Renal Advantage Inc. (RAI) faced a predicted 20% gap in the supply and demand of nurses by 2020 and the knowledge that 17% of healthcare workers are dissatisfied. They needed to figure out how to retain their employees and avoid high turnover.
- Work Institute conducted incumbent interviews to target three key areas of improvement: the perception of RAI as an employer, the quality of supervisor performance, and overall turnover
- The number of people who rated of RAI as an employer as “excellent” increased by 22%
- The number of people who rated their supervisor as “excellent” increased by 10%
- The number of employees with an intent to leave within the first year at RAI decreased from 22% to 16%
Founded by veteran healthcare professionals in Brentwood, Tennessee, Renal Advantage Inc. (RAI) is one of the nation’s leading providers of dialysis services. Committed to employee satisfaction, Renal Advantage decided that its competitive advantage would be its workforce. Senior leadership at RAI recognized that while they were not the largest provider of dialysis services in the U.S., they could differentiate themselves as an employer of choice. "We believe our employees are a primary customer,” said Linda Meador, VP of HR at RAI.
In their pursuit of becoming a preferred employer, Renal Advantage, Inc. partnered with Work Institute (WI) to learn more about the preferences, expectations, and intents of their workforce in order to drive action at the most local level. Focused on the perception of RAI as an employer, the quality of supervisor performance, and overall turnover, RAI and WI designed and distributed a questionnaire comprised of a 5 point scale and follow up questions such as “Why?” and “What would it take to get an excellent rating?” By employing WI as a confidential, third party, RAI had the specific advantage of ensuring the honesty and accuracy of the data it was receiving.
After reviewing the data and conducting an initial analysis, Meador and Christie Carlisle, Director of HR, traveled to each region to equip supervisors with the tools and techniques to implement action plans and reach the company’s goals. For both the perception of RAI as an employer and the quality of supervisor performance, all supervisors were responsible for driving the percent of fair/poor responses below 15% and the percent of excellent responses above 30%. RAI also endeavored to have the total “intent to leave within one year” be less than 15%.
Following the initial training and goal setting, supervisors had three months to evaluate their own data and present action plans to their Center and Regional Directors. The qualitative data provided them with the direction to build and execute action plans that would properly address the concerns of their direct employees. For these supervisors, the quantitative rating scores coupled with verbatim responses allowed each supervisor to gain a robust understanding of his or her strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement. By the end of that year, RAI had evaluated the effects of these interventions through employee pulse surveys. They found that from 2006 to 2008, these programs drastically increased satisfaction with RAI as an employer (22%) and with their supervisors (10%), while employee intent to leave notably decreased from 22% to 16%.
Surprised and pleased with their success, RAI continues to conduct pulse surveys every six months and make the changes required for employee satisfaction. Due to their dedication to continuous workforce improvement, in 2008, Renal Advantage, Inc. was designated as a five-star Certified Preferred Employer (CPE) by Work Institute. This status exemplifies the high employee satisfaction, as well as serves as a significant recruiting tool, attracting key talent to the company.