DEPI Staffing, a national healthcare recruitment and consulting firm, aims to lead the charge into the next generation of medical staffing. Our commitment to new technologies, relationship management, and information distribution helps our business partners forecast industry trends. By following current trends with regard to medical recruiting we help our partners understand ever changing industry developments.
DEPI Staffing conducted a retention survey with some of our clients in September 2009. We asked them to evaluate their staffing trends and retention practices. The first thing we noticed as the responses started pouring in is that retention is the most important topic for our business partners, followed closely by hiring expense reduction, recruiter time management, and contract labor reduction.
In an ever changing economy and political landscape, we realize employee’s needs are much different than they were just ten years earlier. Long gone are the days when candidates accept one position outside of their residency program and ultimately retire with the same organization. Staff migration every two or three years has become a reality in all areas of medical employment. Pay increases and monetized benefits are no longer the only driving force for employees. In fact, we’ve found through extensive research that financial factors are now second or third in line as reasons employees leave their current position.
The “H” (Human) Factor:
Employee’s cite factors such as poor relationships with management, inflexible work schedules, negative work environment, interpersonal staff dynamics, undesirable geographic location, and lack of professional growth opportunity as reasons to leave their current employer. Thanks to online social networking, job boards, chat forums, economic changes, and the ever changing political landscape, employees are being bombarded with outside factors that encourage them to consider new employment options.
Four Key Ingredients for Employee Retention:
1. Recognize employee individual needs;
2. Create a more suitable work environment;
3. Show appreciation;
4. Reward retention financially;
Recognize Employees Individual Needs
01. Many managers make the mistake of not taking time out of their schedules to better understand their employees’ most basic needs. A good manager understands that they must engage their staff on a regular basis by asking questions relevant to their personal needs. Ask them if they are happy in their current position. Determine if they have any concerns with regard to their work environment, staff relationships, management, or personal factors that may be disrupting their work flow. By giving them a forum where these discussions occur on a regular basis, a manager will be armed with knowledge on ways to improve their staff’s overall satisfaction. In most cases, employees just need a forum to vent and aren’t really looking for major changes.
02. In some high turnover cases it may be time to reevaluate, replace, and retrain poor management. Administrators, business owners, and medical directors sometimes tend to avoid conflict which ultimately allows poor managers to continue operating in ways that are non-productive. Organizations pay dearly in time and expense when poor management is allowed to go unchecked far too long. Take time to evaluate your leadership. Provide them with ongoing training and give them the tools to better manage their teams.
Create a More Suitable Work Environment
01. Of course most healthcare employers are concerned with utilizing the best equipment, supplies, and other medical related materials. Where employers sometimes drop the ball is art and décor. Not only does art have healing qualities for patients but also it also provides a quality work environment for employees. A more dynamic work environment could be the difference maker between a workers job satisfaction and displeasure.
02. An additional factor for work environment includes team building activities, interoffice communication, and ancillary benefits. Does your organization offer free banking services? How about a dry cleaner or car washing service onsite? Maybe providing lunch once a week could be the difference between employee satisfaction and displeasure.
01. Employed professionals like having goals with clearly defined deadlines. As a healthcare employer you can help your staff by developing career plans that work within the organizations business structure that also encourage professional growth. A more open business model where employees are included in operational and financial discussions. Having your employees better understand how their individual performance affects the organizational results encourages dialog and production. Instilling a sense of team and personal investment not only help build report between management and staff but also impacts overall dedication.
02. Obviously, open communication is only one component of the bigger appreciation picture. Recognizing and addressing quality work on a regular basis is also a major component. Employees are much happier with their employment when they feel a sense of appreciation. Reward above average dedication with a company wide acknowledgement (in a news letter or company wide email maybe). By rewarding good or great behaviors managers also foster a healthy environment to criticize poor performance.
Reward Retention Financially
At the very least an employer must pay market wages. The fastest track to employee dissatisfaction is to feel underpaid and undervalued. Thanks to the advent of the internet tools such as the MGMA and Monster.com, compensation medians have never been easier. If these statistics are easy for employers to find they are also just as easy for employees. Try supplementing wages with performance based bonuses and additional benefits. Additional benefits may include vacation packages, awards, professional memberships, major event tickets (concerts, sporting events, theatre, etc.), additional paid time off, health club memberships, and much more.