Healthcare employees face unimaginable challenges every day, and the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a series of mental health and well-being issues, and brand-new enemies of motivation. Employee motivation, for its part, is crucial for healthcare organizations because it affects the quality of the care your organization provides. Healthcare organizations depend on the motivation of every employee, whether they are a janitor, a cafeteria worker, or a member of the medical staff.
However, it’s impossible to find one solution that works for every individual making up your workforce. People are motivated by different things, including safety, rewards, recognition, a place for growth, or work-life balance. And without one right approach, the only solution is to address several different aspects to hit some of the most common incentives for employees.
1. Help Your Employees Feel Safe
Feeling safe at work is no doubt a crucial factor for employees’ state of mind, and consequently their quality of work and their overall performance.
A cornerstone in any organization, workers compensation insurance coverage is the first step towards providing a feeling of security for healthcare employees, seeing how stressful and sometimes even dangerous their job can be. Aside from creating a safety net for the employees, covering medical expenses, lost wages, permanent injuries, and so on, these policies also protect the organization itself from financial harm.
2. Offer Your Employees Support
Knowing that their employer has their back and listens to them can make a huge difference in the way employees perform their job. However, safety isn’t only about having good workers’ compensation insurance coverage, financial security, protection in case something bad happens or against potential lawsuits, etc., but rather a much broader term that encompasses a wide range of concepts, including both physical and mental health.
We have all witnessed how devastating it can be if the healthcare workforce is too emotionally and physically exhausted. So, offering employees support is a great way to help them overcome any issues they might have and, thus, motivate and help them improve performance. You can offer them mental health counseling, provide them with a free gym membership, or do anything that you think may help them de-stress or improve their overall wellbeing.
3. Encourage Open Communication
Most people feel discouraged when they don’t feel heard, or when they feel like their voice doesn’t matter. Create an environment in which healthcare employees can communicate their concerns and thoughts, and, more importantly, report incidents.
If employees have a bad experience with reporting incidents, they won’t feel motivated to report them, and the same errors may occur again. This is why, staff should also be encouraged to participate in analyzing the incident, as well as finding a solution that will help avoid such issues in the future.
4. Ask for Suggestions and Act on Them
Open communication can contribute to the improvement of the organization and the quality of care and lead to great opportunities for learning. It also motivates employees to take initiative, discuss weak areas, and become part of the solution. Encouraging employees to choose the topics they want to discuss, as well as give their opinion on some matter at regular meetings is an easy and practical way to show appreciation as well as improve teamwork and ultimately the quality of care.
Another great way to learn about your employees’ experiences and suggestions is by conducting surveys in which they are asked directly about their opinions, what they need, what can be improved, how they think it can be improved, how they can contribute, and so on.
However, if the organization never acts on the employees’ concerns, opinions and suggestions, sooner or later they will stop communicating. This, in turn, will negatively affect healthcare workers’ motivation.
5. Give Your Employees Feedback
It’s in people’s nature to feel motivated to become better, just as it is in their nature to feel good when their work and efforts are recognized. Providing ongoing feedback is a great method to create a motivated workforce.
This will also encourage employees to go the extra mile in forming positive work habits, addressing patients’ needs, and keeping up with the organization’s priorities, among other things.
Regardless of the field in which they work, to stay motivated, employees need to feel that they are safe at their workplace, that they are heard and involved, that they are doing good.
Healthcare employees have complicated jobs that can take a toll on their emotions, affecting even their life outside of work. And physically and mentally exhausted people can hardly be motivated healthcare employees and provide the best care possible. This is why the organization has to be on top of their needs, not only in terms of their work habits but also their wellbeing.