8 Ways Employee Engagement in Healthcare Can Boost Patient Satisfaction
Do you know what the relationship between employee engagement and patient satisfaction is? Besides the day-to-day responsibilities in their job description, your employees have an important role to play in enhancing patient satisfaction and the overall success of your healthcare organization.
Research by the Partnership for Public Service and Boston Consulting Group revealed that increasing staff engagement by one point triggers a one point increase in the overall patient satisfaction score. Employee satisfaction also leads to call center efficiency improvements and higher nurse retention rates. In turn, these improvements bring about overall better patient experiences.
So, what’s the overall benefit for your healthcare organization? A survey showed that a better patient experience translates to higher online ratings for your practice, which results in better financial performance. Therefore, improving employee engagement and patient experience can help boost your bottom line.
Here are some strategies you can implement in your healthcare organization:
1. Train New Hires on Your Practice’s Culture and Brand Behavior
New hires should spend their first few days in the office learning about your practice's culture and brand behavior. When onboarding your front office employees, don’t confine their training to just their everyday workflows and responsibilities. Be sure to educate them on company values, brand behavior, and your brand image.
2. Improve Employee Satisfaction Through Leadership Training
Leadership training programs can improve relationships between upper management and other employees, including nurses and other practitioners.
By training all leaders in your organization to have stronger and healthier engagements with other employees, you can increase staff satisfaction rates. You can also use such forums to eliminate friction and foster respectful engagement among your hospital staff. In turn, happy nurses, customer care representatives, and other staff can provide superior-quality patient experiences.
3. Train Customer Service Staff
Improving customer service in healthcare is directly linked to higher patient satisfaction rates and superior financial performance. It entails training your front line team to serve patients effectively as your employees’ behavior speaks volumes about your brand.
Patients tend to remember their experience with the support staff (like receptionists or nurses) more than their interaction with an actual doctor. These front-line employees create the first and often the most lasting impression on a patient's mind. Therefore, you’ll want to educate and train your customer service staff on how to give your patients positive experiences while serving as your practice’s brand advocates.
4. Make the Most of Social Media
Encouraging your employees to engage with patients on social media accounts can also help spread brand awareness and make a positive impression about your practice. Provided that your employees have adequate training and education to represent your brand well, they can help expand your social reach and enhance the brand impact by liking and sharing content among their Facebook, Twitter, or other social media communities. Social media patient engagement is a cost-effective method that can help enhance your ratings and positive reviews online.
5. Motivate Staff Through Rewards and Recognition
Studies show that recognition for good work and attention from company leadership can motivate employees. It conveys the message that your employees are not robots, but are actually valued members of your organization. When you set the right tone and create positive energy in the office, your highly motivated personnel will be inclined to share positivity with patients.
One way to appreciate your staff for outstanding work is by having a monthly recognition program. You can provide your team with small incentives that show your appreciation for their continued hard work. You could also make it a habit to acknowledge your employees’ personal milestones, such as birthdays or work anniversaries.
6. Institute Staff-Bonding, Team-Building Programs
Staff-bonding sessions can strengthen relationships and foster collaboration, enabling your healthcare organization to operate more smoothly. These can help eliminate communication barriers and accelerate conflict resolution, with all employees united behind a common goal—improving patient experiences. Virtual games, staff barbecues, participation in charity runs, and board games are staff-bonding ideas worth exploring.
7. Engage Your Employees
Since employee engagement and patient satisfaction are intertwined, you’ll want to make sure your staff is consistently engaged with the practice’s culture and feel they’re a valued member of your family. This will encourage your staff to naturally do their best for your organization’s success.
Some employee engagement/patient satisfaction ideas to try in your healthcare practice include:
- Keep your staff informed about your marketing team’s effort to elevate your online reputation.
- Provide staff training and education on how online patient reviews work on social media, empowering them to help with social media reputation management.
- Show that you value your employees’ opinions by asking for regular feedback to learn how to improve certain aspects of how your practice is managed.
- Provide constructive feedback and allow your employees to learn and improve from their own mistakes.
8. Make Your Employees Your Practice’s Brand Ambassadors
Your team is the front line of your brand and it’s important that they convey the right brand image since they engage with patients both offline and online. It all begins with educating your staff about your practice and its values, history, and philosophy. When positively engaged, your employees will be proud to share your practice throughout their daily personal lives.
As they interact with people on their way home, while shopping, or even coming to work, your “branded” employees will be acting as brand advocates for your practice. You could also gift them with branded personal items like a tote bag or water bottle to publicly promote your brand.
In today’s highly competitive business environment, healthcare leaders can boost their marketing efforts by investing in employee engagement and patient satisfaction strategies. The happier and engaged your employees are, the better patient experiences they can offer and the more success you will see with your practice's financial performance and other business outcomes.