4 Strategies to Boost Healthcare Employee Retention
The “Great Resignation” has definitely been felt in the healthcare industry. The 2022 Annual NSI National Health Care Retention and RN Staffing Report found that during the last year, hospital turnover increased by 6.4% and currently stands at 25.9%. Even more alarming is in the past 5 years, the average hospital turned over 100.5% of its workforce.
There are several reasons for the high turnover rate among healthcare workers including: burnout, salary, work-life-balance, career development, aging workforce and many others. Between higher case volumes and increased workload, radiologic technologist turnover rates increased by 3.8% year over year from 2020 to 2021.
In an industry where qualified staff can have a profound impact on patient outcomes, it’s crucial to improve employee retention rates to ensure your facility is providing top quality care to your patient population. Here are 4 strategies that healthcare leaders can use to help maintain employee satisfaction and boost retention rates.
Recruiting and Onboarding Perks
Job offers should be more than just a job–they need to offer something that will keep employees around. Recruiting must take this into account and provide incentives for longevity as well as rewards that are greater than what they can get elsewhere.
- Sign-on bonuses – these will help get people in the door
- Substantial benefits – flexible PTO for better work-life balance
- Structured onboarding and training – properly training employees gives them confidence to securely step into their new role
Another way to improve employee retention in healthcare is ensuring that there are enough staff members on hand, and they’re properly scheduled. Healthcare professionals who work in hospitals with high caseloads are more likely to experience burnout and turnover.
Healthcare providers can use a variety of scheduling strategies to sufficiently meet patient demand.
- Flexible scheduling – job sharing, staggered start times, overlapping shifts
- Self-scheduling – giving workers the ability to control their own schedules leads towards greater job satisfaction
- Data analytics – with the help of AI, these applications can identify likely surges in demand to ensure proper staffing
Avoid Employee Burnout
Burnout is a response to prolonged exposure to occupational stressors, and associated with emotional exhaustion, lowered morale and poor job performance. It is a serious issue that can have lasting consequences for healthcare professionals. Failing to deal with burnout results in higher staff turnover, compromised patient safety and lost revenue.
Healthcare providers can implement tactics to help healthcare workers tackle burnout.
• Listen to your staff – create a safe environment for open conversation without expectation
• Implement support programs – build an employee wellness program and make mental health a focus in the workplace culture
• Ensure staff has “me time” – Give regular breaks and have a relaxing space where employees can eat and enjoy some “me time” before going back to work
Focus on Employee Engagement
Employee engagement is critical to job satisfaction. Engaged workers feel valued by the company and are more likely to stay with their organization, reducing overall turnover.
While there is no one-size-fits-all strategy, healthcare providers can use these tips to boost employee engagement.
- Coaching and mentoring programs – these programs send the message that employers are invested in their staff’s career goals
- Continuing education and certification – leads to higher job satisfaction and increased respect from peers and employers
- Employee-led initiatives – employees know their needs and their jobs best
Employee retention is critical for hospitals and healthcare organizations, as turnover can be expensive and disruptive. While there are many strategies to retaining healthcare employees, the four we’ve outlined are a great place to start. By offering recruiting perks, flexible scheduling, positive work culture and opportunities for growth and development you can create an environment where employees want to stay.