Employee retention strategies or rewarding employees on a budget help employers keep their ranks full and support a candidate’s professional development. A continued employment presence provides a strong foundation for your business, but it also requires thought and effort from both the employer and the employee to reach an agreement that works for everyone involved.
During this pandemic, healthcare employees have been cited as some of the most desirable in America by many reputable sources, including U.S. News & World Report.
These professions remain in high demand across the country, making them excellent choices for candidates looking for stable career paths in a growing industry with room for advancement.
The top retention strategies for healthcare employers to implement include predictable scheduling, professional development opportunities, collaborative efforts with managers, and upbeat company cultures.
Of course, one of the most significant indicators of an employer’s commitment to its staff is how it handles schedules. A healthy work-life balance becomes increasingly difficult if employees don’t know when they’ll be working or how many hours they can bill during certain times of the year.
The American Staffing Association stressed this point in a recent blog post to provide insight into the offshoring trend over some industries. “As companies continue to offshore labor-intensive services like manufacturing and IT, the expectation is that hiring will slow down,” wrote ASA. “However, contrary to this trend, hourly hiring is on the rise, especially in healthcare staffing.”
Instead of relying on high-volume hiring blitzes that can leave employees feeling burned out or left behind, healthcare employers should use technology tools to help them predict labor needs.
Advanced scheduling platforms give employers the power to adjust schedules based on variables like weather forecasts and seasonal demands. Other features include alerts for upcoming absence requests, FMLA paperwork tracking, and communication tools to inform team members about changes to their work hours or shifts.
Professional Development Opportunities
It’s common for new hires in the healthcare industry to get thrown right into the fire with little training or guidance from experienced professionals. However, offering professional development opportunities can keep seasoned employees engaged even after reaching their highest career aspirations.
Healthcare employers can offer continued education opportunities by providing tuition reimbursement programs. They can also encourage employees to seek out courses that will advance their careers in the long term, including general continuing education credits or specialization training aligned with a professional certification.
Collaborative Efforts With Managers
Backed by efficient scheduling tools and well-rounded development programs, managers are better equipped to work collaboratively with their teams to provide exceptional patient service while still retaining valuable team members. “We’ve found when turnover is low, it’s usually because managers are successfully managing through all four levels of Maslow’s hierarchy,” wrote ASA.
Managers should lead by example in this process, encouraging productive communication between departments and levels of care providers at all times. By doing so, healthcare employers can focus on building cohesive management teams to resolve conflict positively.
Upbeat Company Culture
The most important of all retention strategies for any industry is the need for upbeat company culture. Without this piece, everything else falls apart. Workplace expert Theresa Brown commented on this as guest editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, where she talked about some new research around job satisfaction and patient safety.
She explained that hospitals with more satisfied employees had fewer medical errors than those that frowned upon taking breaks or allowed their staff members to voice their concerns about anything from unsafe environments to unclear protocols.
“The common denominator among-morale health care organizations was a strong commitment to the values of respect and appreciation for staff,” wrote Brown. “These organizations rewarded employees who asked questions, sought input from their peers, brought potential problems forward, and acted responsibly.”
The American Staffing Association offers several resources for employers looking to retain their valuable healthcare talent. These include free samples of articles that can be adapted to suit your organization, as well as an extensive online library containing guides on everything from policies and procedures to recruitment.
By taking advantage of these resources, healthcare employers will develop retention strategies that suit their company culture while also creating a positive work environment that’s rewarding for everyone involved.