June 1st, 2022 | Sterling

Four Ways to Achieve Better Employee Retention in Healthcare

Healthcare HR professionals are always seeking new ways to improve their hiring strategies and getting creative when sourcing talent. Although it’s crucial to find qualified workers, it’s just as vital to retaining your current workforce. According to a recent NSI Nursing Solutions report, the turnover rate in hospitals now stands at 25.9%, resulting in the average hospital losing between $5.2M-$9.0M each year in associated turnover costs.

Addressing employee retention can help lower costs associated with hiring, boost employee morale, and reduce turnover. Consider these four approaches when looking to build or update your retention strategy.

1. Recruiting the Right Person

When looking to improve your organization’s employee retention strategy, it’s important that you start by first confirming exactly who you’re hiring. Talent that best aligns with your organizational culture will be more engaged and satisfied in their role. Hiring the right candidate can also encourage a workplace focused on trust and safety for both your staff and your patients. Conducting an accurate background check can further contribute to this goal.

However, moving too quickly to onboard new talent can be financially costly: the average cost of a bad hiring decision is at least 30% of the individual’s first-year expected earnings. Failure to run an in-depth background check on your candidates can impact the general morale and productivity of your current employees who may find themselves having to ‘carry’ the unqualified new hire.

Streamlining your background screening process can provide the level of detail needed to address workplace safety and help you to hire with confidence.. A background check partner offering healthcare-specific solutions and deep market expertise can also help you stay compliant with federal, state, and local healthcare regulations, especially if you operate across multiple states.

2. Making a Positive First Impression With Onboarding

First impressions are everything. A smooth onboarding experience can make a big difference in your new hire’s first experience with your organization. While onboarding and retention are commonly seen as two separate HR strategies, there is actually considerable overlap between the two. Research by Glassdoor shows that organizations that have an engaging onboarding process can improve the retention of new hires by 82%.

When onboarding goes well, the benefits from increased employee engagement directly impact organizational success. Employees who go through an effective and detailed onboarding program quickly become more productive, are more likely to be enthusiastic about their organization, and ultimately can become a brand ambassador for your organization.

Developing a 30/60/90 plan for onboarding can set your new employee up for success. By creating a transparent guide enabling your new employee to understand what’s expected of them during their first 90 days, they can quickly transition from being a ‘new hire’ to a full-on contributor to your organization.

3. Investing in Your Employee’s Professional Growth

Taking part in your employee’s professional development is a powerful investment in your organization’s success. Providing opportunities for learning new skills not only contributes to your employee’s confidence in their role but also encourages them to stay and grow along with your organization. In LinkedIn’s 2018 Workplace Learning Report, 94% of employees stated they would stay with a company longer if it actively invested in their careers.

Since the healthcare industry must always keep up with new research and developments, employees have to stay current with today’s needs. Here are some ways to show that you value your employee’s professional development:

  • Ensure a clear employee development plan for career advancement
  • Provide training opportunities to learn and develop new skills
  • Offer employee mentorship opportunities so your more-experienced employees can help newer employees learn the ins and outs of your organization and make valuable contributions
  • Start a leadership development program that can provide them with the tools they need to grow in their careers

4. Allowing Time to Unwind

Burnout has greatly impacted the workforce since the Covid-19 pandemic, and healthcare workers are at the front lines. A Mental Health America survey showed that 76% of healthcare workers reported that they experienced exhaustion or burnout in the last three months. Ongoing staffing shortages and high demand for health services haven’t made this issue any easier. Unfortunately, employees are more likely to consider career changes once burnout sets in.

Fostering a supportive environment that encourages employee mental health and wellness shows that you care about their wellbeing. This effort goes beyond just discussion and providing resources: management needs to lead by example and show that it’s okay to take a break. There are many ways to encourage taking some time to unwind, depending on your resources available:

  • Some hospitals have converted their traditional break rooms into renewal rooms,’ allowing healthcare workers to relax in a more peaceful environment
  • Animal therapy, although generally reserved for patients, can be another great stress reliever
  • Bringing in an instructor during a break to teach meditation techniques in a group setting can promote an atmosphere of inclusion and motivation among your employees
  • Simply taking a short walk outside is a great way to recharge and regroup

Conclusion Healthcare employee retention continues to be an ongoing challenge to health systems, but by recognizing and addressing these areas which play a part in retaining your employees, you can improve employee engagement and help keep your most valuable workers.

Sterling is not a law firm. This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.