Meet the 'Workplace Award Winners': 25 of the most engaged workplaces in health care

Advisory Board recently named 20 "Workplace of the Year" recipients and five "Workplace Transformation Award" recipients for exceptional performance in driving employee engagement.

About the awards

The Workplace of the Year winners demonstrated the highest levels of engagement within the Advisory Board Survey Solutions national database, coupled with lower than average levels of disengagement.

The Workplace Transformation Award winners demonstrated the highest levels of improvement in engagement within the Advisory Board Survey Solutions national database, coupled with lower than average levels of disengagement.

One hundred fifty organizations surveyed their employees in calendar year 2016 and thus were eligible for the awards.

Advisory Board defines "employee engagement" as the extent to which individuals feel emotionally committed to their role and their organization. The Survey Solutions asks employees to respond to four statements to measure engagement:

  • "I would recommend this organization to my friends as a great place to work;"
  • "This organization inspires me to perform my best;"
  • "I am likely to be working for this organization three years from now;" and
  • "I am willing to put in a great deal of effort in order to help this organization succeed."

The Survey Solutions team then categorizes employees as disengaged, ambivalent, content, or engaged based on their responses.

"Engaged employees are willing to put it in a great deal of effort to help their organization achieve its goals because they know that doing so will ultimately benefit them as well," Advisory Board Survey Solutions' Sarah Rothenberger told the Daily Briefing. "Engaged employees are more productive, more motivated, and generally higher-performing than their colleagues."

Award recipients

The 20 winners of Advisory Board's 2017 Workplace of the Year Awards for employee engagement were:

  • Cedars-Sinai (Los Angeles);
  • CHOC Children's (Orange, California);
  • Community Medical Centers (Fresno, California);
  • Eisenhower Medical Center (Rancho Mirage, California);
  • Hospital Sisters Health System (Springfield, Illinois);
  • Kettering Health Network (Dayton, Ohio);
  • Main Line Health (Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania);
  • Memorial Health System (Marietta, Ohio);
  • Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers (Morris, Illinois);
  • Orlando Health (Orlando, Florida);
  • Overlake Medical Center and Clinics (Bellevue, Washington);
  • Palmetto Health (Columbia, South Carolina);
  • Parkview Health (Fort Wayne, Indiana);
  • Privia Health (Arlington, Virginia);
  • Sauk Prairie Healthcare (Prairie Du Sac, Wisconsin);
  • Schneck Medical Center (Seymour, Indiana);
  • Scottsdale Medical Imaging (Scottsdale, Arizona);
  • Scripps Health (San Diego);
  • Valley Children's Healthcare (Madera, California); and
  • Virtua (Marlton, New Jersey).

The five winners of Advisory Board's Workplace Transformation Award for improvements in employee engagement were:

  • Eisenhower Medical Center (Rancho Mirage, California);
  • Franciscan Alliance (Mishawaka, Indiana);
  • Hospital Sisters Health System (Springfield, Illinois);
  • Overlake Medical Center and Clinics (Bellevue, Washington); and
  • Union Hospital (Terre Haute, Indiana).

What health care organizations with high engagement have in common

Rothenberger noted that while many organizations have implemented traditional action plans to increase manager engagement, those with the most engaged employees set themselves apart by focusing on three strategies: investing in manager support, hardwiring executive involvement, and promoting new hire engagement.

1. Ask not what your managers can do for you; ask what you can do for your managers. "Highly engaged organizations recognize the tremendous burdens leaders face and prioritize investing in them as a means to drive engagement," Rothenberger said. At Parkview Health, select leaders and their high-performing staff go through a workshop on the topic of "followership," which aims to develop frontline staff into strong, independent thinkers who can help their managers to drive change. Valley Children's Healthcare recently shifted monthly leadership meetings from being top-down in nature to being interactive forums to equip leaders with solutions to thorny engagement challenges.

2. Create meaningful, lasting connections between executives and frontline staff. "Executive respect for frontline contributions is a top driver of engagement, and top-performing organizations effectively hardwire this concept," Rothenberger said. Overlake Hospital Medical Center employs a monthly "We Heard You" communication campaign to connect the dots between issues surfaced in executive rounds and responsive action. Virtua's local employee change teams give frontline staff an opportunity to propose change initiatives to facility executives and take ownership over engagement themselves.

3. Prioritize engagement from—and before—day one. "First-year turnover is a mounting concern for health systems, making a targeted retention strategy a crucial component of any effective engagement strategy," Rothenberger stressed. Methodist Dallas Medical Center has addressed this issue by creating an all-staff first-year turnover goal and by advocating for the idea that retention is "everyone's job."

How to make the business case for employee engagement

We've collected our best data showing the connection between key outcomes and employee engagement all in one ready-to-present deck. Download these slides to show your team exactly why employee engagement is so important.

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