Updated: Dec 30, 2022
Healthcare was always considered to be a sector deeply rooted in human interactions and empathy. After all, people who are taking care of others' well-being, and, in some cases, lives need to be 100% focused on and fully engaged with what they are doing. Otherwise, their dissatisfaction can have far more tragic consequences than a drop in productivity and a damaged bottom line.
Unfortunately, in today's fast-paced and relentless society, achieving a satisfying level of workplace engagement is a problem that spreads like a wildfire regardless of the industry.
That, however, only forces us to reassess the issue of healthcare engagement with new diligence. Let us see then what makes this issue so important and try to present some of the functional solutions.
Why do workers in primary healthcare need to be engaged?
So, before we start working on the solutions, let us take a brief look at why employee engagement is so important in the healthcare sector, probably more important than in any other sector. The simplest answer would be that engaged workers are able to work faster, approach their daily tasks with greater attention and commitment, and, finally, take pride in what they do and feel happier and more satisfied.
As we briefly mentioned in the introduction, the discrepancies in this regard have much more severe outcomes than in other professions where engagement issues usually result in slight productivity drops. Let us take a crack at this problem with a couple of easy-to-understand examples:
Engaged workers produce demonstrate more empathy and stronger bedside skills helping the patient's recovery
Engaged workers have more patience to listen to patient's problems which makes them more capable of dealing with their health issues
Engaged workers pay attention to small but critical details like washing hands and handling sensitive medical equipment
Engaged workers take a more proactive and more thorough approach to dealing with medical issues
Engaged workers make fewer dangerous mistakes
Engaged workers produce lower operating costs
Engaged workers lead to greater patient satisfaction
How to improve the medical workers’ engagement
So, we have seen that the issue of engagement in the healthcare sector is a serious issue that requires immediate attention. Let’s take a look then at a couple of solutions.
Providing workers with the appropriate equipment
If they are supposed to reach an optimal level of engagement, the medical workers, first and foremost, need to have an access to top-tier equipment and the tools they need to perform their tasks efficiently. So, no matter whether we are talking about high-quality scrubs or more advanced medical tools, the workers will never feel empowered or confident to tackle their daily challenges with all due diligence.
Introducing flexible work hours
This is one of the measures we can take over from the general employee engagement rulebook. As of recently, work-life balance emerged as the number one employee priority, even ahead of high salary. The medical practice doesn’t exactly leave too much room for compromises in this regard, but offering workers more freedom in scheduling and the option of remote work can help in sorting this issue out.
Leveraging rewards and recognition
Even though monetary stimuli no longer take the number one spot as prime employee motivators, making sure the medical workers are properly compensated can go a long way in making sure their efforts seem more worthwhile. Therefore, medical institutions can establish a carefully crafted reward and recognition system that will encourage positive worker behavior and high levels of commitment.
Measuring levels of employee engagement
Companies that want to improve the engagement of their workers, first need to be aware of what levels of engagement they are dealing with at the moment. Because of that, medical facilities can make great improvements by simply measuring employee engagement, and identifying the areas where they need to put the effort into solving. Making this a continuous process can lead to sustainable long-term results.
Establishing a culture of accountability
Medical facilities tend to be very harsh and stressful work environments that nevertheless require a great level of accountability. If the mistakes that are made are pushed aside and not dealt with in due time, they can have very severe consequences. That is why medical services need to build a culture of transparency and accountability where everyone's opinions will be assessed without scorn.
We hope this short breakdown gave you a general idea about the importance of worker engagement in the healthcare sector as well as presented some of the solutions that can make this issue if only a bit easier. Regardless of the scale, however, all these efforts will be worthwhile. Healthcare is a sector that deals with human lives. The workers handling these incredibly responsible tasks need to be properly motivated and fully engaged in what they’re doing.