ear Hospital – A Novel Approach to Addressing Healthcare Worker Turnover and Enhancing Engagement through Storytelling

by Jennifer Hayakawa


The healthcare industry faces the critical challenge of escalating healthcare worker turnover rates, leading to substantial financial losses for organizations. Nurse attrition alone can cost hospitals millions of dollars annually. It is imperative for healthcare organizations to define their purpose in ways that resonate with employees, fostering a stronger sense of connection and engagement. Dear World's storytelling experiences have successfully driven engagement and connection in various industries. This abstract presents Dear Hospital, a program that revitalizes employee onboarding, improves engagement scores, promotes diversity and inclusion, and develops thriving leaders and employees within healthcare organizations.

1. To certify 10 internal associates as Dear Hospital storytellers and 1 photography lead
2. Implement the program.
3. Increase the self-reported sense of belonging and enhance associate engagement scores.
4. Revitalize employee onboarding by integrating the Dear Hospital experience.
5. Decrease turnover and reduce workforce costs.

Methods: Dear Hospital will be integrated into the associate and provider onboarding process, replacing existing education on organizational values. This program will be introduced to new hires from their first day, emphasizing the importance of their stories and fostering a sense of belonging. The program will utilize certified Dear Hospital storytellers who will facilitate storytelling sessions and create an environment where healthcare workers can connect with their work's purpose, meaning, and joy. The program's scalability will depend on the funding received, allowing for customization based on specific departments and groups of healthcare workers.

Results: Proof of concept for Dear Hospital was tested with the CHOC Executive C-Suite Leadership team, resulting in 76% of participants reporting feeling more connected to each other. Testimonials highlighted the significance of vulnerability in leadership and the potential for deeper collaboration. By integrating the Dear Hospital program, it is anticipated that joy at work will improve, engagement scores will increase, and turnover rates will decrease.

Impact: Dear Hospital offers a simple yet impactful solution to the challenges faced by healthcare organizations. By integrating storytelling and fostering a culture where healthcare workers feel valued and supported, the program aims to reduce turnover, enhance engagement, and improve overall well-being. With the potential for scalability and alignment with existing wellness interventions, Dear Hospital can contribute to building resilient and thriving healthcare teams.