Five Ways to Increase Engagement

In a hospital or health centre environment, giving less than 100% can mean the difference between life and death. In August of 2012, a group of four Ontario-based Community Health Centres (CHC) ran an engagement survey with a follow-up survey 24-months later to determine if any improvement was made. The results were astonishing. In health centres, where the executive director clearly communicated the vision and goals, engagement increased significantly. Whereas facilities where the employee perception of senior leadership communication remained flat or even declined, a notable decline in employee engagement also occurred.

The staff at these CHC’s are not unlike many other workplaces that are filled with a dedicated and knowledgeable employee base that is thinly spread. The key is to promote employee health and well-being to keep them engaged and retain them longer.

WHY ENGAGEMENT?

Increased patient satisfaction: if a hospital or health centre has a high engagement level amongst its staff, it will have a ripple effect into other aspects of the organization. Most notably is the effect that engagement has on patients. When patients receive care from people who are motivated, inspired and optimistic, they are more satisfied and heal quicker.

Engagement for better risk management: Increased engagement and decreased turnover also reduce the likelihood of medical error and create a positive hospital or health centre safety score. Engaged employees were two to three times more likely to report a medical error that they had either discovered or caused without fear of reprisal. Therefore, it is not surprising that patient safety was perceived very differently by engaged employees with 88% believing patients were safe at their organization versus a 46% rating from the disengaged.

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