Posted By Amanda Girard On January 13, 2022

Employee Retention Strategies in Healthcare

Employee retention strategies in healthcare are critically important. Healthcare organizations across the nation have seen high employee turnover rates for years. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the exodus of healthcare workers from the field. Formalize and implement a plan with employee retention strategies in your healthcare agency. Below are some effective strategies that, when implemented organization-wide, can help you retain staff.

Determine Correct Fit in the Hiring Process

Make sure the fit is right for both you and potential employees to increase retention rates.

  • Make sure all new hires fully understand the position you are hiring for. Clarify expectations and potential duties.
  • Be transparent about the culture and work environment of your office.
  • Screen applications for a passion for Healthcare or service. Aligning with your purpose, sharing your values, and feeling like they make a difference helps employees last.

Onboard New Employees Appropriately

Employee retention starts on day one with successful onboarding.

  • Be prepared for a new employee’s first day on the job. Have your employee handbook, benefits package, and paperwork that needs to be completed ready.
  • Be proactive about introducing them to other staff members. Assign mentors or point persons they can ask for help.
  • Share the first lunch with new employees. Help them get to know coworkers and reduce feelings of awkwardness. Help them feel at home by showing them local eateries and your office break room.
  • Implement effective training strategies even when you are busy.

Foster Community with Employee Engagement and Recognition

Having a supportive work environment can increase employee retention.

  • Encourage employees to be social amongst one another. Friends, even if just “work friends” can make a difficult day a lot better.
  • Engage with your less outgoing staff members to help them feel they belong.
  • Set the tone of showing appreciation and offering praise to each other.
  • Celebrate successes together as a team.

Stay Competitive in your Hiring Market

Especially when it is an employee’s market, be as competitive as you can to retain staff.

  • Offer competitive rates of pay for healthcare workers in your area.
  • Consider increasing your benefits packages to keep competitive on healthcare benefits.
  • Offer a wellness program.
Staying competitive in the hiring market

Grow Employees and Hold all to the Same Standards

Invest in your staff and protect them from resentments to retain your best employees longer.

  • Understand the goals of your employees in the next 1 year, 3 years and 5 years out. 
  • Provide growth and development opportunities to help your employees meet their goals.
  • Invest in staff growth – even if they one day advance out of your organization. It will encourage them to stay as long as possible. Growth can also encourage employees who have become stagnant to become more engaged.
  • Hold all employees accountable to the same standards and have direct conversations with poor performers. Enact disciplinary procedures or remove them from the organization to keep those who are working hard from becoming resentful and leaving.

Improve your Communication with Staff

To retain staff, you need to keep your finger on the pulse of how they feel.

  • Request honest employee feedback and allow respondents to respond anonymously.
  • Make employee concerns into action items.
  • Make it a point to reach out to your least vocal employees.
  • Conduct stay interviews to better understand why existing employees stay and how they feel about their workplace.
  • Use exit interviews to understand why employees leave and what you can improve.

Head-off Employee Burnout 

Combat staff burnout and compassion fatigue for employee retention of healthcare workers.

  • Provide outlets for stress such as renewal rooms that offer tranquil surroundings
  • Bring instructors in to teach staff meditation techniques or yoga.
  • Provide healthier snack and food options in your office to prevent junk food energy crashes and accompanying poor moods.
  • Make sure you are a trauma informed healthcare agency to protect your staff.
  • Help your team with work/ life balance. Offer coaching and consider ways your work environment can adapt. If possible, offer virtual or co-working opportunities.
  • Provide an EHR that combats digital burnout and alleviates staffing shortages.

Employee retention strategies in healthcare are effective. However, they do require buy-in from the top down. Formalize your strategies and share the plan with all senior leadership. Implement your plan organization-wide. Lowering your healthcare worker turnover rates is possible if you plan for and implement your employee retention strategies 

About Patagonia Health, Inc.

Patagonia Health’s integrated EHR, Practice Management, and Billing solutions are designed to improve departmental workflows using apps and cloud-based technology. Our company was founded with a focus on providing technology solutions with highly referenceable customer service. We collaborate with public and behavioral health organizations to develop advanced features,  empowering them to improve the well-being of their communities. Our federally-certified software enables our customers to achieve their desired health outcomes. We serve those who serve others. If you’d like more information about our solutions, contact us today.

About Amanda Girard

Amanda is the Marketing Manager at Patagonia Health, a cloud and apps-based Electronic Health Records (EHR) software company serving Public and Behavioral Health. Amanda has a passion for serving those who serve in others in healthcare. She oversees the production of informative content on industry topics and health IT solutions.