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7 Strategies For Improving Healthcare Workforce Retention

Strategies For Improving Healthcare Workforce Retention – Registered nurses, certified nursing assistants, patient care technicians, and home health aides have the greatest turnover rates overall, making it difficult for healthcare providers to keep employees at all levels of their professional hierarchy. A number of factors, including burnout brought on by the pandemic, an aging workforce, and intense rivalry to attract talented personnel in the midst of a labor crisis across the sector, are the primary contributors to the high turnover rate, which includes frontline professionals such as physicians, medical assistants, therapists, and others.

In this extremely competitive labor market, healthcare providers need to use inventive and intelligent measures in order to keep their employees. Should they fail to do so, the repercussions may be quite severe: As a result of a shortage of skilled medical personnel, certain hospital systems, particularly those located in more distant areas, have been compelled to shut down entire departments and have even gone out.

Despite this, there is yet hope. Improved worker retention can be achieved by healthcare providers by beginning to apply or expanding the seven techniques that are outlined in this article.

What Is Employee Retention?

In a broad sense, employee retention, which is the opposite of employee turnover, refers to the capacity of a business to keep its staff. Employers typically compute employee retention rates on an annual basis by first dividing the total number of employees at the beginning of the year by the number of employees who have been with the company for a year or more, and then multiplying that number by 100. We do not take into account any new hires that occurred during the course of the year.

Organizations employ a variety of strategies in an effort to keep its employees. In spite of the fact that offering competitive pay and benefits is a crucial component, this is just the beginning. Other important strategies for employee retention include fostering a work culture that is collaborative and supportive, providing employees with training and personalized career guidance, encouraging feedback and addressing employee concerns and needs, providing employees with flexible work schedules and conditions, making employees feel appreciated, and recruiting the right people in the first place.

Also Read:- Become An Effective Healthcare Leader

7 Strategies For Improving Healthcare Workforce Retention

To their credit, healthcare providers are introducing and refining a variety of programs, policies, and processes as part of their larger efforts to construct a work environment and culture in which individuals feel valued and respected. These efforts are being backed by the most recent technological advancements. Here is a list of seven retention tactics that are currently producing positive results.

1. Hire the proper personnel in the first place.

The process of retaining employees begins with recruitment and the capacity to recognize skillful and talented individuals who are likely to be a good fit with the culture of the firm. Depending on the role, it can cost healthcare providers anywhere from three thousand to seven thousand dollars, and it might take anywhere from a few months to nearly a year to fill a vacant post. These expenses do not take into account the toll that is also placed on existing staff members who are relied upon to provide interim coverage. Finding people who are capable of producing at a high level and staying for an extended period of time is profitable. HR systems that are powered by AI can assist firms in locating those individuals.

2. Onboard your people with purpose

Nearly one-third of newly hired employees leave their jobs during the first six months of employment across all sectors. Among the most common reasons are emotions of being neglected, overloaded, and underappreciated. Employers have the ability to prevent these feelings by implementing structured onboarding programs that instill confidence in newly hired employees about their ability to thrive right away.

To begin, the onboarding process should make it easy for newly hired employees to fill out documents and receive training on the various systems, policies, and processes that are in place. This is of even greater significance in the highly regulated healthcare industry. The interactive digital assistant that is included in a contemporary human capital management (HCM) system can assist in guiding newly hired employees through the fundamentals.

In the meanwhile, healthcare companies need to put a human touch on things in order to assist newly hired employees in rapidly establishing long-lasting partnerships. This includes appointing a mentor to each new hire at an early stage, arranging for a tour of the premises and a lunch for the team on their first day, introducing new employees to their coworkers and senior leaders, formally announcing each new hire and providing some fun background information in an email sent to the entire organization, and routinely asking recent hires for feedback on early challenges and celebrating successes.

3. Offer some scheduling flexibility

It is a recipe for inducing burnout among healthcare practitioners and losing them to other professions or competitors if they are required to work long hours with little assistance. When it comes to their work schedules, some medical professionals, nurses, and support personnel prefer a set and predictable routine, while others want to have some leeway and variability in terms of when and where they work. The goal of everyone is to have a healthy work-life balance.

Additionally, in order to assist compensate for shortages, several hospital groups provide their practitioners and support staff with atypical schedules. These schedules may include staggered start times and overlapping shifts. A number of individuals are even given the opportunity to determine their own work schedules, which is a choice that is appealing to younger professionals, individuals who are responsible for their families, and individuals who are interested in earning overtime income.

Some organizations have established their own internal staffing agencies in order to share practitioners across multiple locations. As an illustration, Novant Health operates what it refers to as a “float pool” consisting of a couple hundred nurses that move throughout the regions of the Carolinas to visit the system’s fifteen hospitals and three hundred and sixty medical practices. At the same time that it is building a hybrid model for others, a large hospital group in India is allowing specialists in radiology, lab, and other fields to work remotely. This approach is appealing to young practitioners and those who have families.

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Here, too, technology has the potential to play a significant role. When it comes to dealing with contagious illnesses, the widespread use of videoconferencing software like Zoom and other similar programs makes it simpler for both patients and medical professionals to have virtual conversations about certain health issues. This not only saves money for hospitals and practices, but it also makes it safer for both patients and caregivers.

