Employee Engagement TrendsEmployee retention is a challenge in healthcare. According to the Advisory Board, healthcare organizations have a 30.3 percent first-year turnover rate, and the American Health Care Association reports the median turnover rate for direct care staff in skilled nursing care centers is 43.9 percent. In order to reverse these trends, provide better care, and drive patient satisfaction, leading healthcare organizations today are turning their focus toward employee engagement.

As many talent management professionals are aware, healthcare organizations are facing a difficult reality navigating increasingly competitive talent markets and growing challenges in patient care. Between constant public feedback and extensive online resources, patients today have more information about the care they receive and feel more empowered to use that information than ever before.

Employee Engagement Leads to Better Quality Patient Care

Simply put, highly skilled professionals alone won’t get your healthcare organization where it needs to be. However, by focusing on employee engagement you can motivate, develop, and grow your current workforce, leaving them happier and more likely to go above and beyond in providing quality care.

And research supports this reasoning.

According to an HR Solutions study, engaged employees display a genuinely caring attitude toward patients a full 85 percent of the time. That figure plummets to just 38 percent among disengaged employees. When you consider Gallup’s survey that shows only a third of the American workforce is engaged, you can see why this is such a hot topic for healthcare talent management professionals.

Employee Engagement Trends for Healthcare in 2018

With the new year upon us, let’s look at some trends that we see emerging as healthcare organizations work to improve employee engagement.

1. Employee Onboarding

Starting a new role is often exciting for healthcare professionals. Build off that excitement by helping new hires feel welcome and supported on your team. Tell them how excited you are to have them join and introduce them to key teammates who can help them settle in. Also, use this time to set expectations and sign off on the job description.

2. Goal Setting

It’s important to set goals early on so each employee knows how they’re being evaluated. Employee goals should align with those of the organization to reinforce how their work supports the larger mission, vision, and values. When employees know what it takes to succeed from day one, they will be happier and more engaged — and it will show in their work.

3. Continuous Feedback

Feedback should happen regularly so employees know what they’re doing well, as well as where there’s room for improvement. This may come in the form of employee rounding or through teachable moments. It’s also worth noting the importance of recognition for a job well done, as it serves as a powerful way to provide feedback that improves employee engagement.

4. Employee Development

Managers should be focused on helping their employees reach their fullest potential each day, but they should also be creating opportunities for growth. An employee development plan should be created early — and revisited often — to ensure that employees are improving their skill sets and bringing new value to their teams. This, in turn, helps them achieve greater success as a result of higher levels of engagement in their work.

5. Compensation Management

Healthcare work can be as stressful as it is rewarding, and one of the best ways to show employees appreciation is to compensate them fairly. If your workers feel that they’re being underpaid, they’ll naturally be unhappy and the quality of their work could suffer. Put together a compensation strategy with pay rates for varying factors, such as location, role, experience and company size.

6. Work Environment

A positive work environment ensures that your employees can focus on their patients. Consider your workplace culture, availability of sufficient supplies and equipment, internal relationships and collaboration, and work-life balance. This will not only help you engage and retain your current workforce, but may also help you attract talent from healthcare organizations that lack a great work environment.

Where to Find More Information on Healthcare Employee Engagement

Engaged employees feel more connected to their jobs and will go the extra mile to provide great quality care for your patients. In fact, research from the Advisory Board shows that for every percent employee engagement increases, HCAHPS ratings increase by 0.33 percent, and patients’ willingness to recommend by 0.25 percent.

Further, engaged employees are also more likely to stay with their current organization — allowing you to retain the talent you’ve worked so hard to recruit. This, in turn, enables you to continue providing quality care.

Interested in seeing more healthcare talent management trends?

Download our eBook today to get access to our full list of 2018 trends and to learn more on how you can improve your recruitment, employee engagement, and leadership development efforts this year.

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About Jen Dewar

Jen Dewar is a marketing consultant in the HR technology space with a focus on developing educational content for recruiters, corporate HR professionals, and staffing agency owners. She has spent the past 10 years working with a wide variety of companies — from corporate marketing for healthcare organizations and recruitment firms, to startup marketing for both Identified and Bright.com, prior to their respective acquisitions. When she’s not doing marketing, you can find Jen snowboarding in Tahoe, enjoying a glass of wine in Sonoma, or watching Netflix at home with her husband.