Medical practices across the country are facing unprecedented hiring and staff retention issues. Worker shortages, employee burnout, wage competition with hospitals, and the inability to offer remote work opportunities are all to blame. We recently partnered with healthcare leaders and the American Alliance of Orthopaedic Executives (AAOE) to host a webinar in which we discussed best practices for attracting and retaining great healthcare staff. We are excited to share ways you, too, can improve employee trust, commitment, work culture, and engagement to boost healthcare employee retention.
The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted healthcare in a multitude of ways, especially when it comes to hiring and retaining talent. Many medical professionals have traded in their scrubs for new careers because they feel unappreciated or because they get lured into the potential of working from home. They are no exception to the Great Resignation or Reshuffle.
Are you ready to stand apart from the crowd and overcome the healthcare worker shortage?
Employers and hiring managers often focus on the company’s needs when interviewing. This is especially common with medical practices, which tend to seek healthcare workers with certain skills, knowledge, certifications, and experience. But it often pays to think outside the box and remember that to reduce turnover later, you must consider what healthcare workers are looking for and ensure your perks and benefits are attractive to them.
Attract & Hire - Build a compelling online image and brand that makes people want to apply and work for your practice.
Generate excitement about open positions through your job posts. It’s wise to partner with your marketing team so you can optimize the use of social media to promote roles you’re hiring for, increase brand awareness, and highlight perks and benefits. You can also share content highlighting employees wearing branded gear or swag to help showcase your work culture.
At rater8, we feature our new hires, current employees, and their pets on LinkedIn. Doing so helps potential employees feel connected to our brand and showcases the reality that we value our people.
Ask for feedback. We’re all about reputation around here and believe it’s crucial to improve your company’s work culture. Encourage workers to leave reviews that future employees can see. This can be accomplished through asking your healthcare staff to rate your company on sites such as Glassdoor. It’s free and anonymous!
You can teach skill, but you can’t teach will. While some positions may require role-specific certification, many times you can hire for attitude and culture fit as long as the candidate has the competencies to learn the skills to perform the job. Hire people for their strengths and value added to the organization, then find a role that best suits them so everyone wins.
Attracting talent is crucial, but onboarding people once they’ve accepted a job offer is equally important.
Onboarding - Set new hires up for success and create an orientation experience that goes beyond pay.
Put protocols in place to get new hires’ buy-in from day one. Start with setting expectations, providing documented policies and protocols, and keeping track of their training tasks with checklists.
Meet and greet. Make sure new employees have the opportunity to meet the team. This should include leadership and peers from all departments. Ensure managers are conducting 30-60-90-day touch bases to gather feedback from their new healthcare staff. This can be done using a questionnaire or one-on-one meeting, and will make new employees feel valued, leading to reduced turnover.
Allow them to work from home if and when possible. New hire orientation often consists of online training videos. Some medical practices allow new employees to log in and watch these videos from home during their first week. In roles that have a mix of administrative and patient-facing duties, consider permitting some staff to work remotely a few hours a week to focus on completing administrative tasks.
Involve your current employees. Enlist subject matter experts to help train new employees. Leveraging the strengths of your current employees will make them feel valued, and it will help new hires feel connected to the team.
Engagement - Create a culture of communication to foster employee connection and engagement.
Take care of your employees. Happy employees lead to happy patients, but how do you know if they’re happy? Conduct an engagement survey that allows your staff to anonymously provide feedback; this will help you determine how engaged they are. Here at rater8, we were open to hearing what our people had to say about working here, and we are now certified as a Great Place to Work™.
Foster a collaborative work culture. Host community kickers or bring food trucks to the office once a month. Host events that help employees come together in the community.
Involve leadership. Host recurring town halls or idea-sharing sessions where employees can openly converse with the CEO or other leaders in your practice. It’s important that healthcare workers have a forum to share their voices right from the start and in a routine manner.
At rater8, we’ve learned that attracting and hiring folks is only half the battle. Keeping them is equally crucial, especially in this competitive landscape. We have a strong focus on building a culture where people feel valued and connected through happy hours, Slack channels, and annual company events. To improve retention, you have to invest in creating a work environment that makes people want to stay.
Retention - Address employees' concerns to improve patient experience and satisfaction.
Invest in your healthcare staff. This can be accomplished with office awards, fostering peer-to-peer recognition, serving first-day lunches, hosting summer BBQs, and engaging people outside of the office. One of the panelists in our recent webinar on healthcare employee retention shared that they pay for the entire office to go to a local, minor league baseball game every year.
Gather beyond the office. Organize a party-planning committee and host team outings, like bowling. Activities like this will build a sense of community among your employees.
Adjust to the multi-generational workforce. We live and work in a time where we have four generations of workers actively employed across industries, including healthcare. This requires finding ways to keep everyone engaged, from baby boomers and Gen X, to millennials and Gen Z. As boomers continue to retire, millennials make up 35% of today’s labor force. Encourage your hiring managers to focus on attracting millennial employees by showcasing the perks that appeal to them.
Pay people fairly. When it comes to hiring, compensation plays a big factor. Conduct market research to ensure your salary ranges are competitive.
The results will help you determine how happy your employees are so you can implement strategies to make them want to stay. Use the data to increase your staff satisfaction and create a work culture that is sure to lead to happy patients. With our internal Pulse Survey, you can:
- Obtain timely employee feedback in a more streamlined fashion than a longer annual employee engagement survey through frequent (e.g., monthly, quarterly, random) check-ins
- Identify and address organizational issues in a time-sensitive manner before they can fester, lead to turnover and a culture of dissatisfaction, and negatively impact practice performance
- Track and measure employee views on a particular topic over time
- Measure the effectiveness of specific company initiatives