4. Build a more engaged professional workforce

Whenever HR leaders discuss ways to enhance employee engagement, they typically center their attention on the actions that employers can take to establish a more personal connection with their workforce and to foster a sense of loyalty within their workforce. On the other hand, they discuss ways to enhance the experience of working for the company.

The provision of individualized career coaching to practitioners and support staff, taking into account their specific histories and circumstances, is one of the strategies that may be utilized to cultivate and manage ties between employers and employees. Employers in the healthcare industry are also conducting frequent staff surveys and soliciting comments on ways to enhance the company. Also, in order to prevent caregivers from becoming burned out, they are putting them in contact with mental health services and networks of their peers who can provide them with guidance and support. Developing a culture in which employees interact with their coworkers and management on a more consistent basis in order to foster feelings of gratitude and a sense of belonging is the objective of this endeavor.

5. Stay current with wages and other types of remuneration

Despite the fact that the majority of practitioners may be in the healthcare industry, they still want to be paid what they are worth. This is especially true when considering the challenges that are present in the sector and the intense competition that exists in the market. For the purpose of making consistent adjustments to their compensation plans for both medical workers and contractors, provider HR organizations are required to make use of data from external benchmarking.

In addition to the fact that the shortage of workers is placing upward pressure on salaries and earnings, the reality that expenses of all types continue to rise—for systems, supplies, malpractice insurance, heating, energy, and other goods and services—is making matters more complicated for the healthcare industry. In the course of the pandemic, for instance, the cost of traveling nurse services increased by a factor of three and continues to be relatively high. Because there is a finite amount of money available, service providers in the healthcare industry need to be inventive in the manner in which they compensate their employees.

Financial incentives include, but are not limited to, signing bonuses, merit bonuses, tuition reimbursements, subsidies for childcare, and student loan payback schemes. These are in addition to competitive salaries and perks. Plans that reward physicians in part based on their productivity and the quality of service they provide are becoming increasingly common. These plans are known as relative value unit (RVU) plans.

6. Hire enough people

At the end of the day, the lack of healthcare workers creates a vicious circle: the lack of sufficient physicians, nurses, and other practitioners leads to overwork, stress, and burnout, which in turn causes people to abandon their professions, which further exacerbates the dearth of personnel. To our regret, there are no simple answers to this problem.

For the purpose of cultivating and recruiting workers at various professional levels, businesses at the hospital and medical practice level need to establish partnerships with educational institutions such as high schools, universities, training programs, and other institutional settings.

In the long run, it will be necessary to have a Marshall Plan for healthcare that is a collaborative effort between the public and private sectors in order to educate, train, and make available a sufficient number of trained experts. Among other things, the American Hospital Association has requested that politicians in the United States remove the limit on the number of physician residencies that are allowed to be supported by Medicare, increase support for nursing schools and professors, and speed up the process of obtaining visas for highly skilled foreign healthcare professionals.

7. Reduce the paperwork load for care providers

Doctors and nurses are leaving the profession not just because they are overworked but also because they are upset with the amount of administrative activities that they have to complete during their days. This is causing them to burn out and leave the profession. Over the course of the past few years, this load of paperwork has become more widespread throughout the sector. Sixty percent of physicians reported that they spend more than ten hours per week on administrative and paperwork chores in 2018, which is an increase from fifty-seven percent in 2017. The number of physicians who spent ten hours per week on such activities was barely one-third in 2014.

One of the issues is that the majority of electronic health records (EHR) and other administrative systems do not connect with one another. It is imperative that healthcare providers, whenever it is feasible, consolidate their systems into a single provider’s platform and insist on compatibility between the systems they purchase from various vendors. On the other hand, software that is based on artificial intelligence that recognizes natural language speech can reduce the amount of time that therapists have to spend filling out documentation and other paperwork. According to Rebecca Laborde, a master principal scientist with Oracle Health, “jumping between disparate platforms—within and outside of clinical workflows—to complete everyday tasks or access information creates friction and negatively impacts provider experiences.” This is something that she notes.

Also Read:- Five Effective Ways to Proactively Prevent Understaffing


Improving healthcare workforce retention is crucial for maintaining a stable, efficient, and high-quality healthcare system. By implementing strategies such as enhancing workplace culture, offering competitive compensation, providing professional development opportunities, fostering work-life balance, and utilizing technology, healthcare organizations can significantly reduce turnover rates. These approaches benefit the employees and improve patient care and overall organizational performance. Prioritizing retention strategies ensures a more satisfied, engaged, and loyal workforce, which is essential for meeting the growing demands of the healthcare industry.


How can enhancing workplace culture improve healthcare workforce retention?

Enhancing workplace culture can improve retention by creating a positive and supportive environment where employees feel valued and respected. This can lead to increased job satisfaction, loyalty, and a greater willingness to stay with the organization.

What role does professional development play in retaining healthcare workers?

Professional development opportunities allow healthcare workers to advance their skills and career, making them feel invested in and appreciated by their employer. This can lead to increased job satisfaction and reduce the likelihood of employees seeking opportunities elsewhere.