Kootenai Health has been named a Gallup Great Workplace for 2017, recognizing Kootenai as one of the most engaged and productive workforces in the world. The award, created by Gallup, Inc., recognizes organizations for their ability to create engaged workplace cultures and the unique approaches organizations take to achieve engagement success.
Gallup defines engaged employees as involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace. A highly engaged workforce means the difference between a company that flourishes and one that fails. When employees are engaged, they are passionate and creative, and their enthusiasm fuels growth and innovation. These employees are emotionally connected to their work and deeply invested in their company’s future. As a result, they help lead their company to greater levels of performance. Gallup research has consistently found that engaged employees produce better business outcomes than other employees — across industry, company size and nationality, and in good economic times and bad.
The Gallup Great Workplace Award is open to a select group of organizations that meet a highly defined set of criteria. Out of 37 organizations to receive the award this year, Kootenai Health is one of only seven health-care-related organizations.
“We are honored to be recognized for creating an environment that encourages employees to do their best work every day,” Daniel Klocko, Kootenai Health Executive Vice President of Human Resources, said. “We believe that when employees are connected to and take pride in their work, it creates better outcomes for our patients.”
Gallup’s rigorous scientific research links employee engagement to nine integral performance outcomes: customer ratings, profitability, productivity, turnover, safety incidents, shrinkage, absenteeism, patient safety incidents and quality. Since implementing its employee engagement strategy in 2012, Kootenai has experienced increased patient satisfaction scores, improved financial performance, and improved employee retention.
Kootenai’s strategy to increase engagement began in late 2010. Kootenai’s administrative team and board of trustees set a vision for the organization to focus on becoming a comprehensive regional medical center worthy of national recognition. In order to achieve this vision, Kootenai Health leadership recognized employee engagement needed to become part of the organizational strategy.
At Kootenai Health, department leaders are responsible for creating an environment in which employees can be engaged. They develop plans to improve engagement and capitalize on areas of strength. In addition to cultivating engagement among existing employees, Kootenai also includes engagement as a qualification when recruiting new employees.
“Kootenai Health’s recruiting team focuses its efforts on filling positions with people who are not only qualified to perform the work, but will also be a good fit for our culture and become an engaged member of the team,” Klocko said. “Making good hiring decisions lays a foundation on which the employee, department, and organization can all realize success.”
To create an engaged workforce capable of achieving Kootenai’s vision, Kootenai developed a comprehensive set of behavioral expectations to become the foundation for organizational growth and excellence. The resulting program became known as the Kootenai Health Way, the organization’s commitment to safety, compassion and engagement. All of Kootenai Health’s organizational initiatives relate back to these three principles.
Nearly five years after implementing its engagement strategy, Kootenai Health’s commitment to engagement is now a cultural point of pride for employees. The employees and leadership at Kootenai understand when employees are engaged, they are passionate and creative, and their enthusiasm fuels growth and innovation. These employees are emotionally connected to their work and deeply invested in their company’s future. As a result, they provide superior patient care.
“Research consistently shows engaged employees produce better outcomes across all industries,” Jon Ness, Kootenai Health CEO said. “For us, these outcomes are transferred over to our patients who benefit most from having engaged, compassionate health providers.”
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About Kootenai Health
Kootenai Health is a regional medical center consisting of a 292-bed community-owned hospital, with over 180 employed Kootenai Clinic physicians across 21 specialties, including a family physician residency program. Kootenai Health is also the largest employer in northern Idaho, with over 3,000 employees.
Gallup, Inc. is an American research-based, global performance-management consulting company. The company is known for its public opinion polls conducted worldwide. Some of Gallup’s stated key practice areas are employee engagement, customer engagement, talent management, and well-being.
The Gallup Great Workplace Award honors a select group of organizations that create an engaged workplace culture by investing time and resources to enhance the workplace experiences of their leaders, managers and front-line employees.