No matter the kind of healthcare organization you run, you can’t do everything on your own. But to rely on your staff to perform at their best, you must establish a strong, consistent level of employee engagement. Each person on your team should show up to work excited for the shift ahead of them. They should feel a connection to their purpose within the organization, a sense of comradery with other staff members and be comfortable to speak up when necessary.
If you’ve been dealing with consistent tardiness, dropped shifts or frequent mistakes, your staffing challenges are likely more serious than you think.
Here are five ways to elevate employee engagement.
1. Share organizational goals
It’s easy for an individual to become disconnected with their work if they don’t understand the role they play within the group. As such, it’s the responsibility of organizational leaders to make everyone feel valued.
Make an effort to share high-level goals with all your staff members and cater the messaging to specific departments, if not to individuals. This will help every single staff member connect to their role. They’ll take on more ownership of their duties and have more pride in their work – two things that do wonders for employee engagement.
2. Encourage feedback from individuals at all levels
Just as you need to share your thoughts with everyone on your team, you should be asking for their input. Staff members rarely offer unsolicited opinions, which means it’s on you to remind each person they have a voice and encourage them to use it. Make it clear that comments and criticisms are welcome and valued by the team. This sounds simple enough, but far too many people keep comments to themselves which can lead to resentment and lack of motivation.
3. Praise in public, criticize in private
There’s a delicate balance between developing professionals with praise and with accountability. While it’s crucial to do both, it’s even more important to understand when each one is appropriate to give.
Always save criticism for private interactions. Don’t single out individuals within a group or place blame on them. Rather, pull them aside and turn a mistake into a coachable moment. Praise can be shared in private or in public. When offering either form of feedback, be as specific as you can about a person’s actions and their outcomes.
4. Remember personal details
One of the most effective ways to make your team members feel valued is to treat them as people, not assets. Make it a point to establish a healthy personal connection with the men and women on your team. Remember their birthday and work anniversary. Talk to them about their family and personal accomplishments, too.
This will increase the level of respect between you and each individual, and may lead to stronger staff relationships as well. When people start to see their colleagues as friends, they work harder and smarter together.
5. Implement an employee appreciation program
As you start to see engagement levels rise, keep the momentum going with an appreciation program. It doesn’t need to be costly or large-scale. It can be as simple as adding a shout-out feature to your scheduling program or spending five to ten minutes of a regular group meeting to share special recognition.
If you’re interested in bigger appreciation initiatives, create a company award for individuals to work toward or run team competitions throughout the year. Whatever you do, make sure it’s received well. You want your efforts to feel genuine and create effective engagement results long-term.
Boosting staff engagement should be an ongoing responsibility rather than a one-time effort. Ideally, you want your best people to stay within the organization for years, and you want good medical professionals to become the best they can be. This begins with you and how you position your team for success.