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Strategies for Improving Employee Retention in Healthcare

Strategies for Improving Employee Retention in Healthcare
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A period of “Great resignation” is dawning upon various industries, especially in the healthcare sector where hospitals are experiencing a high turnover of staff. . In 2023 alone, about 1.7 million people left the healthcare profession, which amounts to losing almost 3% of healthcare workers every month.

This shortage will be even greater by 2032. The industry will be lacking close to 122,000 physicians. Hence, implementing solid employee retention in healthcare is critical for providing better life quality and profits.

The right mix of employees helps a company survive and grow, especially as the economic climate is ever-changing. A vast majority of hospitals consider staff retention to be a 'high strategic imperative'.

The vast majority of hospitals are making efforts to enhance their employee retention rates. Specifically, 72.6% have a formal commitment strategy, whereas less than half i.e. 44.5% commit to measurable goals.

In this article, we will look at the importance of employee retention and spill some of the best strategies to help you improve it.


Importance of Employee Retention in Healthcare

Critical decision makers, along with the HR team, employ a set of practices and strategies to retain qualified employees in an organization. The main goal is to reduce the number of resignations from a company over a period of time.

Apart from profit margins, a higher employee retention rate will help organizations with the following:

  1. Avoid the high costs associated with replacing employees - It costs an employer an average of 33% of an employee’s yearly salary for every employee exit on hiring, onboarding, and training new employees.

  2. Improve patient care – Patients are comfortable dealing with doctors and staff they know or have a medical history with. Hence, it enhances the overall quality of service.

  3. Increase brand value – If a company is known for retaining employees, people recognize the employer as an ideal organization. However, regular resignations can hinder external recruitment efforts, especially in the digital world where news spreads faster than thoughts.

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Top Five Employee Retention Strategies in Healthcare

Recently, there has been a growing mismatch between the working environment and what employees expect. These discrepancies lead to employees leaving their jobs and looking for better opportunities. Further, higher compensation, stress, and burnout at the workplace are often contributing factors. 

Follow these top five effective employee retention strategies in healthcare:

Improve Recruitment and Onboarding

When you hire an employee, the first impression you can make is a combination of a standard salary, good benefits, and a feasible work culture. While many hospitals and healthcare organizations can provide a competitive salary, it’s important to provide a solid reason to stay.

23% of people are less likely to leave their jobs over a pay gap. An overall good onboarding experience makes it likely for 69% of employees to stay with the company for at least three years.

Walking the extra mile may include perks like:

  • Social benefits – It may include signup bonuses that tend to attract healthcare professionals like nurses and additional staff. Additionally, giving employees the freedom to choose their work shifts and flexibility in working hours gives them autonomy at the workplace. Free education and training - Training employees for administrative tasks and technology like new software, digital devices, etc., can give them confidence in their new roles. 

For a seamless recruitment process, you can use our Automated Onboarding Software. Such a robust application has features like end-to-end approval workflows, task checklists, and customization options.

On the other hand, you can also use Recruit ATS to onboard suitable candidates and enhance application tracking. Integrated onboarding refines the employee experience and bolsters your hiring rounds profoundly.

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Recognize and Celebrate Employee Success

One of the trending retention ideas for healthcare employees is Employee recognition programs. It boosts employee morale and engagement and helps increase productivity. Recognizing employees and their contributions will make 37% of them more likely to stay with the company.

Healthcare organizations can integrate such programs to retain high-performing employees. Recognition and awards keep the employees motivated and push them to continue contributing to the company’s goals. 

To help organizations in this regard, Workmates offers an efficient employee recognition software. This recognition and rewards platform can identify results of employee performance, increase engagement, and transform your company’s culture. In addition, you receive visibility over employee performance and can reward deserving professionals.  

Address Social Barriers to Work

Considering social barriers and addressing issues related to them can help many professionals to maintain efficiency at work. For example, assisting healthcare workers with relocation assistance can help the staff to work at urgent times or days. 

It also helps the staff to work flexibly when living with a high-risk family member who needs special attention. With 60% of rural areas having a shortage of primary care professionals. Giving such benefits can incentivize more people to keep working. 

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Improved Paid Leave

Employee retention in healthcare industry is directly proportional to burnout because it comes with no limitations. Every now and then, the medical staff deserves a vacation, especially because burnout is a recurring issue, and many people leave the scene because of it.

28% of respondents in a medical survey said they had quit a healthcare job due to burnout. Hence, the HR department needs to balance the work stress and help the staff maintain their health as well care for others.

Depending on your organization's current PTO policy, adding more vacation may not be an actionable goal. Instead, it’s best to restructure paid leaves throughout the year and encourage more workers to utilize their perks and rewind.

Implement Employee-led Initiatives

It is common for employers to experience stagnant employee engagement and even resignations. In such cases, the best way to implement employee retention in healthcare is to introduce people-led initiatives. These initiatives can be as basic as providing healthy snacks in the meditation or break room. The HR team can hand out forms or conduct surveys for staff views and concerns. Initiatives based on such data can increase staff autonomy and job satisfaction. 

HR Cloud and Workmates solutions can help HRs to retain employees, and employees can also  provide direct feedback through this portal. A report in the Journal of Healthcare Leadership showed that nurses who had autonomy rarely left their jobs despite the pressure.

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Know These Employee Retention Metrics

Measuring different aspects of employee retention in healthcare requires analyzing a variety of metrics. In collaboration with marketing teams, HR teams need to frame a viable healthcare marketing strategy to cater the requirement of healthcare professionals and prepare goal-based metrics for analysis.  

Based on your health organization’s goals, you can track the following metrics for an improved employee retention rate:

  1. Employee retention rate – It indicates a company’s ability to keep employees over a period of time, this should be above 90%.

  2. Category/age/gender retention rates – A high retention rate in a specific category gives a deeper insight into the root cause of lower or higher employee retention.

  3. Voluntary or Involuntary turnover – HR can identify the cause of low staffing by analyzing data on voluntary turnover, where employees leave for better opportunities, and involuntary turnover, where employees are laid off.

  4. Employee satisfaction rate – Satisfied and happy employees often end up working the longest. Career growth opportunities, recognition and additional benefits are some driving factors.

Wrapping Up

Human resource management in healthcare is vital to improve employee retention. While it may not be as visible to patients as doctors and nurses, it is the backbone of a hospital’s health. Employees are always looking for opportunities to grow professionally and advance their careers.

Hence, your organization’s HR team can use the above strategies to advance the career of the existing staff and maintain or rather increase the retention rate. Healthy and transparent work culture, balanced lifestyle, and recognition are the key strategies for the same.

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Author Bio:

This article is written by a marketing team member at HR Cloud. HR Cloud is a leading provider of proven HR solutions, including recruiting, onboarding, employee communications & engagement, and rewards & recognition. Our user-friendly software increases employee productivity, delivers time and cost savings, and minimizes compliance risk.

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