iStock_000058113876_SmallEngaged employees are more committed to, and enthusiastic about working at, your organization. They will go the extra mile to provide great quality care, while disengaged employees may do the bare minimum just to get through the day. When 85% of engaged employees display a genuinely caring attitude toward patients, while only 38% of disengaged employees do, an engaged employee can be the key to great quality care and patient satisfaction.

However, The Advisory Board Company found that 20% of all hospital employees are either disengaged or ambivalent, while 40% are merely content. This blog post will show you how to strengthen your engagement levels throughout your relationship with each employee.

1.  Hire and Train Great Leaders

Employee engagement begins with hiring and developing great leaders. Your leaders will directly impact engagement through effective communication with employees, facilitating a positive work environment and recognizing when employees aren’t engaged. Great leaders will develop strong relationships with their team to help each individual member feel more connected to your organization.

2.  Recruit for Cultural Fit

The Advisory Board Company found that the highest employee engagement driver was a connection to the organization’s mission. Engage your employees before they even begin working at your organization by recruiting candidates who are aligned with your mission, vision and values. Employees who feel connected to, and invested in, your organization are more likely to be satisfied on the job and less likely to leave.

3.  Develop a Strong Onboarding Process

Engage your employees from day one by welcoming your new hires into your organization and aligning expectations. Introduce them to key team members and give them a tour so they know where to find everything they need to do their jobs. Review the job description in detail, set goals, and get the employee’s sign-off so they know what’s expected of them, and how they will be evaluated. This will provide a better work experience and keep your employees motivated.

4.  Give Regular, Frequent Feedback and Recognition

Annual performance reviews are a great time to provide feedback to employees, review compensation and discuss career goals, but shouldn’t be the only time employees receive feedback and recognition. Managers should recognize a job well done, or provide constructive feedback, as opportunities arise. Performance management is more than a once per year event, and regular communications allow employees to improve their performance on an ongoing basis, leading to better job satisfaction.

5.  Provide Opportunities for Professional Development

Feedback on an employee’s areas for improvement should always be presented as an opportunity for growth. Rather than simply discussing performance issues, managers can build engagement through coaching and formal learning programs. By helping employees set goals, enabling them to improve their skill sets, and mentoring them toward success, employees will be motivated to reach their full potential. Discuss succession planning regularly to ensure that feedback, coaching, and professional development are tailored toward the employee’s current role, as well as their plan for the future. When they have something to work toward, they will be more motivated to improve their performance and exceed expectations.

Every employee in your organization, from your physicians and nurses to your cafeteria workers and janitors, can make a difference in your patient’s satisfaction — for better or for worse. Strengthening engagement levels leads to happier employees who are satisfied with their jobs and stay longer, which leads to better patient care and satisfaction.

Are you interested in learning more about how you can improve employee engagement in your healthcare organization? Download:

[How-To Guide] Building Employee Engagement: How to Improve Employee Retention and Increase Patient Satisfaction

Jen Dewar

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, 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.