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The Caring Support Blog

Improving Employee Engagement in Healthcare

June 30, 2024

While recruitment is definitely important, employers should focus more on employee retention when dealing with high staff turnover rates that have been plaguing the healthcare sector up to this day. This is because retaining employees in healthcare can save on recruitment, onboarding, and training expenses, reducing overall recruitment costs and increasing efficiency.

Similarly, healthcare organizations benefit from consistent and quality care when experienced and knowledgeable healthcare professionals stay with the organization, positively impacting patient-provider relationships and healthcare outcomes. Patients are also more comfortable seeing more familiar faces, further enhancing patient experience that ultimately leads to increased patient satisfaction.

With this in mind, it should be the responsibility of healthcare leaders to consistently think of engagement strategies to ensure employee retention. So, in this article, we’ll explore the multifaceted nature of employee engagement in healthcare, its profound importance, and practical strategies to improve employee experience in the healthcare setting, leading to employee satisfaction and better patient care.

What Does Employee Engagement Entail?

Employee engagement is a complex and multidimensional concept that encompasses various aspects of an individual’s relationship with their work and the organization. Due to these complexities regarding the definition of employee engagement, different studies have different ways to define and describe it, commonly within the realm of the four approaches summarized below:

Importance of Keeping Employee Engagement in Healthcare

In the healthcare industry, employee engagement is not just a desirable outcome—it is a critical factor that significantly impacts the quality of care provided to patients. Highly engaged healthcare professionals are more likely to deliver exceptional patient care, exhibit greater resilience, and maintain a strong commitment to their roles, ultimately leading to improved patient outcomes and organizational success.

Benefits of Keeping Healthcare Employees Well-Engaged

The benefits of keeping healthcare employees well-engaged are numerous and impactful for both the individuals and the organization. Here are just some of the ways that keeping healthcare employees well-engaged benefit the organization and the patients that they are serving:

A list summarizing the benefits of keeping healthcare employees well-engaged.

Healthcare Employee Engagement Ideas

Having high employee engagement levels is directly related to better patient care and organizational success. Here are some strategies that a healthcare organization may employ to help encourage employee engagement and improve employee retention in healthcare:

Implement Mental Health and Wellness Programs and Make Services Available

Recognizing the immense stress and emotional demands placed on healthcare professionals, it is crucial to prioritize their mental health and overall well-being. Implement comprehensive mental health and wellness programs that provide accessible and confidential support services, such as counselling, stress management workshops, and mindfulness-based interventions. Ensure that these resources are widely communicated and available to all employees.

Practice Continuous Listening

Fostering a culture of open communication and continuous feedback is essential for understanding the needs, concerns, and aspirations of healthcare employees. Implement regular employee surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one discussions to gather insights and actively listen to the voices of your team. Demonstrate a genuine commitment to addressing the issues raised and implementing tangible changes based on employee feedback.

Employ Best Practices in Leadership

The key to promoting employee engagement in healthcare lies in having effective leaders. Ensure that your organization’s leaders are equipped with the necessary skills and competencies to inspire, motivate, and empower their teams. Provide leadership development programs that emphasize emotional intelligence, authentic communication, and a collaborative, servant-leadership approach.

Show Appreciation for Exceptional Performance and Behaviour

Healthcare professionals often work tirelessly, often going above and beyond the call of duty. Implement a robust employee recognition and reward program that celebrates exceptional performance, exemplary behaviour, and contributions to the organization. This can include monetary incentives, public acknowledgments, career advancement opportunities, and other meaningful forms of recognition to show that their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed and is, in fact, thoroughly appreciated.

Encourage a Culture Where Team Members Trust and Collaborate With Each Other

Cultivate a work environment that encourages collaboration, open communication, and mutual trust among healthcare team members. Promote interdepartmental cooperation, facilitate team-building activities, and create opportunities for cross-functional collaboration. When employees feel supported and valued by their peers, it can significantly enhance their engagement and job satisfaction.

Provide Access to Peer Support and Mentorship Opportunities

Healthcare professionals often face unique challenges and stressors that can be best understood by their peers. Establish formal and informal peer support programs that allow employees to share experiences, seek advice, and build meaningful connections. Fostering this open and positive healthcare environment also allows healthcare workers better access to mental health support, especially in more challenging instances when they need it the most.

Introducing a mentorship program that matches experienced healthcare professionals with junior staff is also an excellent strategy for improving employee engagement. This initiative promotes professional growth and facilitates knowledge exchange. It encourages senior staff to be at their best performance to provide a good example to their mentee and also offers junior staff valuable role models to admire and learn from.

Invest in Employee’s Professional Growth

Demonstrate a genuine commitment to the career development of your healthcare employees by making continuing education programs more accessible and relevant to their roles. Offer tuition reimbursement, sponsorship for industry certifications, and opportunities for skills-building workshops. Empowering employees to enhance their knowledge and capabilities can significantly boost their engagement and long-term commitment to the organization.

Streamline the recruitment process to prevent burnout in your current employees by partnering with Caring Support today.

Caring Support: Building a Positive Relationship for Healthcare Workers and Employers

In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, fostering a highly engaged workforce is not just a strategic imperative - it is a moral obligation. Through a comprehensive, multifaceted approach to employee engagement, healthcare organizations can unlock the full potential of their workforce, ultimately transforming the lives of the patients and communities they serve.

At Caring Support, we’re dedicated to bringing positive contributions to the Canadian healthcare system. Our comprehensive services that are made accessible by our intuitive, healthcare-focused platform for the continuous improvement of the healthcare recruitment process and other aspects that can make our healthcare workers’ lives better. We work together with various healthcare organizations to come up with ways to improve employee wellbeing in healthcare, including prioritizing employee health and mitigating staff shortages, ultimately leading to an improved organizational performance.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can boost employee engagement together to ultimately lead to improved productivity and commitment to delivering exceptional patient care by the employees in your organization.

About The Author
Cam Adajar
Content Writer

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