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GRANGEVILLE — A letter from a Riggins patient gave kudos to the entire staff at Syringa Hospital.

“Don’t ever give up this gem — what you’ve created is stellar,” board chair Leta Strauss read at the May 24 meeting. The letter also thanked the staff for its “kindness and compassion” when the writer was recently hospitalized.

“This is a testament to everything the staff has done and continues to do.” Strauss said.

This public thanks was the perfect segue to discussing employee satisfaction.

CEO Abner King said a recent Gallup employee engagement survey asked 12 questions and brought in more responses — 125 — than ever before.

Last year, the total top combined average score for the surveys was 3.87, down from 3.94 the prior year. This year, the score was 4.04.

Last year, the main areas focused on following the survey were receiving praise from leaders; knowing one’s opinions and ideas count; and providing opportunities to learn and grow.

The percentage of “actively disengaged” employees went down from 11 percent last year, to 8 percent this year.

“This could use improvement, but it’s better than the previous year,” King said.

Employee recognition and turnover were also discussed.

“Some turnover is good, actually,” as that’s how the disengaged employees are weeded out, stated human resources director Katy Eimers.

Strauss said that employee recognition is important, as people have a need to be acknowledged, “and for others to simply see they are there, and they matter.”

Trustee Gunther Williams said one way to show appreciation for employees is to set aside time to visit with them — not in a performance review setting — on a regular basis.

“Just to ask them how they’re doing and if they’re experiencing any difficulties, how their families are, and just what’s going on in general in their lives,” he said.

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