The following research paper describes in detail the relevance of employee engagement to a healthcare provider. Engagement of employees is often an overlooked area of focus as hospitals look for ways to improve processes and reduce operating expenses. Healthcare is somewhat unique in that cost to the customer is not the main economic force driving patients to the various hospitals or healthcare providers. The focus of the following is to examine the importance of employee engagement hospital wide. There are factors that lead a prospective patient to choose one healthcare provider over another, assuming choices exist. When discussing engagement, emotions can play a very critical role, and the affects of employee engagement on measurable components of a successful healthcare system are extensive. This research will go into detail on how engagement impacts most areas of healthcare, including areas that many professionals in the healthcare industry may not even realize. Hospital executives are beginning to understand there is an economic relationship that exists between engaged employees and almost every other facet related to the operation of a successful health care system.
KEYWORDS. Employee Engagement, Patient Satisfaction, Healthcare Providers
The Significance of Employee Engagement in Healthcare
Employee engagement in theory is fabricated of simple practical concepts made up of common sense ideas. Countless companies each year, including the healthcare industry, spend millions of dollars trying to determine how to better engage employees and the impact it causes. How can companies spend that much every year just trying to figure this out?
For example, in healthcare, a hospital will spend approximately $785,000 in total network and hardware configurations as part of the expense for the development of an Electronic Medical Records system (Renner, 2009). When spending the $785,000, the hospital is receiving in return a tangible product that will perform the exact job functions it was designed to carry out. Employee engagement is a huge financial investment which is relatively intangible and could be characterized as an investment in human emotion. The basis for emotional economics makes sense in this situation. When employees are better engaged, performance levels rise and employees actually care about what they are doing.
The main topics to be explored are the significance of employee engagement and the various parts of healthcare that are impacted by this. Employee engagement is such a large topic, to better understand the topic it is necessary to ask a couple more questions. What other areas of business may be impacted as a result of an organization having a clear understanding of employee engagement? A couple of areas to be explored further include correlations to patient satisfaction, turnover, performance and patient outcomes. Once an organization has a clear understanding of the areas employee engagement can have an impact, the next question becomes how to measure the level of engagement among the workforce. In addition, once the level of engagement has been converted into a quantitative amount, what is done with the information? This is also an area where many organizations fall short, which will be discussed in depth. Background: What is Employee Engagement?
It is very important to define and understand what employee engagement actually means. Initially, engagement has been found to have many different meanings depending on the goal or desired outcome of the organization. A “satisfied” employee is not necessarily an engaged employee. The Towers Perrin study defined engagement as, “the willingness and ability to contribute to the company’s success to the extent to which employees put discretionary effort into their work, in the form of extra time, brainpower and energy" (2008). Engaged employees are...