How to Implement Employee Retention Strategies At All Levels

With recruiters and hiring managers struggling to fill open positions, and the rise of trends like “quiet quitting”, retaining skilled and committed employees is crucial. A culture focused on retention is not only a positive sign to current and future employees but also a strategic necessity. The cost of employee turnover goes beyond financial aspects and can adversely impact patient care, team dynamics, and organizational growth.

The foundation of a successful employee retention strategy is understanding the needs of your employees. Taking a proactive approach to understanding these needs will help you see your organization from their perspective. Direct care staff may have different needs and struggles than administrative staff, and the lives of your executives could differ from the lives of your support and hospitality staff.

One-one-One Meetings
One-on-one meetings with employees are not only a good place to touch on work issues, but also a place to genuinely listen to how your employees are feeling. Take an interest in their lives inside and outside of your workplace. Outside factors can impact job performance, and you simply cannot correct a problem that you don't know is a problem. In one-on-ones, the key is to listen more than you talk.

Ask your team about their goals within the organization, offer development opportunities that align with those goals, and take feedback on company culture. The insights you gain will help you learn what is important to your team. Do they prefer flexible scheduling? Do they feel disconnected and unsupported by members of their team or leadership? Are they facing any challenges with their workload? Are they interested in taking on more responsibilities? Look for feedback on your interactions and ask if there are ways that you can improve as a leader. All these questions and more can be answered by having a simple and open conversation with your employees.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Initiatives
A healthy company culture is the best sign of a thriving organization. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are not mere buzzwords but essential components of a well-functioning workplace. This is achieved by fostering a work environment where employees feel valued and treated equally.

Research has shown that employee experience has a significant impact on performance, and DEI policies and initiatives can positively impact it, showing that investing in DEI can lead to improved performance in your organization. When team members are not motivated, engaged, satisfied, or invested in their job, your organization will likely experience lower levels of employee satisfaction.

Employee Appreciation and Engagement
Establishing employee recognition programs, such as an 'appreciation station' where team members can get a treat, company swag, or write notes of appreciation to other employees, goes beyond acknowledging milestones; it actively reinforces a culture of gratitude and support, which is important to the well-being of healthcare professionals facing challenging situations daily. Caregiving is often seen as a thankless job, and most people get into healthcare to help their communities, not for fame and fortune. However, this doesn’t mean that expressing gratitude can't go a long way with your staff.

Let them know that they are appreciated with meaningful displays of gratitude. Creating a reward system, praising your employees publicly, offering gift cards, or even a handwritten note of thanks can have a big impact. Being known for appreciating your employees goes a long way when it comes to hiring new team members. Employee engagement is also a great way to positively impact your employee retention. Team-building activities are effective for forging connections that go beyond the confines of a job description. Team retreats and offsite meetings, tailored to the preferences of the team, can add a sense of joy to the workplace. By involving employees in the decision-making process regarding these activities, organizations can ensure they genuinely contribute to team cohesion.

Leadership and Administrative Practices
Effective leadership is the cornerstone of high employee retention. Emotional intelligence for leaders fosters empathy and understanding, which are essential qualities in a field where compassion is a daily requirement. Transparent and supportive management ensures that employees feel seen and valued. Recognizing that the boss isn't always right and implementing conflict resolution strategies encourages an open dialogue, contributing to a collaborative and trusting work environment. This also means digging into your employee compensation and benefits. In a healthcare setting, a living wage is not just a basic expectation but a fundamental necessity. Due to challenging job duties, and difficult interactions, healthcare workers must be compensated fairly. Addressing wage disparities among different seniority levels ensures that every team member feels taken care of. Beyond salary, comprehensive benefits, including healthcare coverage, wellness programs, and professional development opportunities, contribute to the overall well-being of workers.

Happy employees do not just yield a positive workplace atmosphere; they deliver higher quality work, which can positively influence patient satisfaction. This ripple effect has a direct relation to tenure and retention and will contribute to the overall success of your healthcare organization.

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LeaderStat specializes in direct care staff, interim leadership, executive recruitment, travel nursing and consulting for healthcare organizations nationwide.