Baptist Health: Boosting Employee Engagement through Education Blog

Baptist Health: Boosting Engagement by Providing Educational Opportunities


Baptist Health partners with Workforce Edge and Strategic Education, Inc. to make education a key part of a healthy workplace strategy. Their efforts have also helped make a difference in recruitment, engagement, and retention.  

Today’s health care organizations face systemic challenges around employee morale, job satisfaction, and retention – all of which can impact patient care. Staffing issues have pushed some organizations almost to the breaking point. Companies are being affected by a training treadmill, an increased focus on hiring and training for positions vacated due to turnover that reduces the amount of time and energy available to focus on productivity. 

In spite of employers’ best efforts, employees across organizations continue to express decreased job satisfaction and increased intent to leave the workforce. “This is really the big question for nursing professionals and health care organizations right now,” says Adele Webb, PhD, executive dean of health care initiatives at Strategic Education, Inc. “How do we create work environments that support our providers, support recruitment, and support retention?” 

Baptist Health strives to create healthy work environments 

Baptist Health, a Kentucky-based health system with nine hospitals and more than 23,000 employees, has made healthy work environments a top priority. To measure their progress, they developed a People and Culture Scorecard that tracks workplace satisfaction and engagement. By gathering employee input, Baptist Health found three key areas that impact nurse turnover: inclusion, recognition, and collaboration. In other words, employees want an environment where they are valued, heard, and involved. 

But something else is emerging at many organizations, including Baptist Health: a clear desire for more education and professional development opportunities. 

Educational opportunities can impact recruitment, retention, and more

Baptist Health knew that education could be a powerful way to address the areas of emphasis identified by the scorecard. Katelyn Bloyd, assistant director of employee experience at Baptist Health, explains, “When employees feel that their employer is invested in their future, they are more likely to stay with the company long term and be motivated to perform well.” 

Employee opinion data backs up Bloyd’s observation. A 2022 McKinsey survey of frontline employees found that 75% of respondents agree that learning opportunities are an important aspect of career advancement. According to a 2021 Jobs for the Future Survey commissioned by Strategic Education, 81% of current learners receiving financial support from their employer agree it’s an important part of their decision to stay at their employer. 

Recognizing that education can set employers apart, Baptist Health sought additional opportunities to help employees build job-ready skills for their current roles – to support and retain their future career success. 

Partnering with Strategic Education for employee educational opportunities

In their search for employee-friendly, efficient, and affordable education solutions, Baptist Health connected with Strategic Education to offer several educational and developmental offerings.  

One of them is tuition assistance-aligned pricing, where Strategic Education aligns tuition prices on select degree programs from its affiliates, Strayer and Capella universities, with the tuition assistance Baptist Health already provides. This can enable employees to pursue education with little or no out-of-pocket tuition cost. 

Strategic Education also offers access to Workforce Edge, a tech-enabled upskilling and reskilling solution that gives employees one simple and intuitive tool to access educational opportunities. Workforce Edge is also a gateway to discounted offerings on everything from high school credentials and certificates to professional development and doctoral degrees – from a variety of educational providers. Plus, it gives employers an efficient way to manage, track, and analyze employee education usage. 

With Workforce Edge and tuition-aligned learning pathways in place, employees at every level can find opportunities to pursue learning that is accessible, flexible, and affordable. Research shows that Americans view cost as the biggest barrier to attending college. To address this barrier, Strategic Education comes to the table with solutions. For employers, Workforce Edge makes the deployment and management of education benefits seamless. Employers can view utilization, generate reports, and track return on investment all through seamless dashboard reporting. 

Positive results for a brighter future

With these educational solutions, Baptist Health has increased employee participation through the use of Workforce Edge and tuition-covered degrees while significantly reducing the administrative burden of managing tuition assistance. 

“We’ve had tuition assistance and reimbursement at Baptist Health for quite some time, but utilization was frustrating,” Bloyd explains. “The Workforce Edge partnership changed the game dramatically. It took our processes from being very manual and cumbersome to an easy-to-follow automated process.” 

Along with greater participation, Baptist Health also gained powerful tracking and analytics tools through Workforce Edge.

“With a click, we have a dashboard that gives us insights into our tuition assistance and reimbursement program,” Bloyd explains.

Increased participation can also lead to positive outcomes for employees and the organization. “We’ve seen that offering tuition assistance demonstrated a commitment to employee development and career growth,” Bloyd says. “Which, among other initiatives, has led to increased employee engagement and job satisfaction and, of course, retention.” 

The engagement and job satisfaction results at Baptist Health are in line with other organizations that have partnered with Strategic Education. In a 2021 Jobs for the Future Survey of the overall Strategic Education learner population, 72% of current learners agree their program experience has made them a more valued employee to their employer. “When employees feel valued by their employer, their potential contributions, including their investment in quality patient care, are limitless,” Webb explains. 

Through Workforce Edge, Baptist Health is able to offer something for everyone, regardless of background or where they are in their career. In fact, Bloyd believes in the new Strategic Education solutions so much, she’s taking advantage of the benefits herself. “I use Workforce Edge personally. I’m in school, and it’s so easy now,” she says. 

To learn more about expanding education benefits for your team, connect with Workforce Edge to discuss your options.

Baptist Health, a Kentucky-based health system with nine hospitals and more than 23,000 employees, has made healthy work environments a top priority. To aid in their efforts, they’ve partnered with Workforce Edge to provide solutions and connect their employees with learning and development opportunities.