Press Ganey shares tips for maximizing employee engagement

Critical success factors for making human capital management a strategic asset.
By Jack McCarthy
10:26 AM

The development and nurturing of a healthcare workforce is top of mind for providers, as they look for ways to improve performance and, in turn, improve caregiver productivity. 

Maximizing employee engagement, however, involves more than identifying and implementing best practices.

Building a culture that supports engaged workers must be a multidimensional effort, according to a new white paper by Press Ganey, “Rules of Engagement: Assessing and Addressing Employee Engagement and Readiness for Change."

“The effective management of human capital has become a strategic priority for healthcare organizations as they strive to adapt to a very different, and continually evolving, marketplace,” the paper stated. “More than a singular metric, engagement is a reflection of multiple influences, including job requirements, work environment, management and organizational factors.”

These factors include analyzing the collected data to discern engagement gaps and deficiencies; assessing low-performing units’ readiness for action planning; evaluating and enhancing the leadership skills of managers of low-readiness, low-engagement units to prepare the units for action planning; and developing customized improvement strategies based on the specific needs of each work unit. 

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The burgeoning field of healthcare data analytics plays an important role in this effort.

“When fueled by robust survey data, deep dives into unit-level analytics and customized, targeted improvement programs, the progression through these steps leads the way to a highly engaged, high-performing workforce,” the report said.

To prepare low-engagement work units for action planning and the engagement journey, organizations should adopt several measures.

They should assemble a team to assess and support unit leaders. Next, they should analyze engagement survey data to identify the drivers of disengagement and use these analyses and assessments to triage units for customized improvement planning.

Groups should use these analyses and assessments to triage units for customized improvement planning and provide the unit leader with the structure and resources to adapt his or her leadership style to meet the team’s needs and build trust among its members

Targeting engagement solutions to the needs of each work unit according to general measurements of Tier 1, 2, and 3 is a beginning steep of setting up action plans.

Differences among units influence the work unit’s readiness for action planning, which can be assessed by calculating an Action Planning Readiness (APR) score. “This assessment is an essential first step to a successful engagement strategy for Tier 3 units,” the report says.

Engagement survey results should be consulted to triage the units for customized improvement planning. 

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“Typically, this involves delving into the leadership style and capacity of the managers in charge of the units, identifying barriers that might be inhibiting their teams’ readiness to embark on an improvement path, and working with the manager to remove those barriers,” according to the report.

In fact, in a case study outlined in the white paper, enhancing the leadership competency of mid-level managers is shown to a human capital investment that pays off in the development of an engaged, stable workforce.

“Because it is the job of mid-level managers to convert plans and strategies developed by top management into action at the unit level,” the report says, “supporting these individuals’ ability to do so by assessing their ability, motivation and environment and providing help where needed will enhance their own performance and that of the employees they lead.” 

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