Skip to main content

4 Employee Engagement Trends for CEOs to Follow

Analysis  |  By Jay Asser  
   March 14, 2024

Keeping workers engaged allows leaders to potentially prevent staff from walking out the door.

It’s no secret that an engaged employee is more likely to stay at their place of work.

That’s why CEOs understand the importance of fostering engagement among their staff, which increases an organization’s chances of retaining talent and cutting down on turnover.

Retention remains a major challenge for leaders, with one in five workers who were at their organization in 2022 leaving the following year, according to Press Ganey’s “Employee experience in healthcare 2024” report.

The data is based on annual, pulse, and lifecycle surveyed that fielded responses from over 345,000 registered nurses and 131,000 physicians providers in 2023. Researchers measured employee engagement on an employee’s connection to and satisfaction with their workplace, intent to stay, and “likelihood to recommend” their employer.

Here are four employee engagement trends from the report.

General engagement is up, but..

Engagement took a hit during the pandemic when healthcare experienced an exodus of workers, but it’s now on the rise for the first time since then.

Thanks to nearly half of all healthcare roles improving on engagement over a year, general engagement jumped from 4.02 (out of five) to 4.04.

However, there’s still plenty of room for improvement, with nearly one-third of employees reporting low engagement in their workplace.

Nurse engagement is improving

Nursing has suffered some of the most turnover in recent years and forced CEOs to reconsider workplace strategies.

The good news for organizations is that clinical registered nurses saw the second-most improvement in engagement among all roles, climbing 0.04 to 3.89.

It’s a welcomed trend for CEOs who want to cut down on utilization of contract labor and expenses associated with turnover.

Leader engagement is dropping

On the opposite end, leader engagement continues to trend in the wrong direction.

Engagement among leaders has dipped three years in a row, dropping 3.7% during that period, representing one of the few roles which hasn’t started to rebound from the pandemic.

The trickle-down effect is that without engaged leaders to create and sustain engagement among their staff, workers across the organization will have little reason to be involved.

Generational differences

Engagement doesn’t just vary by role, but also by generation, with the data revealing a stark difference between older and younger workers.

Millennials, who now make up over one-third of the healthcare workforce, have an engagement experience of 3.89, compared to 4.12 among non-millennials.

CEOs should understand that the same strategies used to engage the previous generation of workers may not work with the next wave of employees. Appealing to the younger generation is critical though as more longtime workers exit the profession.

Jay Asser is the contributing editor for strategy at HealthLeaders. 

Get the latest on healthcare leadership in your inbox.