Finding Time for Employee Engagement
“All my leaders are in staffing right now”, a Nobl partner shared with me on a recent call. “We’re struggling to find the time to engage and connect.” Sentiments similar to these can be heard more and more across healthcare organizations, with leaders stretched thinner than ever before. But with this pressure comes burnout, both for leaders and staff, and disengagement. New data finds that feeling disrespected at work is also a top reason for leaving, while feeling engaged in their workplace is a key reason for staff to stay. So how do we refocus on connecting with and engaging staff when our leaders are struggling to find the time?
Setup for Success
Before finding the time to engage, the right systems and support need to be put in place. The first step for successful Employee rounding is building an Employee Rounding Framework: a structure to define and measure a meaningful process of engagement. Having clear but simple measures makes it easier for consistency across the organization, both for leaders and for staff.
Ask for Answers
Asking the right questions and making it simple is key to balancing both true engagement and providing leaders the tools they need to get to a deeper level with their staff. Our Employee Rounding Considerations resource is a great place to start for finding the right questions to ask.
Listen to Learn
Once the proper framework is established and the tools are in place, the key for success is within the relationship building process between the leaders and their employees, namely through active listening. Teresa L Anderson, EdD, MSN, NE-BC, Nobl Chief Nursing Officer, wrote on the importance of “listening beyond the answers''. Namely, paying attention to non-verbal cues, validating emotions, and repeating back what was heard to show employees that their leader is listening. Key phrases to keep in your toolbox are prompts such as “what I hear you saying is..” and “that sounds frustrating/exciting/challenging”, all spoken with compassion and respect.
Recognize and Reward
Key to engagement and feeling value is recognition. Nobl makes this easy with our Praises feature, which praises to be quickly entered and sent directly to the praises staff member. Recognition programs are a great way to encourage employee to employee praises, leading to a great team engagement and a positive, encouraging work environment. (Read more on ideas to encourage recognition here).
Data for Doing
Along with active listening and recognition, if there isn’t the perception of follow up employees can begin to distrust the value of employee rounds which leads to disengagement. Following up on key issues and concerns that are brought up as part of the conversation is necessary for trust in leaders and meaningful engagement during employee rounds.
Using a Stoplight Report has long been a benchmark tool for process improvement, and sharing the Stoplight Report from within Nobl with your team is a great way to simplify the process without duplicating workflows. Within Nobl, comments from within your Employee conversation flow to the Stoplight Report with a single tap. The report itself is very flexible, allowing for categorization, historical reporting, downloading and easy printing and sharing.
Tying it Together
With the right tools and support, rounding on employees can be not only possible but highly impactful even for the busiest leaders. Engagement doesn’t have to be complicated, and with Nobl to simplify workflow and follow up, leaders can focus on the most meaningful parts of actively connecting with employees. When employees feel heard, recognized, and see leadership follow up on their ideas and concerns, they will feel that their opinion is respected and valued, and ultimately feel more engaged.
I hope you will review the resources we have linked throughout this article and let us know how Nobl can help support your employee engagement journey!
Written by Arielle Raymond, CPXP, Nobl Client Success Manager