Good Vibes: 5 Ways to Retain Your Healthcare Workers

There’s a mass exodus in the healthcare industry dubbed “The Great Resignation.” Not only is it hard to find healthcare workers, but it’s hard to keep them. According to ​​the “2021 NSI National Health Care Retention & RN Staffing Report'' you can save over $270,000 by decreasing your annual turnover rate by just 1%. That’s a huge return on investment! But, how do you retain your healthcare professionals?

Employers have to be more aware than ever of their job satisfaction. It takes 89 days on average to fill a vacant RN position - that’s a very long time for you, and your RNs to pick up the slack. By making a few changes and setting yourself apart from the competition, you can increase your likelihood of keeping the workers you have.

1. Give Adequate Compensation

Regularly research what other hospitals in your area are paying and adjust accordingly. You can’t attract or keep candidates if they’re getting paid a fraction of your competitor’s rates.

Traveling nurses are incredibly expensive. In 2020, it cost $75 more per hour to employ a traveling nurse vs a staff nurse. A better solution? Raise the rate you pay your current RNs. This can help make those travel dollar signs less appealing, while helping them feel more valued. And better still - it saves you money in the long run. 

2. Recognize Achievements

At the end of the day, we’re all human, and humans want to feel valued. Healthcare workers have a very physically and emotionally demanding job. They don’t always get the praise they deserve from patients. Even worse, they’re sometimes verbally assaulted by them. If they don’t feel valued by their employer on top of the stressful job, they’ll leave. No one wants to stay where they don’t feel wanted.

Positive reinforcement leads to more employee engagement. This can be as simple as doling out high fives in a shift change meeting, or a quick “good job” whenever possible. Recognizing when your employees are doing well makes them feel special and connected to their employer and coworkers.

3. Maintain the Connection

Healthcare workers don’t often have time to connect with their coworkers. Their day-to-day is fast paced and often includes life or death situations. Offering opportunities to connect can be invaluable in a career that can be exhausting. Celebrating small wins and commiserating losses connects you to other people. Staff that feel connected are more likely to feel content and stay with their employer. 

There are so many easy ways to connect your employees. Schedule regular one-on-ones, host costume competitions during holidays, and use technology to communicate the positives as they happen. These simple things can build camaraderie and make the workplace  fun and encouraging. 

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4. Foster Positive Work Culture

Give good vibes to your healthcare workers. Encouraging and maintaining  positive attitudes creates an uplifting atmosphere where people want to stay. 

On the flip side, bad attitudes at work can increase burnout which is sure to increase your turnover rate. Provide a space where your staff feels safe communicating needs and correct bad behavior as soon as it happens.  Good workers leave all the time because management won’t nip problems in the bud. 

5. Give Good Experiences

Experiences leave a lasting impression. Put your best foot forward from the start. If you’re relocating a healthcare employee or candidate, the relocation experience needs to run as smoothly as possible. Having a bad experience before they even start the job will start the candidate off feeling disconnected and frustrated. 

Contribute to a positive experience by offering a relocation package that’s all inclusive. Using a technology-centered relocation company has its perks. It can offer a step-by-step guide for the moving process. 

The more information, the better. Make sure the relocation company is able to tell your candidate all about neighborhoods, nightlife, and hotspots. This way they know exactly where to move and what the new city will be like before they get there, setting the stage for a great experience.

Remembering their birthdays and work anniversaries is another great way to create a positive work culture while having a good time. Hosting small celebrations for various holidays throughout the year can accomplish the same thing. Remember, a little effort goes a long way!

Retaining your current employees doesn’t have to be complicated. Small steps in the right direction are all you need to succeed.

Human Resources Today