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4 Points Prove the Importance of Employee Engagement

February 6, 2017


I had the pleasure of joining Mark Sevco, from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for a presentation at TMA’s 7th annual People in Healthcare Summit. This event brought together senior talent professionals from the top health systems around the country. Our presentation was on: Building a New Hospital, and a New Culture – Lessons Learned.

UPMC is a fully integrated health system with over 60,000 employees and 20 hospitals. Mark is President of UPMC McKeesport and UPMC East, the system’s newest campus. He’s also actively involved in UPMC’s international work.

Mark and his team had the unique opportunity to build a new hospital, and new hospital culture, from the ground up. That new campus now has top employee engagement and patient satisfaction scores -and not by accident. Mark’s team took the position that EVERYTHING starts with employee engagement. It’s not merely a “program” but the core of their success. Engaged employees are more productive and ensure an improved patient experience and achieving organizational goals.

Related: Healthcare Hiring Lessons From UPMC East President, Mark Sevco

Four facts demonstrate the impact of employee engagement:

  • Employees who are most engaged are 87% less likely to leave the organization.

  • $300 Billion – The estimated cost to US businesses due to low productivity of actively disengaged workers.

  • 52% gap in operating incomes between companies with highly engaged employees and companies whose employee have low engagement scores.

  • Hospitals scoring in the top 20% on employee engagement significantly outperform the bottom 20% when looking at patient satisfaction percentile ranking.

Everyone preaches that culture trumps tactics and that talent matters. Most, though, fail to build the infrastructure and processes necessary to create real employee engagement and a truly patient-centered culture. From Mark’s experience, and our work with dozens of other systems, attendees will:

  • Learn how to build behavioral traits into your talent strategies, from leadership to frontline staff.

  • Learn how to combine high tech with high touch.

  • Learn the value of building EVERYTHING around employee engagement.

  • Learn how to create the infrastructure, tools, and processes to SUSTAIN a high-performance culture and keep your team “connected to their passion”, including the innovative “Health Culture Index.”

A few pieces of practical advice we shared:

  • Make it the responsibility of the entire senior team to engage staff

  • Model collaboration and engagement behaviors, all the time

  • Tell stories – from your own experiences and from your patients’

  • Involve physicians and staff in critical decision making and plans. Listen, gather input, and be humble enough to ask for help

  • Create a culture of innovation by providing a path for raising and testing ideas. Make it safe to talk, try, fail, and learn from failure

  • Measure, communicate, and recognize success

  • A culture of engagement cannot be a vague concept. It needs to be clearly defined, understood, lived each day, and woven into the vision, strategy, and goals of the organization.

You can learn more by downloading our free whitepaper:

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Bryan Warren Bryan Warren is the President of J3 Personica, a consulting, assessment, training, and coaching firm, and a guest blogger for PSI. Bryan is an expert in progressive talent strategies, with a particular focus on leader and physician selection and development.