Employees are the lifeblood of any business. This is especially true for organizations in the healthcare industry. A well-engaged and happy staff is crucial to maintaining smooth operations and keeping employee turnover to a minimum. Operational efficiency and low employee turnover are desirable across all functions within healthcare, ranging from custodial staff to kitchen workers to clinical professionals. In the management of a happy healthcare workforce, acquiring, engaging, and retaining your top talent are high priorities. This blog explores how you can hire and retain better, happier, and more efficient healthcare employees.
Key points we are discussing in this blog are
- Why is Employee Retention and Engagement Crucial in Healthcare?
- Improving Employee Engagement and Retention in Healthcare
Why is Employee Retention and Engagement Crucial in Healthcare?
The employee turnover rate in the healthcare sector is among the highest in any industry. Turnover of clinical professionals like physicians and nurses are especially costly. Combined with the costs associated with finding replacements through direct hiring or medical staffing agencies, the expense of a high turnover rate quickly becomes prohibitive. Moreover, a high employee turnover rate will directly impact the quality of care and other health services your organization offers.
Many organizations lack structured frameworks for managing healthcare talent, a primary contributor to the high rate of turnover in the industry. In certain cases, healthcare providers do have a structure in place, but it has not stood the test of time, requiring a major shakeup or overhaul. In any case, the result remains the same as in any industry: employees move on to other competing businesses in search of more suitable career opportunities. Without a concrete, well-considered workforce management structure, employee engagement and retention are bound to suffer.
Improving Employee Engagement and Retention in Healthcare
It can be challenging to develop an effective strategy to retain and engage healthcare staff. The problem is compounded by the fact that there is a significant shortage of experienced healthcare professionals in the marketplace today. As a consequence, there is likely a staffing agency or a competitor making an offer to your best workers even as you read this. Effectively planning your workforce needs and deployment can help you manage a large number of medical workforce challenges before they arise. It’s one thing to prepare for turbulence in the workforce, but in order to consistently hire and retain the best talent from the outset, there are several things you can be doing today to optimize your efficiency.
New Medical Employee Onboarding
A comprehensive staffing program within the healthcare industry should place emphasis on making new hires feel comfortable, productive, and connected. What’s more, the program should accomplish all three of these things as soon as possible. Your onboarding protocols should make it very clear to new workers what their roles are, how they fit in the larger organization, and how they support the healthcare process.
Cultivating relationships during the onboarding process helps new employees feel included right from the start, the ultimate goal for any employer-employee relationship. Central to this is the establishment of a structure of onboarding and support for all new employees coming. This usually falls to the Human Resource managers, but it’s something the entire team should be considerate of. Support systems help bring new employees up to speed, resolve any queries they may have, and allow the entire team to gather feedback for ongoing improvements to the onboarding process.
Engaging with Existing Employees
In order for onboarding efforts to produce long-term results, you need to put due importance on engaging your existing employees as well. Work fulfillment is closely tied to how engaged an employee feels at the workplace. The more fulfilled an employee, the more likely he or she is to pursue their roles with passion, enthusiasm, and dedication. In healthcare, this has a positive impact on service delivery and the quality of care your organization offers. Happier healthcare employees equate to more optimized functionality across the organization.
There are a number of creative ways you can engage your medical workforce to limit the impact of recurrent employee turnover. For example:
- Offer professional and skill development programs, especially to clinical professionals.
- Offer a better work-life balance to employees, so they have more incentive to stay.
- Focus on mentorship programs and maintaining healthy working relationships.
- Recognize, highlight, and reward performance and success.
- Crystalize and encourage values like integrity, discipline, and equality.
- Offer leadership opportunities to promising employees.
- Create manageable but challenging job roles and responsibilities.
Retaining Top Talent
Of course, if you want your healthcare organization to survive a competitive business environment while still maintaining your edge, you will need to work on retaining your best healthcare talent. Your employee onboarding and engagement efforts should ultimately enable you to retain the best and most productive members of your workforce. We all understand how important employee retention is in any industry; it helps keep the exorbitant costs associated with finding suitable replacements to a minimum.
Below are a few tips modern healthcare companies use to make their organizations an appealing workplace for all types of employees:
- Diverse schedules and flexible hours to mitigate the long and unpredictable shifts.
- Streamline and remove obstacles from workflows, like filing paperwork manually.
- Annual one-on-one stay interviews with employees to see what can be improved for them.
- Gather feedback and take visible action to make your workplace friendly and inclusive.
Retaining employees in the healthcare industry presents its own unique set of challenges comprised of many different contributing factors. Your efforts to efficiently manage your workforce hinge on your organization’s ability to hire, engage with, and retain talented individuals. Many hiring managers prefer to work with agencies that offer contract, contract-to-hire, as well as temporary job services to source talent and integrate them into the larger workforce more seamlessly. When in doubt, an online search for “medical staffing agencies near me” can likely guide you to people experienced in connecting talented healthcare professionals with organizations like yours.