization’s vision. A few weeks ago, I blogged about how performance management software with goal functionality enables healthcare organizations to more clearly define their objectives. With clearly defined measurable goals, employees know what’s expected of them and what they’ll be measured against to be considered successful.
How does goal setting increase employee satisfaction? According to Christina Shalley in the Academy of Management Journal: “Managers cannot constantly drive motivation, or keep track of an employee’s work on a continuous basis. Goals are therefore an important tool for managers, since goals have the ability to function as a self-regulatory mechanism that helps employees prioritize tasks.” Managers can utilize goals as a mean of keeping employees on track, which will improve their performance. Improving employee performance means improving employee satisfaction.
3. Recognize Employee Achievements
For most employees, recognition for a job well done keeps them more motivated to succeed. Utilizing performance management software helps organizations create an environment that encourages managers to keep track of their employees’ varied accomplishments in order to better recognize them. In addition to using performance management software, many healthcare organizations participate in frequent acknowledgement of outstanding employee work through employee recognition programs. As part of their “Wow!” program, Heritage Community employees and supervisors are encouraged to write notes to recognize outstanding resident service. Those accolades are then converted in “Wow! Bucks” gift cards. These initiatives boost employee satisfaction by preventing employees from feeling undervalued and unmotivated.
Cost effective programs like these are a great way to motivate employees without breaking the bank. As we learned from the HealthcareSource article on recognition in HR Pulse, two central components of Trinity Health System’s employee recognition program are the Employee of the Month and Employee of the Year awards. Judy Hare, retired Human Resources Manager and Trinity Health System Employee Reward and Recognition team member, said last year: “We have run these programs for at least eight years and it’s a big honor for staff members. When a person is nominated for Employee of the Month, managers are asked to publicly comment about what makes the employee outstanding.” Trinity Health System makes it easy for managers to find specific examples of an employee’s exception performance, since recognition and accomplishments are recorded in their performance management software.
The Employee Reward and Recognition Team at Trinity Health also developed several other ways to reward staff in non-monetary ways. For example, when managers do rounding and an employee is mentioned by a peer, thank you notes are sent to that individual’s department or home. In addition, each department celebrates employees’ years of service and birthdays. Their “Wow Team” organizes social events like an annual picnic and holiday party, and doctors also donate prizes and rewards for employees. The Employee Reward and Recognition Team is currently working with the finance department so managers can issue gift shop vouchers to employees as a small token of appreciation.
By coaching, setting goals, and recognizing your employee’s successes, you’re motivating them to perform well – boosting employee satisfaction levels and improving patient and resident care.
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