Workers 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, to have a great staff experience in order to look after us effectively.
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 during the day. Ask people what they’re 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, and just how effective they can be in improving staff morale. 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.
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.
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 overreactions shouldn’t be made from the survey findings. This is where outsourcing data analysis can be particularly useful to provide objective interpretations. It is easy for those heavily invested in the organisation to be overwhelmed by any negative responses and believe everything needs a complete overhaul. It is important that you, as a hospital leader, are thoughtful of the issues 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.
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.
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 demand on the staff who are already very busy with their everyday responsibilities. Studies indicate that setbacks at work can generate frustration and feelings of resentment towards managers. 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.
The power of a simple thank-you or recognition of good work can also work wonders for boosting staff morale. One of the most recorded complaints amongst healthcare workers is that they are only recognised when they do something wrong, which can be detrimental to the development and well-being of your staff.
Here at Pansensic, we work with many healthcare institutions to improve staff morale by not only identifying why there is an issue, but also what exactly is causing it. Additionally, we work efficiently to provide you with powerful insights so that issues can be addressed quickly and staff experiences can be dramatically improved. We don’t summarise the data in a tight little conclusion that doesn’t help to improve the problems: we provide a real depth of insight that is more granular, accurate and actionable.
Contact Pansensic today to see how you can improve the morale of your healthcare workers with our professional data analysis services.