8 Strategies to Maximize Employee Engagement During the Pandemic

More senior care organizations are seeking ways to improve employee engagement, particularly now when healthcare turnover is second worse only to the tourism industry. In fact, healthcare turnover in Canada has risen 5 percent across all healthcare jobs over the last decade, with a recent report marking hospital turnover at 18.2 percent - the highest ever recorded turnover for almost a decade in the industry. The numbers are similar in the United States, with a 30 percent increase in the number of American healthcare employees describing themselves as merely “contributing” rather than actively engaged.

It is no surprise that happier, more engaged employees are more inclined to go above and beyond in their jobs and in providing quality care to residents. Research says it all: a Gallup study found that highly engaged hospital nurses experience superior patient outcomes and decreased mortality rates.

There is no question that when employees are more engaged, organizations do better. How then should senior care leaders work towards maximizing the employee experience and better engaging employees?

1. Leadership should be more visible during difficult times – if leaders want their employees engaged, they should remain visible and motivate them. Provide feedback and career growth opportunities whenever possible.

2. Establish an effective communications plan that will influence employees to more effectively engage and accomplish their objectives. Be sure to deliver key messages to employees through a variety of different communications channels, such as blogs, emails, social media, and newsletters. Remember to incorporate employee feedback into ongoing communications.

3. Provide employees with effective tools to help them perform their jobs efficiently and effectively. Many day-to-day processes—from shift callouts to staff communications and scheduling—currently rely on antiquated technologies and practices resulting in poor staff communications and low staff satisfaction. Part of engagement involves finding ways to make staff feel more valued, and workforce management software greatly simplifies this task by offering a quick and intuitive way for employers to stay in touch with employees.

4. Stay centered on your organization’s vision, mission, and core values to encourage better direction and improved engagement during difficult periods.

5. Communicate openly and honestly about the ups and downs of the organization and how management is managing the downturns. Be sure to advocate for an open door policy between management and staff, so that staff members feel they have a voice.

6. Encourage well-being and self-care practices to help reduce absenteeism, and boost engagement and performance. Encourage employees to stick to a routine and to maintain a balance between work and home life.

7. Don’t forget about fun! Encourage social activities that are pandemic appropriate.

8. Invest in a recognition program that allows employees to send and receive recognition for a job well done.

With engaged employees the key to success for any organization, it has become essential for senior care organizations to develop strategies that keep employees engaged and productive during difficulties brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Improving employee engagement through technology, better and more open communications, fun activities and inspired leadership are just a few of the ways that senior care organizations can boost morale and motivate workers.

Learn how BookJane helps health care facilities improve shift fulfillment by 40%, dramatically decrease time to fill shifts and significantly reduce burdensome scheduling and administration time:

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