Renal Advantage, Inc
Employer engagement interviews lower turnover

The Success Story

Employee turnover can cost as much as 33% of the departing employee’s pay. Decrease turnover costs and increase productivity by implementing an EmployER Engagement model to drive organizational change. Find out the real reasons employees are at risk of leaving and the issues that are causing their disengagement. 

The Challenge

Renal Advantage, Inc. (RAI) was formed by combining 73 freestanding dialysis centers when two companies merged. After the merger, RAI wanted to see how their employees were affected because of their employee disengagement and 42% turnover rate.

The Solution

Work Institute implemented an EmployER Engagement program which targeted their entire employee population.

The EmployER Engagement interview program used qualitative and quantitative methods to measure employees’ perception of RAI as an employer and the quality of supervisor performance, as well as their intent to stay at the organization.

The Impact

  • The number of employees that rated their employer as “excellent” increased by 22%
  • The number of employees that rated their supervisor as “excellent” increased by 10%
  • The number of employees with an intent to leave the organization within the first year of employment dropped from 22% to 16%
  • Reduced overall turnover from 24% to 12%

Commitment To Improvement

RAI was formed with the purchase of 73 freestanding dialysis centers when two dialysis service providers, DaVita Inc. and Gambro Healthcare, merged. After the merger, RAI leadership was interested to see exactly how their employees were affected. Meador explained, “We wanted to be able to understand our employees’ wants, needs, and their perception of the organization at the time. We needed to get a really good feel for how well we did with the integration of two very different companies.”

Senior Leadership at RAI recognized that while they were never going to be the largest provider of dialysis services in the United States, they would to differentiate themselves as a preferred employer. Therefore, the competitive advantage would be their workforce.

With an aging nursing population, a predicted 20% gap in the supply and demand of nurses by 2020, and the knowledge that 17% of healthcare workers are dissatisfied, Linda Meador and her team understood just how costly turnover can be. To realize their desired competitive advantage, RAI chose to focus on two major areas related to clinical employees: Supply/Demand & Attraction/Retention.

Taking Action

To reduce costs associated with employee disengagement and turnover, Renal Advantage Inc. partnered with Work Institute to first conduct baseline EmployER Engagement interviews with the entire employee population. RAI needed to know the preferences, expectations, and intents of their workforce in order to drive action at the most local level. Keeping their finger on the pulse of the workforce provided the organization with the opportunity to address disengagement before employees walk out the door.

RAI focused on three key areas for improvement: the perception of RAI as an employer, the quality of supervisor performance, and overall turnover. For both the perception of RAI as an employer and the quality of supervisor performance, all supervisors were responsible for driving the of fair/poor responses below 15%. The Human Resources (HR) Department at RAI served as the key driver of this process. To maximize RAI’s ability to set targets and measure the progress toward their goals, a 5-point rating scale question design (Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor) was used. Follow up questions such as “Why?” and “What would it take to get an excellent rating?” allowed Work Institute researchers to probe employees for more detailed information. The qualitative data provided the organization and its leaders with actionable data that drove evidence-based decisions to earn employee’s highest endorsement.

In February 2006, Work Institute interviewed the entire workforce, to gather baseline data, and goals were established based on the initial results. Then in October 2006, Work Institute interviewed 50% of the workforce to begin the biannual EmployER Engagement interviews. Once the two data points had been collected and analyzed in early 2007, Meador and Christie Carlisle, Director of Human Resources, traveled to each RAI region to equip supervisors with the tools and techniques to build and execute action plans.

Following the initial training and goal setting, supervisors had three months to evaluate their own data and present the action plans to their Center and Regional Directors. 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 2007, RAI’s Human Resources team had evaluated all interventions and celebrated the success of the evidence-based action planning initiative using data obtained from the employee pulse stay interviews.

Following the internal adjustments, EmployER Engagement Studies indicate that satisfaction with RAI drastically increased between 2006 and 2008. The number of employees that rated their employers as “excellent” increased by 22%; the number of employees rating their supervisors as “excellent” improved by 10%; and the number of employees with an intent to leave within the first year at RAI decreased from 22% to 16%. RAI leadership came away “surprised that we were able to hit some of our targets so quickly.”

Over a four-year period where the baseline study and the action planning process was repeated, RAI was also able to reduce turnover substantially to 12%. RAI measured the cost of patient care delivery and found it to be the lowest in the dialysis industry.

Renal Advantage, Inc (RAI) Today

Formerly based in Brentwood, Tennessee, Renal Advantage Incorporated provided dialysis services to patients with chronic kidney failure, also known as end-stage renal disease (ESRD). In 2010, RAI was acquired by Liberty Dialysis and subsequently Liberty was acquired by Fresenius Medical Care.