One of the greatest contributors to healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) is poor handwashing compliance by hospital staff. Yet when it comes to hand hygiene, many organizations simply post signs asking employees to wash their hands. While increased signage may have a small impact on handwashing rates, HR Solutions has uncovered a new factor that has a profound linkage to handwashing compliance -- employee engagement.
New data from HR Solutions, an international human capital management consulting firm, has shown a near-perfect correlation between handwashing compliance* at healthcare facilities and employee engagement. Employee engagement can be defined as an employee putting forth extra discretionary effort, as well as the likelihood of the employee being loyal and remaining with the organization over the long haul. Research shows that engaged employees perform better, put in extra efforts to help get the job done, show a strong level of commitment to the organization, and are more motivated and optimistic about their work goals. Employers with engaged employees tend to experience low employee turnover and more impressive business outcomes.
The positive Pearson Correlation (r=+.99) shows conclusively that as engagement levels rise, so does handwashing compliance. As HAI rates increase, this data could provide a new solution to healthcare facilities to manage the issue.
*Handwashing regulations tend to vary by organization. For the purpose of this study, handwashing compliance was defined as washing hands or using antibacterial hand sanitizer before and after contact with a patient.