Written By Lucy Peters
In the current labor market, employee retention is more important than ever. Some are describing the current period as ” the great resignation.” With the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic causing many to reassess their employment and change jobs, this is doubly true in the healthcare industry, which was of course the industry most involved with dealing with the pandemic. Employers are looking for effective strategies to increase employee well-being and therefore retention, which will reduce turnover and costs associated with hiring new employees.
Why Do Employees Leave?
To come up with useful employee retention strategies, it is first important to understand why employees leave their positions. Once we understand this, we can attempt to mitigate these circumstances as much as possible. The two biggest quoted reasons are usually salary and benefits or feeling overworked. In the healthcare industry, the second option here is usually key. In fact, even pre-pandemic, the turnover rates of US hospitals were seeing a small but steady climb, reaching 19.5% in 2020. Replacing employees is expensive and time-consuming, which is why employee retention planning is also a budgetary issue. One sensible idea is to implement an exit interview or survey when an employee moves on, in which you ask them to outline exactly why they are leaving. This data will help you more effectively design your benefits and retain future employees.
Retaining employees is critical to building strong teams and nurturing talents. The key to employee retention is keeping employees both happy and motivated. This can be a particular struggle within healthcare, an industry where long hours and a high-stress environment is commonplace. All is not lost though, as there are still effective ways to increase happiness and motivation in any work environment, and they might just be the key to reducing your turnover rates.
Review Salaries And Provide Better Work Arrangements
The first thing that should be assessed is the salaries offered. Are they lower than the industry average? Remember, lower salaries may seem like a smart financial decision but can incur “hidden” costs if they are contributing to a high turnover rate, as money is spent on replacing and onboarding new employees. These days, employees are also seeking more flexible working arrangements, and this should be implemented wherever possible.
Make Employees Feel Valued
The next step is to ensure employees feel rewarded outside of salary. Some of the most effective ways to reward employees don’t have to cost the earth, and although salary should be considered here, smaller gestures can go a long way in making an employee feel valued – rewarding employees on a budget is perfectly possible. One idea you could implement is to start weekly or monthly lunches to build morale and foster teamwork. Also, ensure hard work is recognized – for example, the gesture of sending a card can go a long way and lets employees know their work is being noticed.
Offering wellness perks such as discounted gym memberships or free classes are also a great idea, as employees that are fit and healthy are much more likely to be happy. Regular surveys where employees can express their concerns or ideas is a great option – as long as you then act on these. Not only will this increase workplace morale but it also gives your employees the chance to change their working environment for the better, empowering them to do better work.
Employee retention can be a particular struggle within the healthcare industry, which has such a high turnover rate. However, there are some important strategies that can be implemented to help mitigate this. Offering perks to increase employee happiness will go a long way, but overall, the most important thing is understanding why employees leave. The use of employee surveys will help you optimise your strategy and create a working environment that they want to be in.
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