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Healthcare workers say employers fall short in delivering a high quality employee experience, new Eagle Hill Consulting research finds

Millennials working in healthcare seeking a better employee experience as compared to boomers and Gen X

Arlington, VA., February 24, 2022 – U.S. healthcare workers say that employers are lacking when it comes to providing a high quality employee experience, according to new research from Eagle Hill Consulting. One out of every three employees working in the healthcare industry say their day-to-day work experience has worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, only 19 percent of healthcare workers say that their organizations took greater action to improve the employee experience (EX) over customer experience during the past year. 

This new national poll of healthcare workers also finds that millennials are more likely to say their day-to-day work experience has worsened since the start of the pandemic (39%) and less likely to say they are very satisfied with their overall work experience than non-millennials (35%). When asked about the future of work, millennials more often report a need to be re-skilled to adapt to changes in their business/industry (35%), and nearly 40% feel their organization isn’t investing in retraining and advancing their skills. Also, millennials are significantly more likely to seek work with a new employer in the next 12 months (38 percent compared to 20 percent of Gen Xers and boomers combined).

These findings come as previous research indicates that healthcare employee experience drives the patient experience. That is, a negative employee experience can harm productivity, patient service, the delivery of quality patient outcomes, and ultimately the organization’s bottom line. 

The new research from Eagle Hill ConsultingThe Healthcare Employee Experience Through the Pandemic: A Guide to Understanding Where Employees Are Now, and How to Get to Exceptional Employee Experiences, is available here. These findings are based upon The Eagle Hill Consulting Employee Experience Survey 2021 conducted by Ipsos that included 509 U.S. healthcare workers to measure their views on a range of employee experience areas.

“The overwhelmingly pressures of the pandemic on healthcare workers has raised the stakes for employers. But even before COVID-19, healthcare employers struggled with employee experience because they mistake EX for employee engagement, benefits or performance management. EX is really about how employees think and feel about their day-to-day interactions across the entire organization,” says Melissa Jezior, president and chief executive officer of Eagle Hill Consulting.” 

“The first step toward improving the employee experience is to think beyond the human resources office. Instead, EX is cross-functional because the moments that matter most to employees often aren’t tied to HR. That means employers must create a connected and consistent EX across their organization and ensure all leaders are held accountable for understanding and improving the employee experience for healthcare worker,” Jezior explained. 

The research finds that most employees don’t view EX as an HR function. Seventy-one percent of respondents say it is their supervisor’s responsibility, and only 13 percent say HR is responsible for EX.  

Eagle Hill’s model for exceptional EX considers four factors that influence employees:

The research also identifies four trends that can help facilitate an improved healthcare employee experience.

  • Workers want flexibility in where and when they work. Where, when, and how healthcare employees work in the future remain big questions for employers. Overall, half of healthcare employees agree that teleworking has been a positive experience. This means some healthcare providers will need to prepare for the possibility of an ongoing hybrid work environment.
  • Employee loyalty is on the edge. Only 41 percent of healthcare workers say they are very satisfied with their overall work experience, and 50 percent indicate they have considered leaving their jobs in the past year. These turnover signals may mean workers see a lack of commitment from employers and a need to rebuild the employer-employee trust bond.
  • Millennials are looking for a better employee experience. Only 35 percent of millennials say they are very satisfied with overall work experience, lower than for Gen Xers (46 percent) and boomers (47 percent).  This means it is critically important to understand the uniqueness of different populations within the healthcare workplace, especially as millennials in healthcare are in high demand.
  • Employees want more help adapting and preparing for a rapidly changing future. More than one-third (35 percent) of healthcare respondents in our survey said they are not confident that they are getting the right skills training for the future. This indicates healthcare organizations must take a more active role defining their employees’ future, or employers risk losing valuable employees.

Recommendations for improving the employee experience are available here.

Eagle Hill Consulting LLC is a woman-owned business that provides unconventional management consulting services in the areas of Strategy & Performance, Talent, and Change. The company’s expertise in delivering innovative solutions to unique challenges spans across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, from financial services to healthcare to media & entertainment. Eagle Hill has offices in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, Boston, MA and Seattle, WA. More information is available at www.eaglehillconsulting.com.

Media Contact:  Susan Nealon | 703.229.8600 | snealon@eaglehillconsulting.com | @WeAreEagleHill