There’s a growing demand for skilled clinicians and caregivers across the entirety of healthcare as our population ages and requires more services. Organizations are in fierce competition with each other not only for hiring, but also for retaining the most qualified professionals in the field. In order to be successful, organizations need to evaluate their teams to determine if they have the right players on the roster and work on steps to keep them satisfied and content enough to stick with them for the long haul.

Why Do Employees Leave?

Common reasons for employee turnover can be attributed to training and supervisor experience. Organizational success in healthcare is established by creating the best possible care outcomes for patients. The fast-paced evolution of the industry leaves a tremendous amount of opportunity for ongoing training and education. Staff that are educated and well-trained in their roles tend to produce better outcomes for the organization, which leads to feelings of personal success. This helps individuals feel more connected and invested in their employer, leading to greater loyalty. Organizations who are negligent in providing opportunities for training could see a whopping 144 percent in turnover.

Additionally, there’s management to consider. There’s truth to the old saying, “Employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers.” Individuals leave organizations when they do not feel supported by direct managers. If they feel like their managers do not care for them as people or project an environment of superiority, employees are more likely to feel alienated and leave the organization.

Lower turnover can equate to better care for patients. It’s a pretty simple concept – employees who are satisfied with their roles are generally happier and provide great results.

What You Can Do About It

Start by measuring your organization’s retention and turnover rates. What’s the average for your industry? Do some research to establish what your organization’s retention rate goal is and determine where your current rate falls in relationship to it. While organizations should aim for a low rate, they should not aim for zero percent turnover. Sometimes individuals need to leave in order for groups to evolve and grow.

If you’re currently meeting your goal, evaluate what aspects your organization has in place that keeps your team happy and maintain those practices. If you have some improving to do, work to reduce your turnover incrementally instead of in one fell swoop. Drastically “cleaning house” often doesn’t bode well for morale across the board.

Train your leaders to lead properly. Remember, people don’t leave companies, they leave people they perceive as bad supervisors. Make sure your supervisors understand the responsibility and privileges of being a supervisor. Too often we promote individuals who do a great job in their roles to a supervisor or team lead position to reward them for their excellence, but we neglect to provide them with tools to be a successful leader. Sometimes the power of leadership feeds egos. If not equipped properly, they become an unintentional barrier to retaining potentially the best individuals.

Hire better. Consider interviewing tactics that assesses a candidate’s behavior in situations that they may have experienced before. Find out what they’ve done in the past that’s similar to the demands of the position to ensure they are a good fit. When a candidate is selected, their onboarding process should become top priority. Use this time to educate, inform and build connections among peers, colleagues and supervisors. New employees who have a thorough onboarding process within their first 30 days are more likely to stay with an organization.

Understand your employees. As candidates in the workforce evolve, so does their definition of a successful and fulfilling career. Find out what motivates and engages your employees. How do they define success? Do they feel like part of the team? Do they have meaningful relationships with their peers? How do you work with them to alleviate stress? When these are established, provide them with a path to achieve satisfaction in these areas. Employees who believe their organization provides support that is unique to their values, tend to exhibit more long-term dedication.

Provide efficient and effective tools to keep them motivated. Once you’ve determined that you’ve recruited the best and brightest, it’s time to ensure that you keep them for the long haul. The tools they have at hand to execute their role are essential to their satisfaction. Think about your current electronic health record (EHR) solution. It should be intuitive, easy-to-use, adaptable and resourceful, and should allow your clinicians to make the best decisions possible. It should evolve to help meet the complex and growing needs of healthcare while also used to help drive knowledge and wisdom in real-time to help improve outcomes. Clinicians want to ultimately save time, reduce potential errors and improve overall care. When they have the tools that help make things easier to accomplish, their satisfaction increases.

When it comes down to it, an organization’s biggest asset are its people. It’s about how they are treated and if they feel valued enough that their employer invests in them and for them, whether it’s in training, education or in providing the tools they need to get their job done efficiently. As an organization, it’s time to take stock of everything from your interview and s processes to ongoing training and team-building practices to ensure your staff are getting what they need.

Click here to check out our latest webinar, “Building Your Dream Team for Success in 2018 – Attracting and Retaining the Right Clinical Staff,” to learn more about recruiting and retaining the best employees for your organization.