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Healthy Work Environment Vital for Hospital Employees, Survey Says

Hospitals seeking to provide quality care must first focus on improving relationships with their employees, according a Press Ganey survey, which found that 45% of hospital workers are discontent with their work.

Hospitals seeking to provide high-quality, patient-centered care must first focus on improving the quality of relationships with their employees, according to the results of a Press Ganey survey, which found that 45% of hospital employees feel distanced from or discontent with their current work, indicating an urgent need for hospital administrators to ensure employees feel valued and empowered.

The report says hospitals that focus on creating an environment where employees feel an emotional bond with colleagues as well as with the overall organization, have seen increases in employee retention and patient satisfaction, as well as a healthier fiscal bottom line.

Other findings from the report, which examines the experiences of more than 235,000 employees at nearly 400 U.S. hospitals, are as follows:

  • Among all employees surveyed, those working closest to patient care have the lowest partnership scores; they are the least likely to feel satisfied and engaged with their organization.
  • There is a generation gap when it comes to both employee satisfaction and needs. Employees born in 1945 or earlier tend to be the most satisfied while younger employees are the least satisfied. Both Gen Y, or Millennial, and Gen X employees have a greater need to receive recognition, to be included in decisions, and to engage in real-time communication with hospital administration.
  • There is a strong correlation between patient satisfaction and employee partnership. As a result, hospital leaders who can provide the best environment for employees will reap the reward of better patient care.

“This annual report offers an in-depth look at what drives partnership among hospital employees, which is a key component to maintaining and improving the quality of patient care,” said Deirdre Mylod, PhD, vice president, hospital services, Press Ganey. “We found hospital employees want to be recognized for excellent work, but they also want to be involved in the decision-making process and have the opportunity to provide input on issues directly affecting their work, so they feel empowered to do their jobs. It is critical for hospitals to take considerations like these into account when planning employee relations initiatives.”