Reducing stress, improving recognition among areas of focus following engagement survey

November 22, 2021  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership, ,

Earlier this year, faculty and staff from across Michigan Medicine made their voices heard as part of the 2021 Vital Voices Faculty and Staff Engagement Survey. Now, leaders across the organization have started the real work — listening to the feedback and implementing improvement plans designed to address key areas of concern identified in the results.

“Our ongoing commitment is to listen and respond to the concerns of our faculty and staff, and continually strive to make Michigan Medicine a great place to work for all of our employees,” said Paul Sturgis, MSHROD, SPHR, senior director of human resources strategy and organizational effectiveness. “When our faculty and staff provide their unique experiences, insight and suggestions, we often find that there are shared or common themes that represent an opportunity to impact the workplace for larger numbers of employees.”

For the first time, this year’s survey combined the annual employee engagement survey with the faculty engagement survey and the Culture of Safety survey, which enabled the organization to gather feedback at one time, providing a more wholistic view of strengths and opportunities. 

Individualized plans

Following this year’s survey, departments and units were asked to submit individualized improvement plans designed to address areas of opportunity identified by employees in their area. More than 600 improvement plans were developed across the organization, which is a tremendous achievement for this survey cycle. 

“We asked managers and supervisors to work with their teams and develop their improvement plans once our results were available, and they certainly answered that call this year in a big way,” said Megan DeCapua, senior clinical information analyst from Michigan Medicine Experience Analytics and Insights. “After having to delay the survey a year due to the pandemic, we are very pleased with the response. Our managers and supervisors really stepped up this year in support of their staff members.”

A key area of improvement identified by most areas is “reducing job stressors,” which is especially timely given the stress caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“After spending the majority of the last two years in a near constant state of heightened stress due to the pandemic, it is no surprise that we are all feeling the effects and seeking ways to cope,” said Sturgis. “We have to remind ourselves of the accumulated impact of this multi-pronged event on our work and private lives and be willing to support one another to nurture and strengthen our resilience.”

Other areas of focus have centered around the key organizational priorities of safety, increasing and improving recognition, improving decision making, and promoting respect for all team members. Compensation, trust and providing career development opportunities are also popular topics for improvement plans this year. 

For areas working on improvements related to safety, the organization’s journey to high reliability offers many useful tools and resources. The high reliability web page offers training materials and one-pagers on all of the leadership and universal relationship and reliability skills, making it easier to incorporate them into unit-level improvement plans. 

After improvement plans are submitted, faculty and staff are encouraged to continue to check in with their managers and supervisors to provide new feedback as needed. Departments and units are able to modify their improvement plans and track their progress throughout the year to ensure their improvements efforts are meeting the needs of employees.  

How to submit your plan

If your area has not yet submitted an improvement plan, there is still time! Plans can be submitted by logging into the Press Ganey online portal.

Additional resources are available on the Employee Engagement website.