Why Healthcare Workers Are Disengaged?


Given the high stakes of dealing with the lives of real people, employee engagement is essential for frontline healthcare workers to feel emotionally committed to their healthcare employer and that employer’s company goals. In fact, studies show that employee engagement is directly connected to higher productivity and better quality of care for patients.

On the other hand, when healthcare workers are disengaged, this results in low productivity, morale, and retention, as well as increased workplace burnout and patient dissatisfaction.

What Contributes to Lack of Engagement Among Healthcare Workers?

There are many factors that negatively impact employee engagement, including:

  • Poor communication between management and employees
  • Employees’ inability to trust that management has their best interests in mind
  • Lack of autonomy and control over work environment and tasks
  • Lack of resources needed to accomplish tasks effectively
  • A strong focus on technical skills in lieu of essential soft skills   
  • No career growth advancement opportunities

How Healthcare Leadership Can Help Improve Employee Engagement 

Even before the pandemic transpired, it was common for most healthcare workers to feel disengaged from their jobs because they either felt overworked, underpaid, or just uninspired by the work they were doing.

Despite this reality, there are a number of best practices that can be used to help increase employee engagement:

Offer Mentorship

Consider offering mentorship programs for frontline healthcare workers who want to move up the ladder but don’t yet have the experience needed for a promotion. This will help build their confidence while giving them opportunities to unlock their career potential.

One of the biggest challenges frontline healthcare workers face is figuring out how they fit into the big picture of their organization. One important way to help them gain that perspective is by offering them guidance from someone who has been in their shoes, but who subsequently served in higher roles of the organization.

Team Building Activities

Team building activities help bring people together and strengthen their relationships outside of work hours. These activities also allow workers to learn new skills that can help them be more efficient and effective at their jobs.

Provide Learning and Upskilling Opportunities

When frontline healthcare workers have learning and upskilling opportunities, they gain knowledge, skills, and abilities that enable them to perform their jobs better. As a result, they will experience increased confidence and career growth opportunities. Providing these training opportunities can boost morale among all employees in an organization, regardless of rank or position.

Enhance Communication

Communication is essential in healthcare. Frontline workers need to know what’s going on at their company and why it matters to them as individuals. To create a trusting, positive workplace environment, it is not enough to wait until the next monthly or quarterly to inform employees of any policy changes. If something is coming up that will affect their work directly (like personnel changes, training and upskilling opportunities, new technology, etc.) it is important to make sure that the lines of communication are always open.

Reward and Recognize Achievements

Another fantastic way to engage frontline workers is by using incentives. Many healthcare organizations offer bonuses or pay raises when employees complete certain projects or reach certain milestones; this helps create a sense of community among team members and motivates them to succeed at work.

Final Thoughts

It’s no secret that healthcare workers are under a lot of pressure. The work can be emotionally and physically taxing and working in an environment where lives are at stake can strain even the most seasoned professional. That is why employee engagement is so critically important in today’s demanding healthcare environments.

If frontline healthcare workers are satisfied with their jobs and feel like they have a voice in their workplace, then there’s a good chance that they will be more engaged and willing to go the extra mile. However, if they don’t feel like they’re being appreciated, listened to, or given opportunities for growth, then it is likely that they will be disengaged and looking for other employers.  

That’s why it is often a good idea to procure the services of external providers who can offer people-centered workforce training and development services, specifically tailored to frontline healthcare workers. Doing so can help ensure that everyone stays engaged in their job and is up to date on the best practices in their field.

To learn more about our people-centered approach to workforce training and development, visit www.dbelitegroup.com.