The healthcare industry is constantly changing. From the ongoing pandemic to the increasing patient load, this industry has to bear a lot in the past few years. But while the health organizations struggle to deal with this load, health workers’ turnover adds to the already present burden. Several healthcare workers leave their facilities only within a few years. And though we often ignore this subject, staff retention is one of the biggest issues in this sector.
Why is it important to retain the healthcare workforce?
Although we usually don’t consider employee recruitment as an expensive procedure, it is one. And in the healthcare sector, the expenses can even make a dent in the entire budget of the hospital. On top of that, it is a hectic process and can take up to days or weeks until you find someone worth hiring. The recent pandemic has been significant in developing this realization among health administrators worldwide, as it has caused some great burden on the overall sector.
Like every other industry, a shortage of healthcare staff develops significant consequences on healthcare quality. It further causes a serious burden on those already working, resulting in burnout issues. Lack of healthcare staff also develops greater probabilities for the occurrence of medical malpractice or negligence.
However, with the rise in the demand for healthcare, more and more nurses are enrolling themselves in BSN to DNP degree programs to up skill their career prospects. Sometimes these nurses require expert supervision for further learning and development in work settings, which is impossible without retaining your competent workforce.
So instead of wasting your time on hiring professionals every now and then, focus on the ways to retain professionals you already have. You know their work, potential, and, more importantly, their work ethics. And if you find a way to make them stay, you can skip the entire process of recruitment easily. Below are some ways that can help you retain your work army.
1. Foster open communication
One of the critical issues in the health sector is the communication gap between managers and staff. Until you don’t know the issues, you cannot adopt changes to retain the workforce. Most health professionals often change their jobs because they feel that they deserve better opportunities in terms of work environment, career uplift, etc. But since many health facilities are unaware of their staff’s requirements, they remain unsuccessful in fulfilling their expectations.
So, if you’re struggling to maintain your workers, try building a connection with them. Also, it is best to encourage open communication at the workplace to know more about their issues. That way, you will build a loyal workforce who’ll stay with you and serve their responsibilities with dedication.
2. Offer flexible duty hours
Everybody knows that the medical field follows hectic duty schedules. And while health aspirants know about this problem, they try to fit well in the duty hours that can help in managing work-life balance. Long-term and inflexible duty hours can also cause burnout issues among employees. To avoid this problem, health facilities should offer flexible duty hours with proper lunch breaks.
Notably, providing flexibility in work hours increases their productivity to a greater extent. And later, they tend to show this productivity with improved work dedication. Meaning, a little relaxation on your part cannot only help you retain your employees but also improve healthcare outcomes.
3. Build the spirit of teamwork
Medicine practice is heavily dependent on good teamwork. Many health professionals look forward to their work if they have a compatible team. That is why, if you want to retain your workforce, you should build the spirit of teamwork among them. Develop leaders who know how to get the most of their members without exhausting them.
Many health facilities even arrange morning meetings where they connect while discussing work problems. Moreover, team leaders also bridge the gap between hospital management and workers. Once you create a work environment that feels like home to your employees, they’ll serve you happily.
4. Give fair compensation and don’t hold back on bonuses
Even with a great work environment, you can’t hold your workers if you don’t pay them what they deserve. Salaries can make or break a person’s perspective for his or her job. So, if you want to retain your staff, you have to provide them with a competitive salary. Not only that, but you also have to pay them back for their efforts in the form of bonuses or other job benefits.
Although it may sound weird, this process isn’t as difficult as it sounds. All you need is some extra employee benefits that’ll help you retain your work army for a long time. You don’t even have to spend a lot on these, in fact, they’re often cheap. Some examples of these benefits include gym membership, free health checkups, transport, etc. Once you introduce these changes in your policy, you’ll see a great change in the overall work potential shortly.
Also, that way, you can show your employees that you value their hard work. And once they understand that their management acknowledges their efforts, they’ll pay you back by staying in your facility and showing loyalty and commitment towards work.
In a nutshell
The health sector is one of the busiest industries in the world. And while it has a huge work burden, hospitals often struggle to retain their workforce. Above, we discussed various ways to retain the healthcare workforce for better healthcare services.