Posted August 10, 2017

Mission-Driven Leaders Build Relationships

In Part 1 of this insight series we reviewed the definition and importance of engagement. Part two will focus on the importance of leader engagement and how, as leaders, we can drive employee happiness, engagement and performance at work.

Healthcare leaders that excel at engaging stakeholders understand that extraordinary relationships lie at the very heart of engagement. After all, trust lies at the very foundation of any relationship. It is important that leaders be intentional about nurturing it.

"We've learned that it's important to relentlessly focus on creating behaviors for employees to succeed because the member experience can't exceed the employee experience," explained conference keynoter Brenda Brinson, USAA's assistant vice president for Organizational Effectiveness. "The magic happens at that point of interaction, so we are deliberate in ensuring we align our organization to enable those experiences."

And it shows. USAA, which retains 90 percent of its employees and an astounding 98 percent of its nearly 11 million customers is on to a winning formula. In fact, in 2016, Forbes ranked the company number 11 on its annual list of best employers nationwide. USAA was also #1 in the nation in customer loyalty as measured by their Net Promoter Score.

According to a recent Gallup poll, just 45 percent of people are happy in their jobs...the lowest level in decades. And those unhappy employees are expensive. They experience 10 times the amount of depression than their happier peers do. In fact, they cost their employers $360 billion annually in lost productivity and take an additional 15 sick days each year.

What drives happiness and engagement at work? Hope, optimism, resiliency, and self-efficacy are each important. "For example, hope is about setting willpower and the way power to move forward," explains Kandi Wiens, EdD, Huron senior director. "When we see a path to get to a better future, we choose to engage."

How can leaders help drive engagement and happiness?

  1. Have hope. Focus on the future, not the past.
  2. Be optimistic. Believe in positive potential.
  3. Be resilient. Focus on lessons learned, and let go of the rest.
  4. Develop self-efficacy. Exercise a signature strength.

If engagement is the answer to transforming healthcare -- delivering higher quality to patients at a lower cost - leaders can't do it without their employees. Stay tuned for Part 3 as we take a closer look at employee engagement. In the meantime, you can also view the full conference proceedings infographic.

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