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New Data Reveals the State of Healthcare Employee Experience

New Data Reveals the State of Healthcare Employee Experience

Perceptyx has released a 2024 update to our previous healthcare EX analysis, including new data-driven insights derived from national healthcare benchmarks, Perceptyx customer data, and our recent healthcare panel study. Together, these sources offer a comprehensive view of current trends in healthcare employee engagement and experiences.

Some of the key developments we’ve observed over the past year: 

  • The data shows a widening gap in employee engagement. The gulf between the most engaged healthcare organizations and the rest continues to widen, suggesting urgent action is still needed by most healthcare systems to improve the healthcare worker experience.

  • Change management matters. The approach healthcare leaders take to manage change is now the most crucial factor in driving employee engagement. 

  • Investments in employee performance and well-being are making an impact. Initiatives aimed at enabling performance and improving worker well-being are (finally!) showing signs of progress.

  • Organizations must continue to focus on the “why” behind the work. A sense of purpose and mission remain key elements of a positive worker experience, with leaders playing a key role in communicating and modeling company values. More than 90% of healthcare workers have a clear understanding of their company’s mission and values and how their roles contribute to the organization’s success.

Although The State of Healthcare Employee Experience 2024 report addresses these developments in greater detail, I want to provide a high-level overview of our findings here.

The Gap in Employee Engagement Has Widened

On this point, our data is clear: effective change management is the most critical driver of employee engagement in healthcare organizations. This comprehensive data underscores the importance of how healthcare leaders handle change and innovation within their organizations.

Given the impact change and innovation have on engagement today, our data shows a worrying trend where employees express a need for better clarity, support, and involvement during disruptions. During this time of significant disruption and change, employees need greater communication and clarity about the future vision of organizations. Unfortunately, clarity and confidence in the strategic direction appear to be waning, evidenced by several significant downturns in employee perceptions.

With much of the communication around change coming, or expected to be coming, from senior leadership, it’s no surprise that our research also highlights declines in trust and confidence in senior leaders who are at the forefront of leading systematic changes, with fewer employees believing that senior leader decisions reflect the company’s values. As leaders continue to make difficult decisions during times of change, employees are losing trust in these decisions and struggling to understand how these decisions align with organizational values.

Overall, the data in our report tells a clear story: the best-performing healthcare organizations distinguish themselves through a proactive approach to change and innovation. These organizations not only adapt to change but do so in ways that involve and support their workforce, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and high engagement. For the rest, there is an urgent need to improve how change is managed.

A Sense of Purpose Motivates the Best-Performing Healthcare Workforces

Another central element driving positive trends in healthcare employee experience stems from the workforce’s increasingly purpose-driven nature, with our research finding that more than 90% of healthcare workers have a clear understanding of their company’s mission and values and how their roles contribute to the organization’s success. Another notable area of improvement has been in performance enablement, facilitated by better cross-team collaboration, staffing levels, and access to necessary resources.

Despite the challenges posed by constant changes and disruptions, the healthcare workforce remains highly motivated by a clear understanding of their mission-critical roles. Continued focus on the “why” behind the work will be essential to ensure connection to the mission is maintained. Additionally, organizations should maintain or increase efforts focused at enabling performance to not only support healthcare worker well-being and effectiveness, but also to ensure delivery of high-quality patient care.

Improvements in Well-Being 

The focus on well-being within the healthcare sector has intensified in recent years, with organizations increasingly recognizing the importance of supporting their employees’ mental and physical health. Recent data suggests that these efforts are beginning to yield positive results, contributing to an overall improvement in workplace well-being. This trend is reflected in several key metrics including improvements in work stress, managerial support for work-life balance, and perceptions of an overall healthy work environment. 

These improvements are likely driven by a combination of enhanced performance enablement and targeted well-being initiatives aimed at not only providing well-being resources, but also systematically changing the broader work environment, which together help alleviate some of the common pressures faced by healthcare workers. This comprehensive approach to well-being demonstrates the importance of listening to and addressing the specific needs of healthcare workers, especially in a sector where burnout can be high.

To gain a more comprehensive understanding, we invite you to download the full State of Healthcare Employee Experience 2024 report filled with data-driven insights, actionable strategies for improvement, and predictions for 2025. 

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