Healthcare facilities and offices exist to perform an important function: to offer the highest quality healthcare possible. But the attitudes of the professionals who are charged with supporting your goal can make or break a healthcare organization.
Are you doing what it takes to turn your employees into a loyal and engaged workforce that does its best to support your goals as a provider? If not, your patients’ experience—and even their health—could be suffering.
Here are four steps you can take to make sure you create an atmosphere that encourages employee engagement and dedication.
1. Live your values.
If your employees believe in your company's values, they're more likely to be an engaged workforce. The best way to instill values in others is to hold them yourself. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true—if your employees see you dismiss your company’s values, they won’t see a reason to uphold them, either.
For example, if one of your office values is going above and beyond to help a patient, but supervisors and doctors overlook the needs of patients in favor of other factors, you’ll have a hard time getting employees to commit to this value. You should never be above doing whatever you ask your team to do, no matter your position at the facility.
2. Offer career development and clear paths to advancement.
Healthcare facilities often get caught up in the daily task of caring for patients. That makes sense, but as a healthcare leader, you also need to rise above the daily rush and take the long view. Continuing medical education and professional development are vastly important to a quality facility, and they’re also important for employee satisfaction. Don’t let your employees languish without the skills they need to do their jobs, especially as the healthcare industry shifts and adapts to new technologies.
Promotions and upward mobility are paramount, as well. Say you have a talented administrative assistant, for example. You depend on her for all clerical tasks and can’t imagine your office without her. She’s so valuable in her role that, in fear of losing her skilled support, you never offer her a promotion. Your assistant will eventually pack up and move on, leaving you without a talented employee who could have offered more to your company.
Don’t be afraid to promote, train and grow the potential of your best workers. If they see your dedication to them, they’ll work harder and avoid leaving for greener pastures.
3. Create a distinct culture.
Every company and facility has a distinct culture. If you’re not sure of yours, sit down and evaluate your mission and values to understand what you want your culture to be.
Do you ask a lot of your employees but reward them in equal measure? Do you make accommodations for schedule conflicts and provide part-time schedules for single parents? These policies shape the kind of employer you are, and the kind of employees who will excel in your organization.
The sooner you carve out and define your distinct culture, the sooner you can figure out what types of employees thrive within that culture.
4. Allow for ownership.
Healthcare is a heavily regulated industry, and it’s important that every employee—from front desk assistant to nurse—performs their duties correctly. This rigidity is necessary for good medical care, but it presents a challenge in allowing employees to feel like they have freedom to develop and take ownership as professionals. Nevertheless, to create an engaged workforce you need to trust your team and allow them the freedom to do their jobs.
It could be as simple as allowing your office manager to implement a new system for processing patients, or providing supervision while your nursing assistant administers patient care independently.
Tapping into your employees’ passions and allowing them to take ownership can lead to a stronger, more dedicated team.
After reading these points, how does your workplace measure up? Do you naturally perform each one of these steps? If not, start implementing processes to improve your company atmosphere and create a dedicated, engaged workforce.