How engaged are your employees? The term employee engagement relates to how focused, motivated and productive your workers are while on the job. An engaged employee can mean the difference between simply coming to work versus delivering superior patient care. This is vital to how satisfied your patients are with the treatment they receive, and how often they return to you for therapy. So the bottom line is this: the level of employee engagement at your practice can make or break the success of your business, and ultimately, your profitability.

Avoid low workplace morale

A recent Gallup poll showed that only 30 percent of U.S. workers feel engaged in their work. That leaves 70 percent of workers who lack motivation, and that can be extremely troublesome for the quality of work they produce. Managers are constantly fighting negative energy in the workplace, and eventually turnover. Healthcare professionals, who are often high achievers, with high expectations of their employers, and who chose their profession because they want to help others, are especially susceptible to burnout. So, as an employer or manager, how can you proactively diagnose and address areas of concern in your clinic or department to head off trouble?

Measure employee engagement

To assess the employee engagement amongst your staff, you must first measure it.  One of the best ways to do this is with an anonymous survey. Ideally a third party or human resource professional can step in and conduct the survey for you. However, surveys are easy to set up on your own, if you don’t have access to outside resources.

How to conduct an engagement survey: best practices

A popular way to conduct employee surveys is by using an online service that enable you to quantify results, such as SurveyMonkey®.  Survey questions should help you determine the comfort level your workers have with the company culture, and their ability to learn and grow within it. The Society For Human Resource Management Foundation partners with Survey Monkey to offer a free survey template with appropriate questions, or they will conduct a survey of their own called People Insight.

Participants will rank each item you ask about (e.g., on a scale of 1–5) and your survey will give you an overview of how your employees rate your company in the following areas.

  • Company Vision and Mission Alignment
  • Progress – Opportunities to Grow.
  • Productivity – Efficiency and Effectiveness Factors
  • Tools, Resources – Do your employees have what they need to do their jobs?
  • Trust
  • Communication
  • Contentment
  • Compensation and Benefits

Other ways to measure employee engagement

Though a survey may be the most effective way to gauge morale, you can also use other tactics, such as:

  • Time measurements. Track the amount of time employees are working outside of normal business hours. For example, reading journal articles and participating in continuing education classes indicates a passion for what they do.
  • Focus groups. Select a representative from each department for a focus group led by an impartial third party (such as a member of human resources). Ask questions similar to those in an engagement survey and take notes from the conversation. Ensure a “no retaliation” rule to encourage an honest discussion.
  • Direct feedback. What are your staff members saying during one-on-one performance reviews or when they stop by your office to chat? This can be a good indication of the overall culture in your company, and what may need to be fixed.
  • Social communities. Connect with your employees on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter. Monitor what your employees are saying about work on their social media pages. Status posts may be your first clue that someone is unhappy. Be proactive and investigate negative comments about work.
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Smart ways to improve employee morale

If your research has uncovered a lack of employee engagement, you can take steps to make improvements. If you’ve conducted a survey, the questions themselves can be indicators of what you may need to change. Ideas to create a more positive, supportive workplace include:

  • Set clear performance expectations. Consider creating printed job descriptions and a policy and procedure manual.
  • Provide adequate time off for holidays, vacations and illnesses.
  • Offer a rich benefits package that includes medical, dental and vision coverage, a wellness program and an Employee Assistance Program.
  • Host social gatherings outside the office. During the summertime and holidays, interacting outside of the office will help your workers get to know each other better and enjoy their time in the office more, as well.
  • Create opportunities for employees to grow in their careers. Whether it’s continuing education, cross-training, or the possibility of promotion give your workers something to work towards.
  • Maintain adequate staffing levels. Overworked employees can become negative and burned out. Be sure you have enough staff to allow for reasonable case loads.

Make your facility a great place to work

By measuring employee engagement and taking steps to improve it, you’ll help establish your facility as a positive workplace. This will make it much easier to attract and retain the best-of-the best healthcare professionals. Where you lead, your team will follow.

Invite your staff to practice the ABC’s of a great team:

A  – Assume Good Intent
B – Be a part of the Solution
C – Commit to Improve
and Communicate

If you need extra staff, contact PT Solutions

While you work to improve your culture, you may find you need additional staff. For travel therapists and other allied healthcare workers, contact PT Solutions. Our recruiters will work with you to find the qualified healthcare professionals your facility needs.

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