To reduce costs associated with employee disengagement and turnover, Renal Advantage Inc. partnered with Work Institute to first conduct baseline EmployER Engagement interviews with the entire employee population. RAI needed to know the preferences, expectations, and intents of their workforce in order to drive action at the most local level. Keeping their finger on the pulse of the workforce provided the organization with the opportunity to address disengagement before employees walk out the door.
RAI focused on three key areas for improvement: the perception of RAI as an employer, the quality of supervisor performance, and overall turnover. For both the perception of RAI as an employer and the quality of supervisor performance, all supervisors were responsible for driving the fair/poor responses below 15%. The Human Resources (HR) Department at RAI served as the key driver of this process. To maximize RAI’s ability to set targets and measure the progress toward their goals, a 5-point rating scale question design (Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor) was used. Follow-up questions such as “Why?” and “What would it take to get an excellent rating?” allowed Work Institute researchers to probe employees for more detailed information. The qualitative data provided the organization and its leaders with actionable data that drove evidence-based decisions to earn employees’ highest endorsement.
In February 2006, Work Institute interviewed the entire workforce, to gather baseline data, and goals were established based on the initial results. Then in October 2006, Work Institute interviewed 50% of the workforce to begin the biannual EmployER Engagement interviews. Once the two data points had been collected and analyzed in early 2007, Meador and Christie Carlisle, Director of Human Resources, traveled to each RAI region to equip supervisors with the tools and techniques to build and execute action plans.
Following the initial training and goal setting, supervisors had three months to evaluate their own data and present the action plans to their Center and Regional Directors. The quantitative rating scores coupled with verbatim responses allowed each supervisor to gain a robust understanding of his or her strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement. By the end of 2007, RAI’s Human Resources team had evaluated all interventions and celebrated the success of the evidence-based action planning initiative using data obtained from the employee pulse stay interviews.
Following the internal adjustments, EmployER Engagement Studies indicate that satisfaction with RAI drastically increased between 2006 and 2008. The number of employees that rated their employers as “excellent” increased by 22%; the number of employees rating their supervisors as “excellent” improved by 10%, and the number of employees with an intent to leave within the first year at RAI decreased from 22% to 16%. RAI leadership came away “surprised that we were able to hit some of our targets so quickly.”
Over a four-year period where the baseline study and the action planning process were repeated, RAI was also able to reduce turnover substantially to 12%. RAI measured the cost of patient care delivery and found it to be the lowest in the dialysis industry.