To care for patients with skill and compassion, healthcare employees need to be engaged, trained, and motivated.
Employee engagement surveys make sure physicians and staff have everything they need to put patients first.
In a recent study, we saw that more than half of healthcare providers measure employee satisfaction as part of their effort to offer great care. If you’re not measuring employee engagement, you could be overlooking a key element that impacts patient satisfaction and—most importantly—health outcomes.
Employee engagement reflects the level of commitment employees have to their organization. In the healthcare industry, a high level of commitment and dedication is needed. So, it’s good practice to survey your staff frequently to stay aware of how connected people are with their work.
Employee engagement shouldn’t be confused with employee satisfaction, although the two terms are interconnected. The level of employee engagement can often mirror how happy they are with their job, but it’s also possible that happy employees are not fully committed to the mission and goals of your healthcare organization. The level of employee engagement in healthcare is a critical assessment to keep track of because your customers are patients. And each patient’s needs are life-and-death-related cases.
There are 4 levels of employee engagement to distinguish hospital workers’ performance: Highly engaged, moderated engaged, somewhat engaged, and disengaged. Here’s a closer look at what at how these levels are defined:
Employee engagement in healthcare can have a direct impact on hospital finances. Low levels of engagement can result in malpractice claims, with funds going toward attorney fees instead of the betterment of healthcare.
The requirement of healthcare employee engagement will typically rank on the higher side for doctors, surgeons, nurses, and nurses’ aids since their responsibilities involve direct healthcare to patients. Administrative duties also require a level of excellence to keep track of patient charts, insurance, and other confidential information, while the maintenance department and housekeeping contribute to keeping the structure clean and safe. From the top tier down, every job in healthcare is vital to the overall success of the organization, which is why hospital employee engagement matters.
In addition to the upkeep of hospital conditions, hospital employee engagement requires 24-hour service. Absenteeism and retention can negatively affect patient satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy. This can mean lower revenue and loss of profit to provide healthcare staff with state-of-the-art technology needed to treat patients and save lives.
Employee engagement surveys measure how passionate healthcare professionals are about the work they’re doing. They also make it easier to identify changes that will help doctors and staff do an even better job.
It’s worth mentioning again that measuring employee engagement in healthcare is vitally important, as employees who are happy tend to provide the kind of care that makes patients happy. In fact, research has shown that engaged employees are more likely to innovate, and they’re more likely to tackle their work with focus, intensity, and enthusiasm.
The options for creating engagement surveys are infinite. Your creativity can drive the designing and formatting, but you also want to be strategic in collecting relevant data to help answer questions and solve problems. You can also use your feedback to benchmark data for future survey insights.
Here are 10 steps to creating a healthcare employee engagement survey:
Surveys like this might sound complicated, but we make it easy.
We can even provide you with benchmarking data for employee engagement, so you’ll be able to measure your progress over time, and compare your success with the success of others.
To understand a little more about healthcare employee engagement, we surveyed 717 senior-level healthcare professionals. Our research shows more than half of healthcare organizations use surveys to measure employee satisfaction, and this is what they’re learning:
This last number provides administrators with a unique opportunity. Rather than focusing on managing a medical practice more efficiently, experts at these facilities might want to invest in new communication tools. Or they might want to foster more face-to-face meetings between junior level and senior level staff. Some might even focus on multitasking, as stressed employees might be more likely to be disengaged.
Do these findings hold true for your organization? A well-crafted survey can provide you with the granular detail you need to help employees do a better job.
If the staff is relatively happy with the training they get but there isn’t enough communication from senior management, you may need to make some shifts. You can follow up with another survey that could be submitted to department heads with questions about employee leadership. These insights can help you plan ways to improve employee communications.
Be conversational: In healthcare surveys you write for patients, you should work hard to eliminate the slang, lingo and abbreviations that pop up around healthcare facilities. But in surveys for healthcare professionals, you’re writing for your peers. It’s fine to use the language everyone understands.
Assure confidentiality: In the introduction to your survey, remind your readers that you won’t attach their names to the answers they provide. Few employees will feel comfortable being open and honest about sensitive work-related feelings (like safety issues or the performance of others) if they think it could be tied back to them.
Keep it (relatively) short: Our research suggests that response rates for surveys tend to drop when participants are asked more than 10 questions. But measuring employee engagement is a tricky business, so you might need to ask a lot of different questions in different ways. Do try to keep the survey short, however, and remember that you can always follow up with another set of questions at a later date.
Track your progress: Setting up internal benchmarks allows you to compare your scores as they change with time. But you can also use SurveyMonkey Benchmarks to compare your responses with hundreds of other organizations.