Employee Engagement

Improve Quality of Care Through a Positive Employee Experience

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The performance of healthcare professionals such as physicians and nurses directly affects the physical and mental well-being of patients. But what impact could a more positive – even more human – experience at work have on the performance of healthcare professionals? Our research found that a positive employee experience is clearly linked to better performance and more.

Read the healthcare worker employee experience study.

An IBM Smarter Workforce Institute and Globoforce study revealed that employees who experience a sense of belonging, purpose, achievement, happiness and vigor are more likely to perform at higher levels and put in extra effort, and are less likely to quit.  Specifically, we found:

  • Healthcare workers with positive experiences at work are much more likely to go “above and beyond” than those with negative experiences (98 percent vs. 67 percent) [1].
  • Healthcare workers with positive experiences at work are more likely to report high levels of work performance than those with negative experiences (98 percent vs. 86 percent) 1.
  • Healthcare workers with negative experiences at work are more than twice as likely to leave compared to those with positive experiences (48 percent vs. 21 percent) 1.

Given such a strong association between a positive employee experience and healthcare workers’ behaviors, how could healthcare organizations drive more positive and human employee experiences?  Below are some findings of the paper:

  • Effective leadership and management: Leaders and managers set the stage for a more positive employee experience. However, 39 percent of healthcare workers do not feel their senior leaders are providing clear direction and 31 percent do not feel their managers are effective in serving and supporting the team. The results suggest room for improvement.
  • Co-worker support: When supportive coworker relationships are present in the workplace, healthcare employees report a much more positive employee experience than when that support is absent (81 percent compared to 46 percent).
  • Recognition for good work: 85 percent of employees report a positive employee experience when they feel recognized for the good work they do, compared to 47 percent when there is a lack of recognition.
  • Opportunities for the employee voice to be heard: Employees who feel their ideas and suggestions matter are twice as likely to report a positive employee experience as those who don’t (87 percent vs. 43 percent).

Healthcare organizations are rightly focused on delivering high quality patient care. This research paper suggests ways to improve the employee experience, which is likely to impact healthcare outcomes like quality of care.

To find more about these research findings and recommendations for organizational practices in healthcare organizations, download the full report here

[1] Positive experience at work refers to Employee Experience Index scores in the top quartile, while negative experience at work refers to Employee Experience Index scores in the bottom quartile.

Lead Researcher, IBM Smarter Workforce Institute

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