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How to retain your best healthcare employees.

4 Employee Retention Strategies in Healthcare

How can your healthcare business retain your best employees – those who deliver exceptional patient care and give you a competitive edge? Start by using these: 4 Key Employee Retention Strategies in Healthcare.

4 Employee Retention Strategies in HealthcareCBS News reports, “the average cost of replacing an employee amounts to fully 20 percent of the person’s annual salary.” This equates to approximately $10,000 added cost to replace an employee with an annual salary of $50,000. Let’s face it: a high rate of employee turnover costs businesses time, productivity and money. But in the healthcare industry, employee turnover is especially costly: as the rate of turnover increases, the quality of patient care significantly declines.[1] Furthermore, when employees leave, their duties are shifted to the remaining personnel resulting in undue stress and burnout. This lingering anxiety among employees can cripple an organization because turnover becomes the norm and thus the cycle gets repeated:

Employee Retention Strategies

Healthcare professionals deal with enough daily stressors and demands without adding to their workloads the routine departures of co-workers. If your healthcare business is suffering from high turnover, let us help you increase your employees’ job satisfaction. Start with our 4 retention strategies targeted specifically to healthcare businesses.

4 Key Employee Retention Strategies in Healthcare:

#1: If you have a high turnover rate, find out why.

Before you can begin to create successful retention strategies, you must first troubleshoot for unresolved issues in your organization. Identifying and then addressing employees’ concerns is a critical step to increase your retention rate. Once the problems are remedied, you can implement the next steps to build solid foundation of employee satisfaction and growth.

To begin, ask your employees to answer a quick 10-question survey; keep the survey anonymous. The answers to these questions will help you discern any current underlying problem areas.

  1. Do you agree with the mission of this organization?
  2. Does your manager inspire you?
  3. Do you feel teamwork is practiced among your co-workers?
  4. Are your co-workers held accountable for the work they produce?
  5. Do you feel valued for the work that you do?
  6. Are the amount of work and the pace of work you are required to perform reasonable?
  7. Do you feel information is shared openly and communication is encouraged?
  8. Do you receive the training you need to perform your job well?
  9. Do you have the tools you need to perform your job efficiently?
  10. Do you have adequate opportunities for professional growth and development?

#2. Make training and re-training a priority.

Ask any employee: there’s nothing worse than being expected to do a job you don’t know how to do. One reason your employees may feel overwhelmed and eventually leave your facility is they are not properly equipped to perform their jobs. If your managers do not have time to train or re-train your employees adequately, consider implementing an employee training system that does not drain your managers’ time.

Learn more → Consolidating Employee Training

#3. Communicate!

If you want to increase employee job satisfaction, you need to have effective communication throughout your organization. If information is not disseminated clearly and in a timely manner, company-wide frustration will ensue. Managers should consistently and clearly communicate job expectations, company policies, mission statements, goals, plans, and upcoming events. There are several methods of communication, and it may be a case of experimenting with different approaches until you find what works best for your company: emails, bulletins, meetings, videos, etc.

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Managers should also communicate recognition and rewards to those employees who go above and beyond fulfilling their job duties. This will generate a positive work environment for all staff, boosting moral and encouraging hard work and effort.

Finally, staff should be allowed to communicate honestly and openly with management. If employees are afraid to speak, they are unlikely to put much effort into their jobs and they will probably want to leave as soon as possible. Therefore, your employees should feel they can raise concerns in a non-threatening environment. Encouraging employee feedback by using the 10-question survey (above) can be the first step you take to foster open communication in your business.

#4. Provide unique opportunities your employees will not receive from your competitors.

The best way to decrease your turnover rate is to offer your employees unique opportunities for career growth and development. This type of investment shows your employees you care about their future, making it hard for them to leave your company. For example, offering continuing education options is a cost-effective approach to cultivate career development among healthcare professionals.

If you are interested in establishing a program for career development and training in your healthcare facility, click here to find out how to do so. Keep in mind that investing in your employees now will save your business money in the future.


[1] J Nurs Scholarsh. 2010 Mar;42(1):40-9.

Originally published in 2014.

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