As managers/directors we hear the term “employee engagement” frequently. Typically, employee engagement surveys are done annually by most hospitals so senior administration has a pulse on the outlook of the employees.
Why is employee engagement so important and how does it affect the success of our departments? Engaged employees are committed to the mission and vision of the organization and tend to be enthusiastic about their work. They feel as though they are part of a team. This leads to excellent patient interaction and strong patient relationships.
In essence, highly engaged employees make the right things happen which leads to efficiency, growth and profitability. As leaders of our departments we need to be cognizant of employee engagement on a regular basis. Here are 5 elements of employee engagement that you should be familiar with:
1. Employees understand the desired outcome of their roles. Every position has a set of outcomes that are to be attained. This is the reason the position was created. The employee needs to know what the desired outcomes should be and the importance of the outcomes cannot be emphasized enough.
2. Employees feel they have a two way relationship with their manager/director. Successful managers/directors get to know the people they work with extremely well. They know about their families, hobbies and what makes them tick. In today’s workplace a two-way relationship is based on trust, and this is gained through relationships. It’s also important that the leadership demonstrate behaviors that are consistent and predictable. This also helps build trust with employees.
3. Employees feel they are using their skills to their full potential. Individuals want to be challenged and coached in the workplace. Employees want to feel as though they are making a contribution to the team and are making a difference in what they do. It is up to us to make sure employees are in positions that utilize their full potential, challenges them and helps them be successful. This leads to self-confidence and enthusiasm.
4. Employees can see the value of their contributions. Individuals want to be recognized for the excellent work they do. The one thing we do not do enough is celebrate our successes and give recognition for a job well done. It is crucial that we validate good work. It can be done with a simple “thank you for all your hard work today on what was a very busy day.”
5. Employees are developing and growing to new levels of success. With this element as directors/managers we focus on bringing out the strengths of an employee rather than the weaknesses. It is said that at least three to five messages should be made about strengths to every one about weaknesses. Weaknesses are not ignored but are minimized and managed and even delegated. In John Maxwell’s book The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader it is stated leaders should focus 70 percent on strengths, 25 percent on learning new things and 5 percent on weaknesses. We should do the same with the employees we manage.