What Employees REALLY Want to Improve Their Work: Podcast

April 1, 2021
April 1, 2021

HealthStream’s Second Opinions Podcast series features industry experts and leaders and their take on issues impacting healthcare today and tomorrow.

Our second installment is an interview with employee engagement expert Dick Finnegan, the CEO of Decision Analytics and author of The Power of Stay Interviews. He shares his personal insights about ways to hold on to your best healthcare employees and also why healthcare organizations often miss the mark when setting and understanding goals for staff satisfaction.

Below is a short edited excerpt from the recording with HealthStream’s Brad Weeks, our host:


You have spent a good part of your career discussing just how powerful and how effective stay interviews can be for a leader. This is probably a relatively new topic to a lot of our listener so first tell us how you became involved in this topic and this concept of stay interviews. What makes you so passionate about it?


Several years ago, I heard about this idea. I read a couple of short articles about it. It really was not a staple in the way organizations operate. What became clear was that if managers asked employees how we could make work better, we then surpassed the shortcomings of surveys. But one of the shortcomings of surveys is they treat all employees the same, everybody has the same weight and result even though top performers outperform others by 4:1. When a stay interview, you met not just with top performers, but with everyone and you ask five questions.

From those questions come a list of things that employees want. We can’t always give them everything they want, but the amazing thing Brad is how often we can help them. The number one thing they ask for which always a surprise is better work processes. Can you stop having me do this report nobody reads? Can you repair this piece of equipment; or, can you help this department or this colleague get their work done right and on time because they hold me back? That’s the biggest thing employees ask for. There’s a fear that they’ll all want an increase, they all want a promotion. No, they want better work processes.

Listen to the podcast here.