Why Healthcare Employees Leave: And How to Attract and Retain Top Talent

Many healthcare organizations struggle to retain talent. Unfortunately, this leads to big losses.
A median turnover in the emergency medical services (EMS) space costs an agency $72,000, according to Prehospital Emergency Care.
Meanwhile, the average cost of a turnover for a bedside RN is $52,100, causing the average hospital to lose $4.4 million to $6.9 million. Some healthcare organizations spend 5% of their annual operating budget on employee turnover and related expenses.
By emphasizing employee retention and minimizing patient turnover, healthcare organizations can save millions of dollars per year.
Today, we’re explaining why employees leave – and how today’s top healthcare organizations are attracting and retaining top talent.

Top 3 Reasons Employees Leave

Healthcare employees leave organizations for any number of different reasons. However, one study found that professional development, poor work-life balance, and bad managers were responsible for most departures.
According to a study featured in Employee Benefits News, 75% of the reasons employees leave could be prevented. Here are the top 3 reasons employees leave, according to that study:
Career Development: When healthcare organizations fail to give professional development opportunities to employees, they’re more likely to leave. Thanks to several recessions, employees understand the importance of having specialized skills. If organizations fail to invest in employee training initiatives, or if organizations fail to give employees professional opportunities, employees are likely to leave for greener pastures.
Work-Life Balance: Many employees leave organizations because of poor work-life balance. Work-life balance is important among all age groups, but it’s particularly important among millennials and parents (a class that is increasingly becoming blurred). Even older adults seek good work-life balance as they seek to care for increasingly aging parents.
Management Behavior: Good employee-manager relationships are crucial to retaining talent. Training your managers to treat employees well has always been important, but it’s more important today than it has been with past generations. Employees, particularly younger employees, are more likely to stick with an organization when that organization treats them well.

1) Top 5 Ways to Reduce Employee Turnover

75% of employee turnover is preventable. By targeting and reducing preventable employee turnover, healthcare organizations can have a meaningful impact on their bottom line.
Foster a Positive Work Environment
Millennials increasingly value a positive work environment over salary and other benefits. Millennials are willing to take a pay cut if it means working in a less stressful position with better work-life balance.
According to the Harvard Business Review, healthcare organizations can have a negative work environment because of the following issues:
The Stress of Hierarchy Positions: High-stress jobs have 50% higher healthcare expenses than low-stress jobs. A company’s work environment could literally increase healthcare costs and have a significant impact on employee health.
Employee Disengagement: Disengaged workers are 37% more likely to skip work, according to a study by the Queens School of Business. Disengaged workers are also more likely to cause accidents, make errors, or produce work with defects.
Low Loyalty: Workplace stress decreases employee loyalty, making it 50% more likely for employees to leave.

2) Promote Communication & Feedback Among Employees

Even employees at the best-run organizations have issues. When employees have issues, it’s crucial they have a way to communicate and provide feedback related to those issues.
Take the time to build a relationship with employees. Foster communication with employees. Let employees know they can approach you with various challenges and issues.
Organizations with poor manager-employee relationships can stifle this communication, leading to low employee retention, bad patient care, and overall organizational issues. When employees feel they cannot communicate with managers, it’s bad for any healthcare organization.

3) Invest in Career Development

When organizations invest in an individual’s career development, it reduces the chances of that individual leaving. Individuals like to feel valued. They want to know an employer is investing in their future and their skills.
Invest in an employee’s career development. Invest in employee certifications and educational initiatives.
By investing in career development, you not only get a better employee – you get a more loyal employee. By combining career development with other strategies listed here, healthcare organizations can maximize employee retention.

4) Emphasize Employee Safety

Healthcare organizations that fail to invest in employee safety are unlikely to retain top talent.
This lesson is particularly true during the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare organizations that did not invest in employee safety early observed a mass exodus of employees.
Employees want to feel valued. They want to feel like more than just a number. They want to feel like human beings with real goals, needs, and safety concerns. When a healthcare organization ignores all of that, it leads to poor employee retention.

5) Invest in Customized Workplace Training

Not all employees learn the same way. Some employees will appreciate your learning initiatives – while others will feel left behind because it’s not catered to their learning system.
Millennial employees tend to learn differently than older employees, for example. As millennials continue to dominate the workforce, healthcare organizations need to adjust their training systems to avoid having employees feel left behind.
Invest in customized coaching instead of pre-packaged modules. Host real classes and educational initiatives. Emphasize employee training to maximize retention.

Request a Free Consultation with HMI, LLC Today

From employee retention to medical coding and revenue cycle management, HMI, LLC has 30+ years of experience helping healthcare organizations tackle the toughest challenges.
Request a free consultation with HMI, LLC today to discover how today’s best practices can help your organization attract and retain top talent.

Published by HMI Corporation

HMI is a diversified healthcare company assisting providers in reducing costs and improving financial health and compliance through a wide range of services which include providing contract coding and coder quality reviews; improving professional staff clinical documentation and compliance; and providing revenue cycle services which include Charge Capture, Chargemaster Reviews, Bill Audits, Claims Reviews, Medical Coding Services, Physician Services and Case Management Services.

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