Employee Engagement:  Moving Past Employee Satisfaction

Leaders often confuse employee engagement with employee satisfaction.  Striving to have ‘satisfied’ employees is setting the bar too low. A satisfied employee may show up to work on time, do the minimum amount of work required, and be somewhat satisfied, however, true employee engagement is much different. 1 True employee engagement must be nurtured so that employees develop a personal, emotional commitment to the company and its goals. 2  When employees are truly engaged, they care, they give discretionary effort, and they go the extra mile.

An engaged employee understands the importance of, and proactively practices good interpersonal skills, including: 3

  • Making eye contact
  • Referring to the patient using the patient’s preferred name
  • Employing Active Listening Techniques
  • Projecting positive body language
  • Asking open-ended questions
  • Demonstrating courtesy and respect
  • Keeping the patient informed regarding wait-times
  • Incorporating patient’s personal details as part of patient conversations
  • Displaying professional telephone etiquette
  • Avoiding the use of medical jargon

Employee engagement has a strong correlation with employee safety and enhancing a safer environment for healthcare consumers. Likewise, employee engagement plays a significant role in reducing employee accidents on the job. 4

What is concerning is that only 29% of the workforce is engaged, 45% are not engaged, and 26% are actively disengaged. Which means nearly 71% of employees are NOT fully engaged.  In addition, nearly $11 billion is lost annually due to employee turnover. 5 6

So, what are healthcare organizations to do? First, senior leadership should articulate a clear vision to all employees. Second, organizations should conduct employee engagement surveys and act on them. Third, management should be trained how to foster growth, trust, and healthy relationships with employees. Finally, management must show employees they are valued as contributors to foster a true sense of empowerment. 7

 

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