Healthcare providers often struggle to retain workers at varied professional levels. As Regina Temple mentions, the highest turnover rates in the industry are among patient care techs, registered nurses, certified nursing assistants and home health aides. There are many reasons for this high turnover, including an aging workforce, and high competition to attract qualified people. In this situation, healthcare providers need to deploy thoughtful, creative strategies to retain their people in their organizations.
Regina Temple underlines a few ways to improve employee retention in healthcare
The healthcare industry today is experiencing an intense challenge in regards to staff retention. With long work hours and a shortage of qualified workers, keeping employees satisfied and engaged is not always easy. Population growth, changing demographics, and practitioners retiring faster than HR teams can replace them are also a few key factors contributing to the shortage of qualified employees in the industry.
To improve employee retention in healthcare, healthcare providers need to implement certain programs, policies, and processes as part of their broader efforts to build a culture where people feel valued and appreciated. Here are ways to improve employee retention in healthcare:
- Hire the right people in the first place: Good retention levels start with recruiting the right candidates. Healthcare providers need to focus on identifying qualified and skilled candidates who would fit well into the organization’s culture. Today AI-based HR systems are available that can help organizations identify those people.
- Onboard people with purpose: Almost a third of new hires quit within the first six months across all industries. The prime reasons for this are that the new employees feel underappreciated, overwhelmed and neglected. Healthcare providers therefore should follow structured onboarding programs that can help provide these new hires the confidence they need to succeed out of the gate. These programs must get the hires trained on the systems, policies, and procedures of the organization. Doing so is especially vital in the highly regulated healthcare industry. A personal touch has to be also maintained by healthcare organizations to help new hires build lasting relationships. This can be done by assigning each new hire a mentor early on, or organizing a tour of the premises and a team lunch on their first day. Asking recent hires for feedback on early challenges and celebrating their successes is also important.
- Provide scheduling flexibility: Making healthcare workers long hours without proper support is likely to cause burnout, and losing them to competitors or other professions. Even though there are certain doctors, nurses, and supporting staff who like a fixed, predictable schedule, many others would prefer a more flexible schedule. After all, each and every person desires a healthy work-life balance. Today there are hospitals that provide their practitioners and support staff with nontraditional schedules, including staggered start times and overlapping shifts to help compensate for shortages. This ultimately leads to better retention rates.
As Regina Temple mentions, staff retention in healthcare is essential for providing quality patient care and maintaining a stable workforce. Hence, healthcare providers should consider following the pointers discussed above.