How to be a Happier Employee

By Judy Laister
Human Resources Director
Methodist Mansfield Medical Center

Here’s a fact that has the entire Methodist Health System family beaming. The Advisory Board, a health care think tank whose members represent approximately 94 percent of the U.S. News and World Report’s best hospitals, has recognized Methodist as having one of the nation’s most engaged workforces for the second year in a row. That’s great, but what does it mean for our employees, the health system, and the patients who trust us with their well-being?

We believe that to have truly engaged employees, the employee must be involved in work decisions and be heard. Methodist employees actively participate in workflow processes they perform on a daily basis. Employee surveys tell us that they appreciate:

  1. Being recognized as subject matter experts
  2. Being given opportunities to provide input into how tasks can be performed more efficiently
  3. Their autonomy to influence the decisions that affect their daily work life. As a result, employees feel that they make significant contributions and that their opinions matter.

The results? Happier, more engaged employees provide better experiences for our patients. Many candidates understand the concept of engagement just as they know about shared governance. At Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, employees are engaged in staffing committees to review issues such as schedules and quality. If opportunities for improvement are identified, a group of employees is assembled who are subject matter experts. The group determines what needs to be changed or improved and helps to put the new process in place.

We’ve ingrained employee engagement into the dialogue we have with prospective employees. Here, every newly hired employee must be interviewed by peers before his or her employment is finalized. It’s very important for the prospective employee to interface with others in the department and get the real picture of what engagement looks like from the department perspective. Peer interviewers are handpicked high performers who complete special training. Since beginning this practice in 2012, our turnover rate has decreased significantly. Hearing what the staff has to say has made the difference.

Becoming an engaged employee may be the best thing you could do for a happier career. Here are three tips:

  1. Find your passion. What are you interested in? Do you want to be part of making a change for the better? Once you’ve identified your passion, you are on the path to be more successful in a highly engaged work environment.
  2. Volunteer for committees or counsels where you are confident in your skills and have knowledge to share. Start small. Take on one project that you’re passionate about and help make a difference.
  3. Seek counsel from your manager or Human Resources representative for suggestions and learn how you can make contributions.

If you’re ready to engage with an organization that values your time, talents, and achievements, we look forward to adding you to our Methodist Health System family. Learn more by visiting

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