3 Most Overlooked Elements of an Effective Hospital Staff Retention Plan

Jul 29, 2021 3:00:00 PM
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Employee turnover costs the average hospital anywhere from $4.4 million to $6.9 million per year.1 Disillusioned and dissatisfied workers — including doctors, nurses, and administrators — are actively making plans to change hospital employers, with nearly 70% reporting they have plans to leave their jobs within 5 years and 37% identify a 2-year window.2

High turnover is more than an HR problem. Asking fewer employees who are already stretched thin to cover the nearly inevitable staffing gaps ups the ante on burnout, subpar patient care, and accidents. The put-upon employees can then easily fall victim to job disengagement, which recent studies estimate hovers around 43% in the healthcare industry.2

Without a hospital staff retention plan that addresses safety, training, and world-class products that support caregivers and protect patients, the turnover cycle is likely to accelerate.

Incorporating these often-overlooked elements into your hospital retention strategy could be the practical solution to how to retain healthcare employees.

Safety

Keeping workers safe while caring for patients has always been a priority among hospital administrators, and with good reason. A non-inclusive list of healthcare worker health risks and hazards compiled by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) includes back injuries; sharps injuries; chemical and drug exposure; hazards involving lasers, X-rays, and radioactive materials; latex allergies; workplace violence; and stress.3

These potential dangers exist every day, every shift. Add to it the physical and psychological threats brought about by COVID-19, and workers are more than concerned about safety — they’re ready to leave their jobs to protect themselves if they feel working conditions warrant. Since 2015, the average hospital turned over 89% of its workforce — with nearly 91% of workers leaving voluntarily.4

A hospital staff retention plan that prioritizes worker safety and provides actionable steps around it ensures existing workers and new hires are confident in their surroundings. It also goes a long way to building an attractive worker-centric culture, which is important since “culture” is among the top 10 reasons workers cite for voluntarily leaving hospital positions.4

Training

Understandably, hospital worker safety can’t exist in a vacuum. However, given that “career advancement” is also among the top 10 reasons hospital workers leave4, there may be gaps in education and training.

Filling that gap may be pivotal when determining how to retain healthcare employees. Formal orientation, skills enhancement, and cross-functional training are likely in place within your organization. But what about personal development, continuing education, and other opportunities that support career goals? Offering these types of opportunities could attract career-minded prospects to your facility. It also demonstrates a level of caring for the individual personally and professionally, which builds mutual loyalty.

Training benefits workers, the hospital, and perhaps most importantly the patients served.

Products

Keeping workers safe and up-to-speed on learning can be effective for recruiting and retaining workers, but there’s another aspect of these important elements to consider. Practical application of skills and knowledge in patient care is enhanced by having world-class products available.

Your facility may demonstrate its commitment to supporting caregivers and protecting patients by having dispensed eyewear solutions available at point of care, along with other PPE. Perhaps the aids you use are trusted brands like Posey® patient safety products that enable a nurse to use his/her continuing education learnings to assist a patient. Bringing the concepts of safety and training down to the reality healthcare workers live every day speaks volumes about a hospital — and may sway quality workers to join and stay on your team.

TIDI Products is your one-stop resource for products, clinical training, and educational programs needed to promote a safe work environment that ultimately plays a substantial role in worker engagement and retention.

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SOURCES
1
Fond, 5 Ways to Address the Healthcare Industry's Turnover Crisis, January 21, 2021
2HR Morning, Employee Retention in Health Care: 4 Keys to Keep Your Best and Brightest
3Occupational Health & Safety Online, Five Safety Tips for Health Care Workers, Undated
4Relias, Nurse Turnover Rates: How to Reduce Healthcare Turnover, October 27, 2020

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