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2021 Employee Engagement Survey brings mixed results

As expected, employees were concerned about staffing levels amidst the COVID-19 delta surge.

As expected, the results of the 2021 Employee Engagement Survey reveal the toll COVID-19 has taken on Asante and its workforce. Although the responses show bright spots in how employees view Asante, the overall engagement score fell to the 40th percentile compared with other U.S. health systems. This is the steepest drop in recent years and far below the 72nd percentile for overall engagement in 2020.

The survey measures six area of engagement and asks employees if they:

  • Would recommend Asante to friends and family who need care.
  • Will stay with the organization if offered a job elsewhere.
  • Would recommend Asante as a good place to work.
  • Will remain with Asante for the next three years.
  • Are proud to work for Asante.
  • Are a satisfied employee.

The survey took place between July and August as the delta surge began to gain steam. Some of the lowest scores involved adequate staffing, safe working conditions and training.

On the positive side, questions about the quality of care, being treated with respect, career development and compensation received high scores, some well above national averages.

“I appreciate the respect and trust I get from my work unit, supervisors and upper management,” one employee responded. “I feel supported and not micromanaged.”

“There is a strong culture here that encourages excellence and respectful communication where ideas can be voiced,” noted another respondent.

“Some of the most useful information we receive from the survey comes from the comments that are shared, both those that call out the positive experiences that can be replicated in other areas, as well as those things that can be improved,” said Robert Begg, vice president of Human Resources.

Engagement among employees who work remotely part- or full-time was higher in 2021 than the year before.

The purpose of the survey is to gauge employee engagement, which in turn is a measure of a high-performing organization. Health systems with engaged employees have better patient safety and patient experience, healthier finances, higher productivity and a better ability to attract and keep good employees.

This year’s survey combined the traditional engagement survey with compliance and culture of safety surveys, which used to be conducted separately. For the second time it also included questions about diversity and acceptance. Questions about equal opportunity, valuing differences and a commitment to workforce diversity scored higher than in 2020 but still fell below the national average.

This year’s survey drilled down to the supervisor level; leaders are asked to share the results with their departments and involve employees in planning for improvement.

“The pandemic has slowed our usual pace with providing departmental results and action planning for improvement as an organization, but the leadership team is committed to doing so,” Begg said. “We know we have work to do to continue to improve the culture and make Asante a great place to work. We want to get that right.”

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