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How safety impacts employee retention & engagement

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Why we can’t afford to wait for the healthcare staffing crisis to end

By Dr. Tejal Gandhi, MPH, CPPS, Chief Safety and Transformation Officer Press Ganey

Insync’s strategic healthcare partner Press Ganey leads the US and the world with their Patient Experience transformation solutions. 

Zero harm must be our core value in healthcare. Committing to quality and safety is a surprising yet effective method for driving employee retention—especially during the prolonged staffing crisis healthcare organisations across the globe are facing right now.

5 key drivers of employee retention

There are five key drivers that are the top determinants in an employee’s decision to remain at an organisation after being offered another job.

The employee is less likely to leave an organisation if that employee:

  1. Likes the work they do
  2. Finds their work meaningful
  3. Feels that their work makes a real difference
  4. Sees every patient client as an individual with specific needs
  5. Feels the organisation provides high-quality care and service

These drivers—numbers 3–5 in particular—relate to quality and safety.

The engagement-safety connection

The connection between employee engagement and a culture of safety cannot be overstated, especially given the current staffing crisis. Better performance in both arenas accelerates advances in quality, patient experience, and efficiency outcomes—a concept known as the “virtuous cycle.” Employees that feel safe at work exhibit higher levels of engagement, and engaged employees are more aware of threats not just to patients, but to co-workers too. So, safety leads to engagement, and engagement leads to safety. The two become an engine that drives improved efficiency outcomes throughout healthcare.

Staffing challenges will be with us for the long term. So we cannot wait to optimise safety and quality. Today’s staffing challenges mean we need to look at new and innovative ways to deliver care, including new care models, care redesign, and process improvement.

Leaders must visibly commit to quality, safety, reliability, and service. This will lead to enhanced engagement and retention, as well as improved outcomes for patients.

Read the full Press Ganey article here.

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Insync, in association with Press Ganey, delivers integrated insights and targeted, meaningful action that transform employee engagement.

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