Background Employee engagement refers to a positive satisfying attitude at the place of work characterised by three components—namely, vigour, dedication and absorption within the job.1
Purpose To determine the overall level of employee engagement at Malta’s acute public hospital, with special attention to pharmacists.
Material and methods Data were collected through a self-administered validated online questionnaire consisting of two sections. Engagement levels were measured using the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES-17). The impact of organisational factors on employee engagement was assessed in the second section of the questionnaire. Data were coded and analysed using Microsoft Excel and the Data Analysis ToolPak. Engagement scores obtained were compared with standard UWES-17 international scores as no local reference was available. The higher the score obtained the better the engagement.
Results A total of 247 complete questionnaires were collected over 8 weeks. The majority of respondents (55%) were healthcare professionals of whom 20% were pharmacists. A final engagement score of 4.16 (range 0 to 6) was obtained for the total population, whereas that for the pharmacists was a score of 4. The total population scored lowest within the vigour dimension (3.91) preceded by absorption (4) and dedication (4.57). Pharmacists obtained lower scores for all three dimensions with a score of 3.75 for vigour, 3.93 for absorption and 4.33 for dedication. The main drivers for staff engagement within hospital were found to be the quality of the organisation’s social environment followed by recognition and appreciation received by staff. The main barriers identified were large workload and the perceived sense of unfairness. The same results were obtained for pharmacists.
Conclusion For an environment to foster employee engagement in healthcare, management has to ensure that the workload is sustainable for the current staff compliment, promote a good social environment at work, implement transparent procedures for all and ensure due recognition is given to employees for their work and efforts.
References and/or acknowledgements 1. Schaufeli W, Bakker A. Job demands, job resources, and their relationship with burnout and engagement: A multi-sample study. J Organisational Behav2004;25:293–315.
No conflict of interest
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