Staff Experiences: How to Improve Staff Morale in Hospitals

Eleanor Barlow

Employees who feel valued in their profession perform better and have a stronger sense of well-being- it’s not rocket science!

So, you would think it would be important for our healthcare workers, the ones who care for us day-in day-out, to have a great staff experience in order to look after us effectively.

Asian Nurse pushes patient in wheelchair

Yet, the factors that make hospitals unique and fascinating places to work also make it a challenge to sustain staff morale, particularly when matters come down to a life or death decision. If this wasn’t enough to contend with, demands from other physicians, nurses, insurers, patients and their families in the workplace can be enough to make any healthcare professional very stressed indeed! These factors, if not dealt with correctly by managers, can be enough to consume healthcare workers and detrimentally affect their own health. It is, therefore, vital that those in leadership roles tend to morale on a daily basis. But when difficult scenarios are hard to avoid, how do you keep your healthcare staff happy?

Measure Staff Morale- Informal and Formal Methods

Measuring staff morale can be done in both informal and formal methods. Informal methodology should become part and parcel of the managerial role. This should include strategies such as management by walking around (MBWA), which involves managers talking to their staff throughout the day. To learn what employees are working on, if they are struggling with anything and what could be put in place to support them. 

Perhaps an obvious suggestion to make, but you would be surprised by the amount of informal management skills that are overlooked during a busy working day. Informal managerial methods allow you to get an understanding of the pulse of the organisation and gain an insight into the lives of the people you work with.

puzzle pieces joining together

Informal methodology coupled with the help of formal methods such as morale surveys and strategies can help those in managerial roles decipher exactly how their staff feel about their workplace environment. Morale surveys should be in-depth and provide qualitative and quantitative data that can be analysed by expert data analysts who can then pinpoint areas that need improvement. It is recommended that morale surveys are conducted at least once a year, and more frequently if morale improvement projects need monitoring.

Read this article for more in depth methods to boost morale in the workplace! 

Remember Confidentiality and Interpretation

Morale surveys and the data collected from them can be inherently insightful. But it is important to keep in mind that dramatisations shouldn’t be made from the survey findings. This is where outsourcing data analysis can be particularly useful in providing objective interpretations. You see, it is easy for those heavily invested in the organisation to be overwhelmed by a set of findings. It is important that you, as a hospital leader, are thoughtful of the issue’s scalability and the resources and budgets you have access to in order to improve any issues in staff morale. You may find that by changing one simple thing, you can actually improve a number of issues. But you need someone who is removed from the situation, to spot that thing. 

word map of intangible aspects

At the same time, it is important to remember that the confidentiality of answers should be stressed at every given opportunity to ensure staff members answer questionnaires truthfully and do not avoid any difficult questions that they would be worried about answering. Anonymous is best, and third-party involvement can help keep it confidential.

Take a look at our interview on The Happy App, here, to see how anonymity works best in healthcare improvement! 

Predict Changes in Attitude and Keep Communication Open

As with any industry, certain negative or disruptive events are likely to shift staff morale if not managed efficiently. Changes can often result in fear, as staff worry about how this will impact their work and sometimes the security of their role. It is important to keep communication open with your staff members to reduce any impact from the decisions that are made. This should also be the case when evaluators come into the hospital as this can often be seen as criticisms of the staff’s hard work.

Keep Solutions Simple

Often managers will go into overdrive, offering initiatives and programs that can actually have the opposite effect of what they intended because they place too much pressure on staff, who are already very busy with their everyday responsibilities. Positive results can often be derived from simple measures, such as helping workplace progression or offering workplace support for those who need it, when they need it.

One of the most recorded complaints amongst healthcare workers is that they were/are only recognised when they do something wrong, which can be detrimental to the development and well-being of your staff. The power of a simple thank you, or recognition of work well done, can work wonders for boosting morale. 

Thanks with scrabble pieces

Here at Pansensic, we work with many healthcare institutions to improve staff morale by identifying potential issues, and identifying said causes to these issues. Our qualitative data analysis provides you with powerful insights, that are more granular, accurate and actionable, so that problems can be addressed quickly, and staff experiences can be dramatically improved. 

Contact Pansensic today, ask for a demo, or just have a chat and see how you can improve the morale of your healthcare workers with our professional data analysis services.

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