What Is Employee Engagement? And Why You Should Care
There isn't a medical, dental, veterinary or other healthcare practice around that has not wondered how to improve employee engagement. Indeed, this can be a complicated process.
That being said, if you are serious about learning how to improve employee engagement, you're in luck: There is a set process you can follow that will help you accomplish just that.
Improve Employee Engagement by Starting With a Great Onboarding Process
One of the most important things you can do to develop strong employee engagement in your practice is to start with a solid onboarding process. At HR for Health, we can help with this, as we offer electronic onboarding and new hire checklist documents.
A smooth onboarding process reduces frustration and confusion for your new employee. Plan for this process by knowing how long things will take to review (like an employee handbook) and ensuring that the new hire has either a mentor or point person to discuss issues. From a managerial end, you should communicate your expectations with the new team member clearly and quickly.
You may also want to streamline your process electronically with your onboarding. Indeed, an electronic process is more engaging and easier to manage when it comes to improving employee engagement. Fortunately, at HR for Health, our software allows you to manage this process electronically. An electronic process walks employees through each document and provides an electronic checklist, ensuring that all necessary documents have been reviewed.
Open, honest, and transparent communication is critical to improving employee engagement. You can set the standard for this communication in your handbook. A handbook can set the stage for clear communication in many ways. Here’s how:
- Employees are more aware of the benefits entitled to them.
- Procedures are outlined, and employees can always reference that for any specific situation.
- A handbook provides employees with more immediate answers.
- The policies in a handbook can formally demonstrate compliance.
- A handbook ensures employees have set expectations, allowing them to manage their employment better.
- A good handbook reduces confusion and frustration, ensuring employees know where to turn when they have questions.
Team meetings are also a great place to communicate important updates with your team. After all, all team members want to know that their work is meaningful and adds value. If you can show them how their work fits into that value, they will likely be more engaged. Furthermore, this allows you to reiterate your practice's vision and goals.
Finally, make sure to document any issues or disciplinary incidents, and reference your employee handbook for any direct violations. Doing so eliminates the cases of employees saying they didn't know something. You can also document what is said at a team meeting and upload that to a cloud storage platform — like those at HR for Health.
HR for Health has many features that can help improve communication. These features include our employee handbook creation and newly released messaging feature, allowing practices to communicate easily to team members.
Provide Performance Feedback Regularly
First and foremost, remember this: If you want to improve employee engagement, you must let employees know where they stand.
Yes, annual reviews can be scary, especially if this is the only time employees receive performance feedback. As such, you need to present the feedback correctly. Refer to "constructive feedback," not "negative feedback." Make sure to conduct one-on-ones with each team member so you can discuss what is going well and areas of opportunity for improvement.
You can also collect feedback from peers via a peer review. Peer reviews are helpful because it demonstrates to employees that it's essential to perform well, not just for the boss but for an employee's peers. In addition, discussing reviews in this manner helps create a more positive culture in the practice.
At HR for Health, we have an electronic performance review tool. It is easy to use and save, making it more likely that you will consistently use the platform to track performance regularly. This tool is fully customizable. It also comes with templates, and can require an employee signature to ensure that they acknowledge receipt of the review. This can be very helpful with employee documentation.
Don't Hesitate to Give Recognition
Recognizing successful employees is an often underutilized way to improve employee engagement. However, even small amounts of effort can contribute toward a happier practice where employees feel recognized and valued. Remember, recognition reinforces that behavior to perform well. When employees know that their work will be recognized, they are more likely to continue to deliver. Therefore, recognition can lead to better results, ultimately impacting the quality of patient care and the bottom line.
This recognition can occur in many forms, including using our internal messaging tool. You can send a private message or one to the entire team. In the future, HR for Health will have “kudos” announcements built directly into our system, enabling you to congratulate a high-performing employee in front of the entire team.
Celebrate Wins and Build Community Within Your Practice
Have a win to celebrate? Do it! Company events and activities can be a great way of improving employee engagement. You can make sure to invite all team members into the celebration and talk with them there, recognizing everyone responsible for your recent win. The excitement may help lead to new ideas and better relationships within your practice.
We can also advise you on best practices when it comes to paying employees for their time at company events.
What You Need to Know
If you are wondering how to improve employee engagement, now you know. Through a combination of concentrated effort, the right procedures, and the help of a robust HR platform, you are ready to start improving your team’s overall engagement.
How HR for Health Can Help
At HR for Health, we fully understand how difficult it can be to constantly engage your team members and ensure that they feel like valuable and respected members of your practice. By working with our on-staff experts and utilizing our full suite of tools, you can improve your practice and enhance your levels of employee engagement.
Ready to get started with HR for Health? Contact us today to set up a 15-minute demo and learn more about how HR for Health can help your practice succeed and thrive.