By Jon Hainstock
In the healthcare industry, it’s not uncommon for workers to come and go. High turnover is rarely if ever a desirable thing for employers, but it’s not hard to see why this is the case. Healthcare work isn’t easy.
Per Compdata Surveys, the average total turnover rate reported for healthcare employers in 2015 was a soaring 19.2%. Confidence in the job market may play a part, but a lack of engagement can also be an issue. Your team members want to feel appreciated for the hard work they do, and it isn’t enough for them to feel like they are helping people in their jobs (which they already are).
Here are four ways healthcare companies can work to improve employee retention.
Easy Ways to Improve Employee Retention
1. Implement flexible schedules.
Per HealthCare Recruiters International, “Healthcare workers' schedules can be grueling, as they often have to work around the clock.” They go on to explain that offering various scheduling options can make your workers feel more appreciated. Plus, it gives them time to tend to personal matters.
While it may seem logical that your employees signed up for long, hard hours at the workplace the moment they decided to work in the healthcare industry, no one likes to feel like all their time is being spent at work. Increased flexibility gives employees more control over their work and time. This can lead to increased job satisfaction.
2. Create opportunities for growth.
Today’s young workers are looking to unlock their potential and uncover hidden talents. They don’t want to feel stagnant in their job, and they have the desire to keep growing. The healthcare industry is working hard to create a better environment for growth and advancement. Self-improvement keeps people engaged and motivated.
TINYpulse tells us that, “Over 50% of respondents said lack of advancement opportunities was the biggest workplace challenge.” No one likes to feel like they’re being left behind. If it seems like all their peers are being offered new responsibilities and promotions, it’s only natural for them to feel like they’re being ignored or missed. Few will stick around over the long haul if there’s no way to grow and advance.
3. Communicate clearly and proactively.
Communication is the foundation of any relationship, business or otherwise. If you want your workers to perform at their best and up to your standards, you need to be clear in your communication. Transparency builds trust and creates a working environment where your workers can freely voice their concerns and get their issues dealt with.
According to HealthcareCEU360.com, “Staff should be allowed to communicate honestly and openly with management. If employees are afraid to speak, they are unlikely to put much effort into their jobs and they will probably want to leave as soon as possible.”
From encouraging those who do good work to creating a safe environment for open feedback, better communication leads to a better, friendlier, workplace.
4. Create synergy between employee and organizational goals.
People often enter the healthcare industry because they have a strong desire to help others. Companies are typically looking for the “right fit” with workers. The problem is that sometimes they don’t do a good job of communicating their mission and goals to people they onboard. They forget that it’s a two-way street. Per Cornerstone, “Connecting employees’ personal passion for their work with the organization’s goals leads to stronger employee loyalty and better performance.”
Do your new hires and team members know what you’re about and what you stand for? Do their goals match up with yours? Can they get behind your mission and purpose as an organization? People don’t stay in work environments where they don’t feel they can make a difference in a way that matters to them. Before long, they will feel unfulfilled. But if they feel they can make a meaningful contribution, they are more likely to persevere.
Healthcare organizations are becoming more strategic about how they engage their employees. Without a plan, they will surely fail in their efforts to reduce turnover, which is, unfortunately, quite costly.
Employee retention needs to become a key part of every company, and it begins with the first interview. Finding the right workers is a significant part of the equation. But once onboarded, engagement, recognition, and appreciation is key to long-term retention.
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Featured image: doctorly.org