By Kristi Roe, Head of Healthcare Experience at Medallia
With employee experience being a critical KPI across most industries, healthcare organizations can learn from other sectors to transform the experience for patients, care teams, and the organization as a whole. In fact, higher employee experience ratings are often correlated with higher quality of care and safety outcomes, patient satisfaction, and even financial KPIs.
But when it comes down to creating and executing on employee listening, engagement, and experience programs and strategies, organizations struggle to find an effective way to do that. This is at a time when healthcare workers are struggling with a range of chronic and mental health issues as well as burnout. That’s why this decade must be about course correcting, promoting and fostering overall healthcare employee health and well-being.
Creating the modern healthcare employee listening and engagement program
Many healthcare systems only formally listen to their employees once a year or every 18 months, using traditional annual engagement surveys. Not only are these questionnaires typically lengthy, when you drill down into the questions, they have very little to do with the employee and are usually focused on the perception of the organization. That’s a huge miss. When healthcare organizations aren’t tuned into the employee journey, they’re not able to address the industry’s incredible rates of churn and turnover. For instance, as a result of COVID, we have seen meditation rooms popping up all over hospitals. But for many employees, these types of solutions may not be what they really want or need. They instead may be desperate for more PTO or less time on call. Technology offers a way for leaders to listen to their people, understand what support they’re really looking for, and meet these needs in the moment, before it’s too late.
Gathering insights into the feelings and experiences of their employees on a daily basis can be accomplished by using more frequent surveys, leveraging crowdsourcing platforms, and tapping into key employee signals from operational data sources, like PTO usage, performance ratings, and more to capture real-time feedback. The following steps can be taken to achieve real-time results:
- Ask the right questions at the right moment, and keep things actionable. Ensure your employees know that you’re genuinely interested in how they’re doing.
- Keep things simple. Ask questions in a way that are meaningful and that are actionable, such as, “What do you think we should do about______(a given problem or challenge)?”
- Check in with employees frequently. Move from capturing data on a monthly basis to capturing feedback in close-to-real time by deploying ad hoc, topic-based surveys.
- Gather feedback at every step of the employee journey, from recruiting and onboarding to other key milestones, such as performance reviews, department changes, and more.
- Capture feedback and ideas from employees using their preferred channels, such as video, text, or crowdsourcing, instead of typical email surveys.
- Eliminate employee data silos to gain an holistic view of the employees experience bypairing all of your solicited feedback from surveys and crowdsourcing platforms with the rest of your key employee experience and operational datasets, such as employee sentiment, manager feedback, patient feedback, and more.
- Use artificial intelligence (AI) to detect trends. By analyzing data at scale, you’ll be able to pinpoint issues, such as signs of low morale and burnout, in the moment they’re happening.
- Share the results across the organization to help your people feel connected. Ensuring your team feels heard by responding to and acting on feedback is an incredibly effective way to foster community, loyalty, and engagement with the organization.
- Be timely. Prioritize sharing your findings and next steps with your team within days, not weeks or months.
- Be equitable. As organizations reflect on efforts to foster diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging, a key area of focus is equitable listening — that is, capturing all of the voices of your population to ensure your programs foster equitable experiences.
By creating data-driven employee engagement programs, savvy healthcare organizations, are empowered to capture and harness insights and use these to create AI-powered predictive warning systems designed to detect signs of risk — whether that’s turnover, serious safety events, or other key business outcomes — before they happen, and in turn develop tailor-made solutions to meet pressing employee needs.