Research

The Executive's Guide to Engaging Staff

addressing the needs of rising-risk patients

It’s no secret that executives play a pivotal role in driving engagement across the organization. Across more than a decade of research on employee engagement, and our work with the hundreds of organizations that use Advisory Board’s engagement survey, we find there are three ways executives from top-performing organizations differentiate themselves in driving engagement across the organization.

1. They give as much executive attention and energy to employee engagement as they do to other business imperatives such as operating margin and clinical quality.
Read more on how to formalize executives' accountability for employee engagement on p. 2.

2. The intentionally invest in targeted support to help frontline managers better engage their teams.
Learn how to triage three groups of frontline managers and get guidance on the targeted support they need on p. 3.

3. They don't just make themselves visible across the organizationthey deliberately put themselves in staff's shoes when communicating with the front line.
Learn more about scaling executive visibility while also ensuring each executive-staff interaction generates meaningful dialogue on p. 6.

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Access Ready-to-Use Tools for Engaging Staff

The following tools aim to help executives communicate effectively with staff on their terms to support staff engagement.

Executive Tips to Maximize the Impact of Conversations with Staff: Individual staff members have limited opportunities to directly converse with you—so when those conversations take place, they have an outsized impact on staffs’ impression of you. This quick tips list will help you ensure each conversation not only has a positive impact on staff, but also gives you helpful information.

Executive E-Visibility Picklist: Many executives are experimenting with various electronic channels to communicate with staff across their growing, complex organizations. While no electronic-communication channel is objectively best for reaching all staff at all times, this picklist will help you determine which e-communication channels to consider leveraging.

Executive E-Visibility Audit: E-communication can be an effective way to reach large numbers of staff—but it can be difficult to deliver authentic, personable messages via email or a recording of a town hall. Use this tool to ensure each e-visibility channel you use is as engaging as possible.

Key Moments When Your Actions Can Make an Impact in 5 Minutes: As an executive, your presence carries significant weight. There are key moments when showing up and kicking off a meeting or event can make a palpable difference in the engagement of the leaders and staff involved. Use this tool to identify key moments when you can make a difference and plan brief opening remarks to kickoff important events.

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