Recognition and strong leadership key to staff engagement and wellbeing: research

Many aged care staff say their achievements and contribution to the organisation are not recognised by their employer, a major survey of frontline workers shows.

Many aged care staff say their achievements and contribution to the organisation is not recognised by their employer, a major survey of frontline workers shows.

The findings are based on surveys of 6,000 aged care staff from 14 organisations conducted from 2014 to 2016 by the Voice Project, a research firm specialising in measuring employee engagement and customer satisfaction.

louise-parkes
Louise Parkes

Dr Louise Parkes, a psychologist and senior consultant with the Voice Project, said that recognition of staff abilities and skills was found to be a major factor impacting on their engagement and wellbeing levels.

It was one of a number of key areas where aged care organisations could improve, she said.

“Another gap was around involving staff in everyday decision making, giving them an opportunity to voice their concerns and to be heard,” Dr Parkes told Australian Ageing Agenda.

Other gaps identified by the staff surveys were in having senior leaders who modelled the organisation’s values, and in cooperation and collaboration across teams and units, said Dr Parkes, who will outline the findings at the Leading Age Services Australia congress next month.

In addition to measuring employee wellbeing and engagement, the surveys asked staff about the extent to which their organisations provided quality care, whether they understood their clients’ needs and if clients were satisfied with the services they received.

“Ideally we would have liked to link work practices with actual client feedback, but not all the aged care organisations were measuring customer satisfaction, so our next best measure was staff ratings [of client satisfaction],” said Dr Parkes.

There was a wide variety in the perceptions of client satisfaction, with 64 per cent to 91 per cent of staff reporting their clients were satisfied with the services they were receiving.

Opinions on customer satisfaction varied depending on the roles within the organisation, the research showed. Some 82 per cent of frontline care staff felt their clients were satisfied, compared to 90 per cent of managers and administers.

A number of key drivers were important in driving perceived customer satisfaction, as well as staff wellbeing and engagement.

“Perceptions of the priority placed on health and safety for staff in the workplace was the strongest positive factor relating to customer satisfaction,” said Dr Parkes.

Other important factors were a results focus within the organisation, through measuring quality and outcomes, and a commitment to ethical and social responsible behaviour, she said.

The Leading Age Services Australia national congress takes place 9-12 October.

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Tags: LASA-2016, louise parkes, staff engagement, staff recognition, wellbeing customer satisfaction,

1 thought on “Recognition and strong leadership key to staff engagement and wellbeing: research

  1. Recognition and leadership are good. Treating employees like adults, empowering them to think and act like owners is better. Companies like Southwest Airlines, Capital One and BHP Billiton, (clients of mine), treat their employees like trusted business partners, enabling them to make more money for their company and themselves. Profits and engagement soar. These Forbes and HBR articles provides more background: http://www.forbes.com/sites/fotschcase/2016/05/31/engage-your-employees-in-making-money/; https://hbr.org/2015/12/treat-employees-like-business-owners
    Minneapolis based Carlson Travel is a great example, as can be seen in their 3 minute call center video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RJAEHPOxPQ

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