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“Happy Hospitals Make Happy Patients”…

11 Feb


… Or says a study recently published in Science Daily. The research, conducted by University of Michigan Professor John Griffith, concludes:

In a newly published report, Griffith examined the attributes of 34 community hospitals in nine states that have earned the Health Care Sector Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, a nationally recognized quality benchmark for various industries.

Griffith’s findings suggest that the single-biggest factor in patient satisfaction is hospital employee morale, which starts with outside-the-box thinking at the very top management levels.

These community hospitals had the happiest patients and caregivers, but only because these hospitals departed radically from traditional hospital management, Griffith says.

My co-author Leigh Branham and I conducted a study of the employee engagement in over 100 hospitals, and came to the same conclusion– there is a direct link between employee engagement  and patient satisfaction. Moreover, employee at hospitals with very low engagement results were far more likely to report patient safety and other complaince-related problems, something no hospital wants. Perhaps one way to deal with our health care crisis is to create more engaged workplaces like these honored today.

Think You Know What Your Employees Are Thinking Right Now? Think Again.

9 Feb


Salary.Com Inc. has conducted a survey of employee and employer perceptions about employee job satisfaction and intent-to-stay. The study, reviewed at Occupational Safety & Health Online reports:

According to the survey, employee satisfaction levels are often overestimated by employers. A set of questions new to this year’s survey found that the current economic climate was less of a deterrent to job seeking than employers anticipated, while variables such as income, job level, industry and age remained consistent factors that affect job satisfaction year-over-year.

Key data points:

• Overall, the survey showed that 65 percent of employees are at least somewhat satisfied in their jobs while employers estimated that figure to be 77 percent. 
• Approximately 65 percent of employees admitted to passively or actively looking for a new job, compared to employers’ estimate of 37 percent. 
• While employers have a good sense of overall employee satisfaction, they often overestimate the degree of extremely satisfied employees nearly 2 to 1. 
• The levels of satisfaction among employees surveyed varied by job level and salary. Not surprisingly, the results of the survey suggest there is a direct link between pay and satisfaction — the higher the salary and job level, the greater the number of extremely satisfied employees. 
• Age affects job satisfaction — millennials report the lowest job satisfaction.

Perhaps this study doesn’t shock you, but it does reveal an important insight that should call us to action–the best way to find about how employees are feeling is to ask them. We need to do a much better job of listening, really hearing, what our associates are feeling right now.

For Those Of You On LinkedIn, A Poll

6 Feb

Please go to LinkedIn to answer a pulse poll on employee engagement at your place of work– thanks!

“Beating The Bear Market With Engaged Employees”, KC Style

6 Feb

There was a nice write-up in yesterday’s Kansas City Star about the research that Leigh Branham and I conducted about employee engagement in these challenging economic times. An additional point was made in the article about the benefits of increased employee engagement, from our former employer Right Management:

Why is this angst explosion important for even the employers who aren’t laying off people or cutting workers’ pay or benefits?

Separate research by Right Management indicates that every 1 percent increase in employee engagement (assuming it’s correctly measured in employee surveys) equals $1.6 million more revenue for the employer.

That kind of revenue enhancement is a pipe dream for many small businesses, no matter how good they are to their employees. But the big-company research shows why employers of any size should care whether their workers want to be there.

Yet another study that shows the value of creating and maintaining a highly engaged workplace. For additional information about our study go to: Beating the Bear Market with Engaged Employees.

The ROI of Employee Engagement

5 Feb
Yet another study showing that more engaged employers enjoy financial rewards was reported by the web site Knowledge @ Wharton. The paper, which is available to download, reports:

In a paper titled, “Does the Stock Market Fully Value Intangibles? Employee Satisfaction and Equity Prices,” (Wharton finance professor Alex) Edmans examines the stock returns of companies with high employee satisfaction and compares them to various benchmarks — the broader market, peer firms in the same industry, and companies with similar characteristics. His research indicates that firms cited as good places to work earn returns that are more than double those of the overall market.

Companies on Fortune magazine’s annual list of the “100 Best Companies to Work for in America” between 1998 and 2005 returned 14% per year, compared to 6% a year for the overall market, according to Edmans. The results also hold up using an earlier version of the survey that dates back to 1984. “One might think this is an obvious relationship — that you don’t need to do a study showing that if workers are happy, the company performs better. But actually, it’s not that obvious,” says Edmans. “Traditional management theory treats workers like any other input — get as much out of them as possible and pay them as little as you can get away with.”

This study corroborates our own research, as well as twenty-seven other studies we’ve collected over the years for our book Lucky To Work Here. If you would like a copy of a bibliography of those studies, please email at– I’d be happy to send it to you.

The evidence is now clear– there is a business imperative to creating a more engaged workplaces. Let’s get to work!


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