Nurses are the largest segment of the healthcare workforce and they are at the core of care delivery, safety, and outcomes. In today’s environment, we hear much about the patient experience but think about it – you cannot deliver a great patient experience without great employee engagement.
Are those responsible for providing care in your organization treated as well as those they serve? Engaged employees are energized, committed, action-oriented, problem-solvers, critical thinkers, and innovators. They have a voice, and their voices drive change within the organization. They see, touch, and feel it each and every day. Engagement is woven within the vision, mission, and goals of the institution, and your staff knows it.
A crisis exists today…and that crisis is stress. Regarding of the professional role, stress is usually work-related. We all have the same requisite number of hours in a day – only 24. And yet, we try to extend those hours and make them equal 36 or more. It is virtually impossible, and our productivity demonstrates our failure to adhere to the ‘work day’ as a somewhat normal work day.
A workplace is only as good as how it treats its workers. Today’s employers are constantly seeking ways to assist their workers in managing their job responsibilities and their personal responsibilities and needs. Strategies for work/life balance help create supportive, healthy work environments; strengthen employee commitment and loyalty, and result in more productive workplaces and improved patient outcomes. Nurses are at the heart and soul of healthcare, and yet, they sometimes do not have time for self-care and renewal activities – activities what would make them whole, enhance their well-being, and allow them to celebrate themselves.
Think about what drives engagement! “An analysis of Press Ganey’s national nurse engagement database Dempsey et al, 2015 identified drivers of nurse engagement. Key drivers of nurse engagement in 2015 included:
- The organization provides high-quality care and service.
- The organization treats employees with respect.
- I like the work I do.
- The environment makes employees in my work unit want to go above and beyond what’s expected of them.
- My pay is fair compared to other health care employers in this area.
- My job makes good use of my skills and abilities.
- I get the tools and resources I need to provide the best care/service for our clients/patients.
- The organization provides career development opportunities.
- This organization conducts business in an ethical manner.
- Patient safety is a priority in this organization.”
By giving nurses a voice; by providing a healthy work environment, including opportunities for professional advancement and personal growth, today’s health systems will put the E in Engagement – enhancing retention, empowering staff, and enriching the workplace.