Turnover and the great resignation are all over the headlines these days. According to McKinsey, we’re amid a “turnover tsunami” affecting workers at all career levels and wage rates.[i]
One of the biggest reasons for the high resignation rate is the unprecedented systemic burnout. There are many reasons for burnout. For instance, the pandemic, an increase in nurse retirements, and our aging population. Without change, the high turnover in our organizations will continue at great expense. The average cost of turnover for a nurse is $44,000. This is a big budget hit. But, there’s also a marked decrease in quality, safety, and service during the transition period.
Listening is Key to Preventing Turnover
So how can a healthcare organization work to curb the exodus? The first step is listening. There are a variety of ways to increase staff confidence, satisfaction, and well-being. Crafting a plan without staff input is a sure route to failure, though. It’s important to continually gather input to ensure you’re soothing the right pain points. Regular discussions spotlight opportunities where leaders can take meaningful action.
One homecare CEO with significantly low turnover told me his secret. He employs someone to continuously interview employees about their job satisfaction. He acts on what he learns quickly so staff feels heard and respected. The process is fluid and continuous. His industry has as much as 65% turnover annually, but he’s able to stay far below this average.
Real Solutions for Work/Life Balance
It’s also critical to see your employees as whole beings, not just professionals filling shifts. What keeps them up at night? The answers may surprise you. Find out what services or benefits would make their lives easier.
The days where a benefits package consisted solely of medical and dental are over. Workers are looking for assistance that has meaning, including:
- Childcare and eldercare for those managing others at home.
- Help with errands – especially for those pulling extra shifts. (Check out Help Me Lyla)
- Meaningful ways to manage stress and anxiety.
- Flexibility in terms of work shifts, job descriptions, and career paths.
Everyone wants to feel that their job has meaning and purpose. In other words, connect each worker directly to the higher purpose of the organization. According to a recent Harvard Business Review article, showing connection to purpose is about proving “to employees that there’s more to your organization than the bottom line.” In healthcare, there are countless opportunities to regularly remind individuals how they make a difference.
Give Meaningful Recognition
There is no “set it and forget it” with engagement efforts. In other words, they lose impact if they aren’t maintained. Once programs are implemented, the process isn’t over. It’s important to monitor feedback. Listen to learn how they’re being received, utilized, and even criticized.
Recognition programs in particular are essential in keeping staff engaged. The challenge with many programs is inconsistency. Wambi is a great tool to help make recognition simple and trackable. What appeals to me most, though, is that patients can get involved in offering recognition to staff.
Turning the tide on turnover won’t happen instantly. But it is achievable when you maintain unrelenting focus on team members as individuals.
At Baird Group, we work with organizations to create actionable employee engagement strategies. To learn more about our solutions, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit this link for more information.
Tags: burnout, Employee Engagement, employee recognition, listening, nurse turnover, turnover