Are You Engaged at Work?

By Steve Maffei, Director of Organizational Effectiveness, Methodist Health System

A hospital can have the finest facilities and the most advanced technology, but if it does not have a fully engaged workforce, it may have only limited success.

Engagement measures employees’ commitment and enthusiasm toward their work. Engaged employees are highly involved and invested in their company’s success. In fact, in a culture of high engagement, employees possess a strong sense of ownership and accountability for organizational achievement and excellence.

To that end, companies measure employee engagement by looking at specific core elements. In an engaged work environment, employees:

1.    Know what’s expected of them and have the necessary tools to do a great job.

2.    Have an opportunity to do their best work each day.

3.    Are recognized for their good work and receive useful feedback and coaching from supervisors.

4.    Have personal values that are aligned with the organization’s values.

5.    Understand how their work plays an important role in the organization’s success.

6.    Feel that their ideas and opinions matter.

7.    Have opportunities to develop their skills and further their knowledge base.

If you are currently employed in health care, your success depends on being in an environment that enables you to fully engage in day-to-day and long-term activities. Here are five recommendations to help you become more engaged at your place of work:

1.    Make sure the company’s mission/values align with yours. Do you value the same things?

2.    Know how your daily work responsibilities contribute to the overall mission of the company.

3.    Identify developmental needs such as what you want to know more about or be exposed to. If you can do that, you can communicate that desire to your manager and take advantage of the opportunities. If you don’t, your manager won’t know what you want and won’t be able to support your efforts to meet your goals.

4.    Make a connection between your career path and your aspirations in life. How does your job allow you to achieve your objectives? Take time for reflection to see where you want to be.

5.    Remind yourself of the important relationships you have at work. Many times, your work colleagues become friends whom you enjoy spending time with every day.

If you’re a clinician looking for a new career home, here are some ways you can evaluate a company’s commitment to employee engagement:

1.   Ask the employer how employee engagement is measured. That will tell you if the company thinks it’s important. At Methodist Health System, we ask our employees to take a survey and tell us what they think. Strong engagement survey results and “best place to work” recognitions are ways you can tell if a company is committed to engaging its employees.

2.   Ask how information is communicated to employees. Does the company go out of its way to keep folks informed through various channels? Does the company update you on progress in meeting its objectives? Do they use newsletters, employee forums, breakfast with the president, emails, intranet, social media, and other formats to communicate with staff? Numerous methods of effective and accessible communication are an excellent indicator of an organization’s focus on engagement.

3.   Ask how people are recognized for doing a good job. Do they recognize employees at an individual level, team level, or both? Ask about peer-to-peer, campus, system, and management-to-management recognition programs. If the company recognizes employees in many different ways, that’s another indicator that employee engagement is a priority.

People who have a high level of involvement, responsibility, and accountability play an important role in health care. Employees who are engaged are more productive, more focused on quality, more likely to positively impact a patient’s experience and satisfaction, and, therefore, more likely to help the organization deliver better outcomes. There is no doubt employee engagement is critical for today’s hospitals.

At Methodist Health System, engaged employees shine. That’s why we win national awards like “Excellence in Engagement” and have been recognized as a “Best Place to Work” eight years in a row by the Dallas Business Journal. Want to be much more than an employee? Be part of Methodist. Visit

© Methodist Health System


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