2021 Vital Voices Staff Engagement Survey results: How we did and what’s to come

June 1, 2021  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership,

In March, employees across Michigan Medicine made their voices heard as part of the 2021 Vital Voices Faculty and Staff Engagement Survey.

After being postponed in 2020 due to COVID-19, the survey provided faculty and staff the opportunity to share their collective voices and provide important feedback regarding topics such as communication, teamwork, safety and more to Michigan Medicine leadership.

For the first time, the faculty and staff surveys ran concurrently. However, the survey content for each remained targeted to each intended audience.  Results from the Faculty Engagement Survey will be shared at a later date.

To better understand the results of this year’s staff survey— and how the organization plans to act on them — here’s what you need to know:

Survey numbers

More than 17,900 employees took the time to share their feedback. This accounts for an overwhelming 74.3% of staff members.

“This year’s participation rate far exceeded our goals, and truly allows us to hear the voice of our staff,” said Megan DeCapua, senior clinical information analyst in the Quality Department. “Now the real work begins in analyzing these results, talking as a department about where opportunities lie and creating action plans that drive meaningful improvement.”

Press Ganey, the third party vendor used to administer the survey, compiled the results into three areas of focus: engagement, culture of safety and resilience. The ratings are measured on a five-point scale. Here is how Michigan Medicine ranked in each area:

  • Engagement: 4.08/5
  • Safety culture: 3.89/5
  • Resilience: 4.02/5

Scores are then compared using two Press Ganey benchmarks — national health care and national academic medical center. The average — or benchmark — is calculated by Press Ganey using data from 200 other health care organizations and 30 academic medical centers who also participate in Press Ganey surveys (when an item was not contained in one of the databases, an N/A is shown).   

Engagement is measured by combining items on the survey that look at employees commitment and emotional attachment to the organization. Some of the items measured by this area include respondent’s pride in the organization, their belief that Michigan Medicine is a good place to work, and their overall satisfaction as an employee.

The safety culture area represents employee’s  collective perceptions concerning attitudes and behaviors which impact patient and workplace safety. This area includes items that support our focus on safety and high reliability (for example: reporting mistakes or safety concerns without fear of retaliation or freely speaking up when individuals see something that may negatively impact patient care).   

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity, and represents an early indicator of feelings of burnout in the workplace. Resilience is noted as an area of concern for the organization. As shown defined in the graphic above, The survey found that many employees did not feel like they had enough work-life balance, and over time, this is what can lead to fatigue and even burn out.

“When we look at the overall resiliency score, we can see that while we fare strongly in questions related to activation, or our belief that our work is meaningful and makes a difference, there is work to be done as it relates to our employees feeling as though they can step away from work and take needed rest breaks,” said Paul Sturgis, senior director of human resources strategy and organizational effectiveness. “In light of recent and ongoing challenges in healthcare , this continues to be an organization-wide concern and the focus of strategies to improve in this area.”

Highest performing items

Overall, the organization fared well against the benchmarks in several areas, and had notable high performing items. 

Specifically, staff rated benefits they receive and pay above both national health care and academic medical center averages. Also, staff felt confident in how to report acts of violence and/or verbal abuse incidents. This speaks to the organization’s efforts to encourage employees to speak up for safety.

Below is a graphic that will provide a better look into some of the organization’s highest performing areas:

Lowest performing items

Through the survey, staff members also identified areas where they believe the organization has opportunities for improvement.

Notably, Michigan Medicine staff are concerned with areas such as communication among and between various roles and departments, burnout, culture, and equity in opportunities within the organization.

How issues will be addressed

Now that the results are in, leaders are reviewing their department-level results and will be sharing them with their teams soon. The first step in making improvements is to have conversations to better understand what is working well, and areas of concern within the departments.

Action planning to implement steps that will address areas of concern will begin following these discussions and continue in the coming months.

Stay tuned to Headlines as more information about action planning is rolled out. And be sure to talk to your manager or supervisor to discuss your specific results and what is going well in your area of the organization!

Want even more information regarding the 2021 engagement survey results? Check out The Wrap employee podcast below!