Healthcare HR and Employee Retention: 6 Key Factors to Consider
One of the largest growing concerns among employers across all industries is retaining high-performing and high-potential employees. In fact, 46 percent of HR professionals cite employee retention/turnover as the top workforce management challenge in 2016, an increase from 25 percent in 2012.
As healthcare organizations continue to face labor shortages and the pool of quality talent tightens—due to growing opportunities domestically and abroad—retaining valuable employees has never become more vital. Here are six practices to consider as you review or develop your employee retention strategy for today's and tomorrow's changing workforce.
1. Onboarding Process
More than 15 percent of new hires leave within the first three months, according to a survey by BambooHR. You have a short window to make sure they’re happy, so it must start with focusing less on paperwork and processes and more on activating employees, physicians, contractors, partners and so on, says Amber Hyatt, Vice President of Product Marketing at SilkRoad, a cloud-based talent-management solutions company. Once they're active on the practicing floor, they want to adapt quickly and do meaningful work; thus, you must establish an onboarding process that's seamless and easy to navigate.
2. Benefits Packages
Nearly one-third of organizations increased their overall benefits offerings this year to remain competitive in today’s challenging talent marketplace—and this is most likely to include health (22%) and wellness benefits (24%), according to the latest Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) Employee Benefits Survey. “Benefits can be leveraged to help with common recruiting strategies, including increasing retention efforts, expanding training programs to help improve skills of new hires, using/enhancing an employee referral program, offering more flexible work arrangements, providing monetary incentives to candidates (e.g., signing bonus) and offering new job perks, the report states.
3. Wellness Programs
In addition to benefits packages, Millennials and Gen Z both have expressed high interest in employer-provided wellness programs, 58 percent and 54 percent, respectively, states global career expert Dana Manciagli. It’s not just about physical health anymore. Many companies are expanding their benefits programs to include all aspects of employees’ well-being such as flexible work policies and paid-time-off days for volunteer work.
4. Stay Interviews
Stay interviews—sometimes referred to as retention interviews—are an important process to consider when looking for a solution to high turnover rates and getting a pulse on employee satisfaction. “The results of a stay interview give you knowledge about what the organization can improve and how you can retain your remaining, valued employees—now,” says human resources expert Susan Heathfield. It’s critical that employees have a high level of trust in the conversation and can speak freely about any concerns or needs they may have.
5. Staff Recognition
Eighty-one percent of companies use recognition in one form or another, according to survey findings from SHRM and Globoforce. Not only does acknowledging and thanking workers help HR address many issues such as retention, but most HR professionals also said their company’s recognition practices had a positive effect on engagement, culture and employee happiness, says Jen Schramm, Manager of the Workforce Trends program at SHRM. Recognizing your top performers can truly make a difference in motivating your staff to provide the best patient care.
6. Employee Engagement
Healthcare organizations are underperforming compared to other industries, with nearly 30 percent of employees leaving within their first year of employment, according to joint research by PwC and the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA). Also, the latest Gallup report states that only 33 percent of the workforce across all sectors is engaged—which leaves much room for improvement for healthcare employers. High levels of engagement can significantly impact care while also lowering costs, implementing change, and reducing employee turnover.
Developing an effective employee retention strategy requires buy-in from the top down. It also necessitates a culture that values its employees and invests in their overall well-being. How is your healthcare organization supporting these initiatives? Please share; we’d love to hear from you.