Employee engagement has become a buzzword in the senior care profession as providers grapple with staff retention and combat high turnover rates. The solution: foster engaged workers, and organizations will see a more stable workforce and improved business outcomes.
It’s one thing to implement employee engagement strategies, though, and another thing entirely to evaluate their success.
Here are four distinct ways senior care providers can measure the success of their employee engagement initiatives.
- Get a daily pulse of your employees.
A survey tool designed to measure employee engagement can be very powerful to determine the extent to which employees are engaged. Employee-centric surveys can provide a baseline of engagement by allowing employees to rate statements such as “I know what is expected of me at work,” and “In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.” Understanding how your organization performs in these areas can help you know where you need to focus efforts.
However, the issue with these surveys is that they are “one and done.” Surveys given once or twice a year present several problems in the senior care industry. If you experience high rates of turnover, the employees you survey as your baseline will likely be different than the employees that take the follow up survey. It’s difficult to know if your strategies are paying off when you are following up with a different group of employees.
That’s why frequent pulse surveys can provide an ongoing and more immediate look at issues that could affect your staff and their performance. A daily survey that simply asks how a caregiver’s shift went can yield a great deal of actionable information that can have an immediate impact.
- Consider important elements of engagement.
Based on what you gather from employees you can categorize holistic areas for improvement. By getting specific information by shift and manager, you can start targeting areas of improvement based on comments and satisfaction levels. Feedback will help you know where to focus.
The chart below outlines five elements in particular, that combine to make a workplace that compels engagement and includes meaningful work, hands-on management, a positive work environment, growth opportunities and trust in leadership.
These elements are supported by even more specific factors. For example, hands-on management requires clear, transparent goals, coaching and more, for employees to be truly engaged. Senior care providers can use these factors to incorporate different facets that improve engagement and discover areas that need more focus.
- Track internal and external metrics
With better engagement, better outcomes should follow. To determine if your engagement programs are having the intended effect, you can look at certain data points. Metrics to consider are customer service and care, adherence to attendance policies, and calling off shifts. If customer satisfaction is low, it may mean that your employees are not fully engaged in your mission of providing quality care. If employees are calling off often and regularly showing up late to shifts, that’s a good indicator of a potential flight risk. Drill down in your data to the specific employee or manager to help identify and solve problems on an individual basis.
Don’t forget to also look outside of your walls for current and former employees to give you an unfiltered look on review sites like Glassdoor. Employees will often leave information as to why they left their job, and what they like or don’t like, which is a good place to start if you are trying to reduce turnover and engage employees.
- Deploy technology to capture feedback.
What better way to measure, monitor and improve employee engagement than through continuous feedback and analytics via technology platforms? With OnShift’s newest product, OnShift® Engage™, employees can take engagement surveys, providing managers with results to track staff satisfaction and performance. Leaders can then use the findings to address any concerns and generate enhanced operational performance. Plus, employees can continuously offer their feedback through quick pulse surveys, so providers can track the effects of the actions they take.
Engagement doesn’t just happen. Employers must make a concerted effort to engage their employees, and this is especially true for senior care employees. The caregivers in your organization work very hard 24/7/365 in a challenging environment and often with little positive feedback. Make sure your employees know you value their contribution, and give them ample opportunities to provide feedback. And most important, let staff know you heard their feedback by acting quickly to address issues.