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Top tools and technologies for continuous workforce listening

Coauthored by Alexis Wegman, Manager, Workforce Solutions.

Authenticity is key to any successful listening strategy. This is accomplished by gathering feedback from the right people at the right time, making sure every employee and physician’s voice is heard and elevated. A continuous, multichannel approach to listening lets you cast the widest net for capturing these uniquely valuable perspectives across your organization. Then it accelerates the journey from awareness to action.

At Press Ganey, we’ve built a comprehensive four-pillar framework for continuous workforce listening: Gather, Analyze, Visualize, Act.

  1. Gather: Soliciting feedback and regularly collecting information, through multiple channels.
  2. Analyze: Converting vast knowledge sets into actionable insights, letting AI and machine learning dig up trends, pain points, and areas of success.
  3. Visualize: Making sense of the data through interactive, easily digestible dashboards and infographics that allow granular segmentation and return action items.
  4. Act: Taking strategic, data-driven steps for the most impact in the short and long term.

Top-performing organizations—i.e., those where workforce engagement is strong and employee retention is high—are committed to purposeful employee listening to both collect data and measure the success of actions taken based on results.

Beyond the hospital employee engagement survey: How to design a continuous employee listening strategy that gets results

Several cutting-edge digital tools are available to healthcare organizations committed to employee listening. When used in tandem, these technologies bring the full picture of what’s happening on the ground sharply into focus, while clearly identifying where to start—then what to do next.

Survey channels to collect qualitative and quantitative feedback

Census surveys: These are multi-question surveys distributed to the entire workforce, usually on an annual basis. They’re important to establishing a baseline of employee engagement (and more) to benchmark against throughout the year, and measure improvement year over year.

Lifecycle surveys: It’s not uncommon for employees to feel differently toward their job and your organization at different points of their tenure. Press Ganey research shows that the first year of employment is a pivotal time for employee retention. Lifecyle surveys collect feedback at strategic points of the employee journey to check in—and help leaders connect to employees during these important milestones.

1 out of 5 employees are at risk of leaving the organization within their first year—and 25% are at risk of leaving within the first two.

Pulse surveys: These short surveys are used to collect targeted feedback. They help organizations better understand the voice of specific groups, or take the temperature for how people feel about changes or at different points throughout the year.

With our first pulse survey, Press Ganey enabled us to target the areas that we wanted to target. We were able to then give those leaders the support and additional education that they need.”

Jenny Zanetich
VP, Talent Management, Virtua Health

Front-line input to identify solutions and drive decision-making

Crowdsourcing: You never know where the next great idea will come from. This technology brings front-line staff into the fold of decision-making. Their peers can then vote suggestions up or down, and give each other feedback.

I can crowdsource and get information back from hundreds of people in two weeks. It’s just an advancement of organizational listening, and I think we need more of it. Surveying people once a year is pretty antiquated.”

Julie Oehlert
Chief Experience and Brand Officer, ECU Health

Interactive brainstorming among healthcare workers

Discussions: This DIY video conferencing tool lets healthcare leaders schedule, conduct, and observe online one-on-one interviews and digital focus groups—in a safe and secure environment that flags any protected health information (PHI) that might enter the conversation. Discussions invite—and ignite—collaboration across teams, levels, and groups, breaking down silos and encouraging interdisciplinary engagement.

Feedback focused on the individual

360° and 180° assessments: Widely used in most sectors, 360° and 180° assessments—also known as multi-rater surveys—are valuable tools for leader and manager coaching, and professional development. 180° assessments focus on reviews from an employee’s manager and direct reports, while 360° assessments gather more comprehensive feedback from supervisors and subordinates, plus peers and a self-evaluation. Developing leadership skills and capabilities has a trickle-down effect. Our data shows that strong leader behaviors help reduce turnover and can impact engagement. When employees have a poor relationship with their leaders, they are 44% more likely to turn over, compared to those who have a strong relationship with their leader.

When employees have a poor relationship with their leaders, they are 44% more likely to turn over, compared to those who have a strong relationship with their leader.

Digital rounding: Applying technology to the employee and leader rounding process lets organizations more efficiently track information and define next steps, as well as close the loop after issues are identified. It also reduces clerical error and misalignment. Organizations can also use digital rounding tools to conduct stay or exit interviews to identify gaps at any point in the employee experience.

Predictive analytics and alerts to do the heavy lifting

Flight risk analytics: Who’s about to give notice? Flight risk analytics is a tool that gives you deep insight into why people are leaving your organizations and lets you create profiles for those most likely to leave in the future.

AI and machine learning: Innovations in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing (NLP) have been game-changing for healthcare organizations in how they analyze and interpret data—from hard numbers to unstructured, open-ended responses. These radical technologies—like healthcare-specific AI—transform mountains of data into actionable, easily digestible insights, reducing the cognitive load for healthcare employees, so they can focus on what they do best: caring for others.

In-platform action planning tools: Create, customize, and track action plans for your team or the entire organization. The integrated tips and best practice library help you know where to begin, and what actions to take to reach your improvement goals.

Using these tools together delivers the fullest and most robust picture of your organization's workforce—what's working, where there's room for improvement, and how to drill in deeper for even more learnings.

Of course, no two organizations are exactly alike. So no two continuous listening strategies will be exactly alike. Your needs will depend on what kind of information you're looking for. Our healthcare experts are on hand to discuss your precise needs, and design a comprehensive strategy that makes sure your goals are met. To set up some time with the Press Ganey team, reach out to our team here.

Learn more about implementing a continuous listening strategy in our e-book: “From awareness to action: Transform your workforce through continuous listening.” 

About the author

As Chief Clinical Officer, Jessica leads efforts to support organizations in increasing clinician engagement and improving patient care outcomes, particularly among physicians. Her areas of expertise include leadership development, clinical care redesign through outstanding teamwork, addressing clinician burnout, and advancing professional fulfillment. Jessica also leads Press Ganey’s Workforce Well-Being Collaborative, an initiative designed to help healthcare organizations identify the varied and disparate needs of their workforce and enable them to respond to their physical, emotional, financial, and operational needs in both the near term and beyond.

Profile Photo of Jessica C. Dudley, MD