The Value of Achieving Organizational Health
As has been noted in two previous CEO summaries of reports issued by Forum for People Performance Management and Measurement, Linking Organizational Characteristics to Employee Attitudes and Behavior – A Look at the Downstream Effects on Market Response & Financial Performance and Employee Lifetime Value: Measuring the Long-Term Financial Contribution of Employees, the most important issue facing chief executives is continuous focus on driving profitable revenue growth. A key opportunity that the c-suite needs to consider is to look internally at the value of their employees. In the increasingly competitive environment of service-related business, keeping employees engaged and satisfied should be an increasingly important strategy for chief executives. This study focuses on understanding how creating engaged employees delivers a dual benefit of increasing both employee productivity and customer engagement.
What This Research Has Revealed
The study, “The Relationship between Employee Satisfaction and Hospital Patient Experiences” asks the key question of how service-based organizations, such as hospitals, determine their level of employee engagement and what impact it has on patients. The findings can be extrapolated beyond the hospital environment to apply to broader service-based employers. In this study, key findings include:
- Higher levels of employee satisfaction = better patient experiences
- Patients with higher levels of satisfaction are more likely to recommend the hospital to other potential patients
- Individual employee recognition was identified as a key contributor to employee satisfaction
- Employee recognition was also viewed as not only acknowledgement of a job well done, but as being heard by management and fellow professionals. This sense of participation in decision making results in employee satisfaction.
- Recognition for employees should be viewed as a long-term strategy rather than a short-term effort or efforts initiated on multiple fronts. Multiple, disparate programs were considered distracting from the demands of customer care.
Ideas for Applying This Research to Your Business
Understanding that employee satisfaction impacts how they treat customers is the critical finding of this study. Once employee recognition becomes a key strategy of an organization, higher employee engagement and productivity leading to increased customer satisfaction is the result, which will drive financial growth. Here are a few ideas to get started:
- Establish clear lines of communication: This study found that having a voice that is heard by management and peers is critical to employee’s sense of empowerment . The communication involved in recognition provides employees a forum to hear and to be heard. A critical component of employee enrichment is that employees feel their opinions and ideas have been heard and that that they are making a meaningful contribution.
- Survey employees: Gather their thoughts on what the company is doing well, areas to improve and changes they’d make. Review the findings and implement suggestions appropriately so the team knows they are being listened to and can make a difference in the health of the organization.
- Develop a culture that is a mix of cooperation and competition: Set the expectation for employees to strive to work cooperatively, but also encourage healthy competition where employees can feel free to voice their opinions in pursuit of the best solutions for customers.
- Elevate engagement with a formal employee recognition program: Building structure around recognition allows the organization to consistently reinforce behaviors that support the cultural values and corporate objectives critical to establishing an environment of healthy competition and cooperation. Providing clear direction, and validating the actions taken toward those objectives, will increase employee engagement and commitment towards building meaningful customer experiences.
In our increasingly social world, the power of the customer is growing fast. They can share a negative or positive experience with hundreds of their peers in the few seconds it takes to post a Facebook status. Investing in your employee’s satisfaction results in higher engagement among employees and is a direct link to keeping customers satisfied and engaged. As we all know, a customer who has had a positive experience with a brand will refer your business to their friends. That’s money delivered right to the bottom line.