Don't neglect employee well-being in the quest for patient satisfaction

As hospitals make strides to increase patient satisfaction, they often forget about the well being of their own employees, according to new research from Gallup.

Gallup, in cooperation with Healthways, a Tennessee-based wellness company, developed an evidence-based definition of well-being based on the relationship between five categories:

  • Purpose: The extent to which employees enjoy and are motivated to perform their duties
  • Financial: The extent to which employees can manage their money and maximize security
  • Physical: Whether employees are in good enough health to complete daily tasks
  • Social: Employees' supportive relationships or lack thereof
  • Community: Employees liking and feeling safe where they live

Gallup and Healthways also developed a scale for these measures based on whether healthcare workers thrive, struggle or suffer in these areas; their web-based survey of 1,300 healthcare workers found a majority of employees strive in one or fewer of the elements of well-being, although a little more than 1 in 3 thrive in at least three. Less than 10 percent of respondents strive in all five measures.

Healthcare workers have a tendency to neglect their own care and well-being, leaving them susceptible to burnout. That's why their organizations must take the initiative in care for their well-being, especially since research demonstrates workers with higher well-being are more resilient in the face of stress. Employee wellness efforts also reduce turnover, with Gallup research finding healthcare workers who thrive in at least three of the elements are only half as likely to seek another job as those who thrive in two or fewer.

There are several concrete steps healthcare providers can take to boost wellness among employees, FierceHealthcare previously reported, including providing healthier food options and creating a sense of motivation and community.

To learn more:
- read the survey results