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Use Feedback to Improve Engagement in the Healthcare Workplace

This guest blog post from HealthStream’s Partner AMPT focuses on healthcare employee engagement.

In their most recent report on Millennials in the workforce, Gallup reported that the frequency of meetings is less important to employees than if they happen at all. However, the same report tells us that “engagement is highest among employees who meet with their manager at least once per week.” A recent AMPT impact report shows that employees who feel the most engaged or happy at work have regular interaction with their managers. Managers drive engagement at every successful organization. That much we know.

Successful engagement of the millennial workforce is tremendously important for the healthcare industry. Millennials already make up the largest generation working in healthcare, and their numbers and predominance will only continue to grow. That’s why it is important for healthcare managers to learn how to make regular communication work, specifically for millennials.

Institute and Practice the Use of Mini-Meetings

An important strategy is the regular use of “mini-meetings.” The Gallup report mentioned above offers that these “mini-meetings” don’t have to be formal. They can be light-hearted and fun, as well as serve as mini-checkups during which two people in a reporting relationship get to know each other better. The best way to approach interactions like these is not to get caught up in the “what” is involved. The more significant detail is that the “why” can have a pay off in the form of a more connected and motivated millennial (and non-millennial) healthcare employee.

The Ultimate Goal: Create a Regular Feedback Loop

An interesting way to increase engagement and productivity among younger employees is by using a structured and transparent feedback loop. Making this option available to your employees when they need feedback can be a critical improvement. For many who work in healthcare, “feedback” comes in the form of yearly performance reviews. However, these are quickly becoming ineffective at actually addressing the needs of most employees. What’s more telling is that less than 20% of millennials respond that they receive routine feedback.

Large companies like Accenture, General Electric and more have completely changed their annual review process, opting for a more frequent and regular form of evaluation and feedback. The main reason for this change is because millennials are requesting it.

Making Communication Work Better for Millennials and Everyone Else

If healthcare managers want to start improving performance communication, they can begin by making small changes. For example, if you currently use traditional annual performance evaluations, just increase the frequency of them to quarterly reviews. It also helps to focus on more conversational feedback instead of ‘check the box’ evaluations. Above all, keep any new efforts simple and trackable. Another recommendation is to eliminate the standard “strongly agree or strongly disagree” types of questions and instead use two or three questions that are essential to the mission and core values of your company, as well as the position the employee holds.

Five Guidelines for Better Performance Communication in Healthcare

  • Above all other considerations, keep the process as simple as possible.
  • We all like to know that we’re doing our jobs correctly and in the way that our leaders and peers want it done.
  • Receiving more feedback and recognition from our leaders will likely benefit the team at large, not just millennials.
  • Don’t create systems or processes for feedback or evaluation that won’t scale with your culture as you grow your team
  • If an evaluation process stays simple and transparent, you’ll see the results faster.

This guest blog post comes from HealthStream’s partner AMPT, a social recognition platform that allows organizations to easily and effectively recognize employees in their moments of greatness. AMPT enables employees to connect, engage, and grow by allowing them to recognize, share and celebrate moments of greatness. The AMPT platform allows companies to connect their core values to recognition accomplishments, which ultimately drives employee performance. When an employee receives praise for their efforts, their job satisfaction increases, motivation improves, and positive actions are reinforced. Learn more about HealthStream solutions for healthcare employee engagement and retention.

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