Workers in healthcare put other people’s well-being before their own for a living. But why isn’t more being done for them in the workplace?
And in an environment where lives are at stake, hospitals have become a revolving door. Workers are constantly leaving, but the number of occupied beds is staying steady, if not rising. So hospitals need to start thinking of strategies for employee retention if they want to keep their workers from leaving.
NSI Nursing Solutions, Inc released a survey in 2014, revealing alarming data about the healthcare industry:
- The current turnover rate for the healthcare industry is 16.5%
- The average cost of turnover for a bedside RN (registered nurse) ranges from $44,380 to $63,400
- Hospitals lose an average of $4.21 million to $6.02 million when a bedside RN leaves
Turnover is costly. Hospitals are losing massive amounts of money from just one employee leaving. But with an annual rate of 16.5%, it could cost the hospital roughly $732,000 per year—and that’s just the turnover cost if only bedside RNs, not doctors or other specialists, left.
So how can healthcare facilities start putting together a retention strategy? Data from a careerbuilder study helps outline ways to lock down these healthcare workers.
Create an environment of growth: Over 50% of respondents said lack of advancement opportunities was the biggest workplace challenge. So like any employee in any other industry, show them a development path and create objectives they can work towards.
Provide sufficient staffing: 69% said the caregiver-to-patient ratio has gotten worse. Healthcare workers deal with a lot of stress every day, and overworking them with extra responsibilities isn’t going to do the employee or patient any good. Supply them with the support they need to get the job done and get the job done well.
Create a strong organizational culture: 37% say lack of culture is a workplace challenge. Incorporate a set of values, build a clear vision, and make sure employees are aware of the organization’s mission. These are all guidelines to help strengthen the workplace culture.
Assign a mentor: 25% say lack of a mentor makes work more challenging. In a high-risk environment, it’s always helpful to have someone there to provide feedback, guide, and coach.
Healthcare workers are very valuable, and leaders need to start showing that they care about their workforce. By building a stronger culture, providing the needed support, and offering developmental opportunities, hospitals can look to improve employee retention. But without a strategic plan in place, the turnover rate will continue to rise.