In healthcare, disengaged workers aren’t just HR’s problem

It’s little wonder employee engagement is a buzz phrase in the corporate world. It costs a lot to onboard a new employee – and even more if that employee decides to leave the workplace in a matter of months. HR specialists have long wondered how to recruit the best candidates and how to retain them long after the hiring process ends. Put simply, engagement matters.

But in healthcare, engagement really matters.

Of course, disengaged workers are a cause for the same HR concerns in healthcare as in businesses. Medical professionals are highly-skilled workers. Their on-boarding and training programs are time-consuming and expensive. Healthcare HR specialists also have to contend with a lot of competition; in-demand medical professionals can pick from multiple offers and can often leave their position whenever they want.

But a healthy job market isn’t the only reason turnover is high at hospitals. Burnout rates for medical professionals have risen over the past decade. Burnt-out medical professionals are at-risk of disengaging with their patients’ care, which is never good for patient outcomes or patient experience. And since many Americans rely on word-of-mouth recommendations when selecting a hospital, poor patient experiences can actually offset a health network’s traditional marketing efforts.

Disengagement in healthcare is an HR problem, a patient-care problem, and a marketing problem. So how do hospitals and health networks slay this many-headed hydra? 

HR needs to recruit for cultural fit and provide new employees with strong onboarding programs. Burnout can be alleviated by streamlining clinical workflows and reducing overtime. But improving working conditions isn’t enough to combat disengagement in healthcare.

Vicki Hess, RN and healthcare engagement expert, writes that employee engagement is “heavily influenced by the marriage of external circumstances and internal beliefs.” Mentorship programs can help medical professionals maintain positive internal beliefs about their patients and their workplaces. Feedback and recognition programs can also help physicians, nurses, and allied medical professionals feel appreciated- and engaged– at work.

One great supplement to traditional feedback programs is a video engagement system. Video can capture inspiring patient recoveries or highlight the achievements of hospital staff. These success stories remind care providers why they chose their profession- something often forgotten in hectic hospital life. The big bonus to video engagement systems? These weekly videos are easily shareable within care provider’s personal social networks. Interactive video is a silver bullet for healthcare’s HR, patient care, and marketing problems.  

To learn more, watch Viddler President Tom Stine explain how video engagement systems can tackle multiple problems in health networks and hospitals: