Tips to Improve Employee Engagement in Healthcare

A key component for building a value-based healthcare system is quality care dependent on patient interactions with nurses and doctors. A surefire way to improve the quality of care is to improve the employee experience. A better employee experience won’t just lift nurses’ morale; it will impact patient-to-nurse relationships and experiences. It will also advance your hospital’s value-based efforts. What’s more, a better employee experience drives employee engagement in healthcare settings while lifting both productivity AND profitability.

How do you know if your employees are engaged? Well, you can distribute a hospital employee satisfaction survey like one of our customers, a regional hospital in New York, did (see use case below). They discovered that employees felt under appreciated which contributed to low morale. Their commitment to employee engagement and value-based personal patient care led them to evaluate several hospital employee recognition programs including ours.


Another option is to observe the behaviors of your staff.

According to best-selling author of Employee Engagement 2.0 and Kazoo guest contributor Kevin Kruse, engaged healthcare workers from nurses to food service employees:

…make eye contact with all visitors and escort lost family members to their destination

…don’t forget to wash their hands or check IV lines

…listen, un-rushed, as patients ask about their medications and discharge orders

…ensure all meals are delivered while still hot

…make fewer mistakes with the administration of medications

So, what do you do once you realize your employees aren’t engaged? There’s a strong business case for employee engagement programs designed to improve the employee experience. Here’s the use case from our hospital customer that outlines steps you can take to increase employee engagement in healthcare:

Use Case: How to Improve the Employee Experience in Healthcare

The Hospital

New York State regional hospital with 1000+ employees offering a variety of healthcare services including offsite clinics, school nursing program, ER, and community outreach.

The Challenge

The administration conducted a hospital employee satisfaction survey and discovered low morale and that employees felt under appreciated. Common to healthcare settings, their employees were struggling with burnout and compassion fatigue. The hospital wanted a better way to reinforce behaviors aligned with self-care, wellness, and professional development. They also wanted to modernize their existing hospital employee recognition program with a mobile solution that gave visibility into great work by way of a company facing social network feed.

The Solution: How To Increase Employee Engagement in Healthcare

To address their challenges, they updated their hospital employee recognition program going from handwritten notes to a mobile solution. The new platform enabled peer-to-peer public recognition, rewards, and offered helpful reporting. They organized the employee recognition software by locations and departments for personalization and easy management. They also ensured that all employees could publicly recognize a job well done, milestones, anniversaries, years of service, and birthdays.

Kazoo Healthy Behavior Bonus Reward Ideas
To communicate and reinforce healthy behaviors, they created Behavior Bonuses for employees when they participated in a variety of corporate wellness offerings like health risk assessments, fit classes, American Heart Association Life Check assessments. They also made it easy for employees to earn Behavior Bonuses for acts of customer kindness, learning and development, volunteerism, and efforts to collaborate.

To keep the types of rewards for employees within budget and aligned with their culture, they offered up experience rewards, like compensated meals, birthday celebrations, company swag, donations to causes, small gifts, and local gift cards.


At the end of the day, we like knowing our hard work is appreciated. We want to know we’re making a difference. We want to work in a safe environment, and we want to enjoy healthy and productive relationships with our coworkers.

Here are some parting ideas to help create an employee-first culture:

  • Publicly recognize a job well done, milestones, birthdays, years of service, and anniversaries
  • Reinforce participation in health and wellness programs and a continuing education. Doing so will boost morale and self-image
  • Offer experience rewards like compensated meals, company swag, local gift cards, small gifts, and donations to causes
  • Listen and respect every employee

You may also like our guide on Employee Engagement in Healthcare. Download it here.

About Kazoo:
Kazoo is the employee experience platform that scales the core of an organization’s culture. As companies evolve, champions for the employee experience need a solution that appreciates and adapts to what makes their culture unique. In one trailblazing platform, Kazoo provides real-time recognition, transformational behavior bonuses, continuous feedback, and actionable analytics to deliver an unmatched employee experience and a powerful return on investment. When people feel connected to core values and to one another, cultures and organizations thrive — because Kazoo. Visit for more information or schedule a quick demo here.