Employee Engagement, Work-Life Balance Key to Reducing Healthcare Burnout

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If you’re human, chances are you’ve suffered from burnout at least once in your professional career. But, the good news is it probably never put anyone’s life in jeopardy. However, the same can’t be said for workers in the healthcare industry. At any moment, their decisions can make the difference between life and death.

Unfortunately, burnout rates in the medical industry are among the highest on Earth. Luckily, there are steps your healthcare organization can take to significantly reduce employee burnout, and it all begins with employee engagement and recognition.

Here’s what you need to know.

Burnout Has a Tremendous Impact in Healthcare

Working long hours. Diagnosing rare diseases. Treating complicated illnesses.

Stress is a major part of every healthcare worker’s life, and this type of prolonged pressure can really add up. In fact, the American Academy of Family Physicians reports that nearly two-thirds of all doctors presently suffer from at least one element of burnout — a negative trend that has been growing in recent years. This number is up considerably from a 2015 Mayo Clinic study that found 54% of physicians suffering from similar levels of burnout.

Physicians aren’t the only healthcare workers struggling; nurses also feel the impact. In fact, a recent Kronos survey, “Employee Engagement in Nursing,” found that nurses are burning out at record numbers.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the report’s key findings:

  • 44% of nurses say their managers don’t know how tired they are, and 43% admit they purposefully hide how exhausted they are from their managers
  • Almost 50% of nurses worry that patient care will suffer because of how burned out they are
  • 37% of nurses worry about making a mistake, and 11% state they have made a mistake at work because they were tired while working
  • 60% of nurses say that excessive workloads are among a top cause for their fatigue, and 42% cite that being unable to take breaks for lunch or dinner contributes significantly.
  • 83% of nurses say that hospitals are losing good nurses because other employers are offering them a better work/life balance.

Focusing on Employee Engagement, Work-Life Balance Reduces Burnout

If your employees are suffering from elevated levels of burnout, it’s imperative you take action immediately. One of the most important steps you can take is to create a Culture of Engagement at your organization. When your employees are engaged, amazing things start to happen: employee burnout reduces, turnover declines, and mortality rates plummet. But, how do you achieve this?

Here are a few examples of actions your company can take to engage your team and reduce employee burnout:

Focus on Wellness and Work-Life Balance

As a healthcare professional, you have a keen understanding of the importance of wellness. But, so many times, healthcare workers put the health of others above their own. You can’t afford to push off your wellbeing any longer. This is why your company should invest in an employee engagement and recognition platform that focuses on employee wellness and encourages a healthy work-life balance.

Empower Workers by Encouraging Active Decision-Making Roles 

When you promote active decision making, you’re not only instilling higher levels of trust in your employees, you’re also making your team feel more appreciated and allowing them to see the value of the choices they make. When one steps out from behind overly strict guidelines and can make judgment calls based on his or her unique knowledge and experience, engagement levels soar.

Build Better Relationships with Management

Be certain to bring all team members into the fold. By opening up lines of communication and seeking out the opinions of your staff, you create a more connected work environment and can more appropriately engage employees across the board. 

Keep in mind, these are just a few tips your organization can use to create a Culture of Engagement at your organization. To learn more about the power of Employee Engagement in the healthcare industry, check out our free eBook, “An Engaged Healthcare Team: Increased Revenue, Lower Costs, and Higher Profits.” Need immediate assistance? Reach out! We’d love to show you the difference C.A. Short Company can make for your healthcare team!

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C.A. Short Company partners with companies to manage, drive and facilitate increased employee engagement to increase financial performance, productivity, quality, and core performance outcomes. Our process and research-based platform enables executives and managers to engage their teams to increase the bottom line, motivate staff, and incentivize positive behavior. To Request a Complimentary Consultation, click here. 

Topics: Employee Recognition, Employee Engagement, Healthcare Industry, Health care, wellness, turnover

R Scott Russell, CRP, CEP | Director - Engagement Strategies

About the Author
R Scott Russell, CRP, CEP | Director - Engagement Strategies

R Scott Russell is a video host, public speaker, and a sought-after thought leader in the world of employee engagement and recognition. At C.A. Short Company, he is responsible for producing engaging content, helping clients maximize the effectiveness of their programs, and providing ongoing training and education.

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