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How to Improve Employee Retention in Healthcare

Employee retention is the ability of an organization to keep its employees. A high retention rate indicates they are satisfied with their jobs and less likely to leave their employer. Retaining talented and experienced staff members in the healthcare industry is crucial because it directly influences the quality of patient care and overall contentment. Increased employee turnover can lead to medical errors and lower patient satisfaction.


Why Healthcare Employee Retention Matters

According to polling data from the healthcare advocacy group Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), staffing tops the list of healthcare industry challenges. In 2022, hospital staff exit rates ranged from 19.5% for hospitals, 94% at nursing homes, and 65% for residential caregivers. Most workers either voluntarily quit due to burnout or moved where there was better work-life balance, a better schedule, or to an organization with a perceived better culture.

High employee churn rates are a burden for healthcare organizations, both in terms of finances and resources, known as direct and indirect costs. All turnover-related direct costs include recruiting, onboarding, and training new staff to fill human resource deficits with expensive contract workers. Indirect turnover costs can include, but are not limited to, reduced productivity during this time, as managers focus on hiring, and new employees take time to get up to speed.

Another overlooked yet significant direct cost of employee turnover is lower morale for those who remain. They’re forced to work harder to fill gaps for subpar wages than the contract workers hired to provide temporary coverage. When experienced employees leave, valuable knowledge and skills are lost, which can hurt the quality of care given due to an imbalanced workload.


Leveraging Stay Interviews

Stay interviews, as advocated by Work Institute, are a proactive approach to understanding and addressing employee concerns before they decide to leave. Unlike traditional exit interviews conducted after an employee has resigned, stay interviews identify potential retention issues and mitigate them in real time. Engaging employees in meaningful conversations about their job satisfaction, career aspirations, and concerns allows employers to demonstrate their commitment to employee well-being.

Work Institute uses exit interviews to uncover valuable insights into employee perceptions and experiences within healthcare organizations. Through comprehensive data analysis, we identify trends and patterns that inform targeted retention strategies. Our exit interview services offer flexible participation options, including web-based surveys and live telephonic interviews, to ensure convenience and accessibility for all employees.


Tackling Employee Retention in Healthcare

Several strategies exist that healthcare organizations can implement to optimize employee retention. The key areas to focus on include:

Ensuring Work-Life Balances

One effective way to improve healthcare employee retention is prioritizing work-life balance. Long hours, demanding schedules, and stressful environments are typical in healthcare settings, thus contributing to burnout and turnover. Employers can mitigate these challenges by enforcing flexible scheduling options, providing adequate time off, and promoting wellness initiatives.

Recognizing Your Employees’ Efforts

The healthcare environment is fast-paced and often filled with heightened tension. Hence, acknowledging medical personnel’s hard work and achievements can boost morale and motivation.

Feedback from employees can drive changes, showing them that their effort is being recognized. This allows for a mutual relationship and shows both parties have obligations to one another.

Simple gestures such as verbal praise, employee appreciation events, or reward programs can greatly help with employee satisfaction and retention. Workers who feel valued for their contributions are likelier to remain loyal to their organization.


Employee Retention in Healthcare Made Easy With Work Institute

Work Institute is a B2B consulting firm specializing in employee retention strategies using scientifically backed methodologies to reduce turnover and enhance employee engagement. We help employers understand the importance of employee satisfaction through interviews and surveys, particularly within the healthcare industry.

Our Stay Interviews allow employees to provide honest feedback about their reasons for leaving an organization. This information can be used to identify areas for improvement. Work Institute also offers leadership development programs to help managers create positive work environments and support their employees’ professional growth. It leads to a more stable workforce, quality patient care, and increased financial performance. Request a call from our workforce experts to discuss how we can refine your healthcare employee retention strategies.


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