Every healthcare organization wants to retain its best employees–the A-level employees who deliver exceptional patient care and give you an edge over your competitors. Employee retention is arguably one of the most important elements of success in any business, and this might be even more true for healthcare.
Improving retention allows you to avoid the high cost of replacing employees and also lowers turnover rates, improving the continuity of care for patients and enhancing overall quality. With a consistent and highly competent workforce, you can improve physician engagement within your health system by allowing them to practice more efficiently.
Retention and the Looming Healthcare Worker Shortage
The average cost of replacing an employee amounts to fully 20 percent of the person’s annual salary, equating to approximately $10,000 added costs to an employee with an annual salary of $50,000, according to CBS news. Turnover is a challenge for any industry, but in healthcare, it can end up affecting the quality of patient care negatively. Too much turnover can cripple an organization because, as employees leave, their responsibilities are quickly transferred to remaining personnel who likely won’t have the expertise or additional bandwidth necessary to ensure they are met effectively.
The importance of employee retention is dramatically increased when you account for the looming shortage of healthcare workers, predicted by numerous organizations and research studies. Baby Boomers are aging and are beginning to leave the workforce in mass. In the midst of this silver tsunami, it is expected that the demand for healthcare services will increase. Moreover, for baby boomers that decide to stay in the industry past the typical age of retirement, many will cut back their hours. This creates a growing need for additional workers to fill in the gaps. So, as a healthcare employer, how can you cut down on turnover, increase retention and job satisfaction? We lay out 3 strategies below.
Identify the cause of high turnover
It’s hard to develop a sound retention strategy without first troubleshooting for unresolved issues within your organization. First, you have to find out what is driving employees to leave by talking to them, asking them questions and hearing out their grievances and concerns. Once you know the problem, you can then begin developing a solution.
A good strategy is to create a quick 10-question (anonymous) survey for your employees to complete. A recent CEU360 article offers the following 10 questions as examples of good questions to ask your employees that will help you get to the bottom of what’s ailing your organization.
- Do you agree with the mission of this organization?
- Does your manager inspire you?
- Do you feel teamwork is practices among your co-workers?
- Are your co-workers held accountable for the work they produce?
- Do you feel valued for the work that you do?
- Are the amount of work and the pace of work your are required to perform reasonable?
- Do you feel information is shared openly and communication is encouraged?
- Do you receive the training you need to perform your job well?
- Do you have the tools you need to perform your job efficiently?
- Do you have adequate opportunities for professional growth and development?
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The added costs to replacing an employee with a salary of $50,000 is upwards of $10,000.
Offer a flexible schedule
Healthcare workers’ schedules can be grueling, as they often have to work around the clock. To better retain employees, consider offering a wide array of scheduling options. Employees will take notice of your willingness to accommodate for their personal needs and will likely become more loyal to your organization. Employees who have this kind of control over their jobs tend to be more satisfied, according to an Inc article.
Remove any frustrating obstacles preventing satisfaction or work completion
Some employees may truly enjoy their jobs, but eventually decide that that the challenges associated with completing their assigned responsibilities are simply too much to bear. For example, nurses may be drowning in mundane paperwork that never seems to end. This could result in nurses feeling unsatisfied and unrewarded for their work. A solution to this challenge could be to implement a new digital technology that streamlines the paperwork process. Or, you could hire additional clerks to transfer some of the overwhelming responsibility away from the nurses. Without an overload, the nurses will most likely feel greater satisfaction because their workload is more balanced. As mentioned earlier, one of the best things you can do is ask your employees questions about their frustrations so that you can generate ideas about how you can improve the situation for them.
Provide opportunities for learning and growth
If employees have no opportunity to learn, advance or grow with your organization, they may look for another place to work. A strategy for retainment is to provide various opportunities for your employee’s to learn or improve within their field. Along with that, if your employees know that their hard work will eventually pay off in the form of a promotion, they are far more likely to stay with your organization in the long-run.
It’s unrealistic to expect employees to stick around if they never see any of their peers offered exciting new opportunities or promotions. If they don’t see anyone else advancing, they may just assume that they there’s no chance for them to advance either and may end up leaving their position behind in search of one with advancement opportunities.
Become an employer of choice
If you utilize the tips in this blog, you can build a reputation for your organization as an employer of choice. With a strong reputation, you can better attract the best new employees and better retain your current employees. Offering rewards, learning opportunities and incentives is a way to transform your organization into a place where people not only want to work, but are also proud to work and for which they eagerly recruit their peers. Consider looking into lists of top employers in each industry and study what makes them so successful and desirable in the eyes of employee’s. With the looming healthcare worker shortage, healthcare organizations need to find ways to retain employees and, hopefully leveraging our advice, they’ll be able to do just that.
If you’re an employer in need of top-level healthcare professionals, contact or call us today at Healthcare Recruiters International. Whether you’re in need of Pharmaceutical, Healthcare IT, Medical Research, or Medical Sales professionals, Healthcare Recruiters International has the resources and network of connection to provide you with the optimal new hire.
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