5/11/2012 7:45 AM
Turnover in any profession is inevitable as life occurrences cause many to move, leaving their jobs. It feels like revolving doors at every entrance or exit for all the employees that healthcare foodservice lose each year. Many reasons for turnover can be minimized if employers work to retain their employees. In the healthcare industry (all professions), the turnover rate is 20%, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. This is greater than the annual turnover rate of 15% across all industries. Furthermore, hospitals with 350-500 beds, with a for-profit status, and in the South Central region of the United States experience the highest turnover.
In relation to foodservice staff members, it was reported that the turnover rate in assisted living facilities was nearly 46% in 2009, higher than any other assisted living job category (NCAL). The foodservice industry as a whole also experiences much higher turnover rates when compared to other professions, especially among hourly employees. Since replacing an employee can cost up to 30% of the employee’s salary, employee retention should be a focus for all job categories at your healthcare facility. Why do employees leave and what can the healthcare industry do to help prevent high turnover?
There are many uncontrollable circumstances that may occur causing an employee to leave, but some of the most common reasons for departure are avoidable. Numerous employees report that their leaving was due to poor management, feeling undervalued, boredom, and the need for flexibility. Ultimately, it comes down to employee satisfaction. With proper training, recognition, compensation, and work-life balance, these issues can be addressed, reducing your overall turnover.
Improving management skills
Employees across all industries can probably think of a manager at one time that easily got under their skin, giving them thoughts of quitting. However, many management skills can be improved with the proper training. Requiring your management staff to undergo tailored classes that develop their people-management skills and encourage employee morale could be beneficial to any organization. A good employee/manager relationship is essential to job satisfaction.
Better interviewing techniques
A team approach to hiring. One idea that came from Intermountain Health Care System's Urban Central Region in the Salt Lake Valley area was the SOAP program, which includes team's Scheduling, Orientation, Application/Interviewing and Professional Development. Each term refers to a set of processes directly relating to employee recruitment and retention. The department is reaping the benefits of a new, homegrown system that demands a greater degree of employee accountability and more clearly defines the rules of employment, some of which are stricter than before, while offering the staff more support and more opportunities to grow professionally and take on added responsibilities. Read more here
Recognition, recognition, and contribution
No one likes feeling undervalued and employees appreciate being recognized for a job well done. Create a recognition program or promote recognizing employees in a timely and public matter. Not all employees feel undervalued due to the lack of recognition from other staff members, but the feeling of unfair compensation can foster this feeling too. Offering employees a competitive salary is way to recognize their contributions to the organization, while making them feel a sense of pride in what they do.
In the healthcare industry, it is no secret that the hours can be demanding. From on-call shifts to inconsistent work schedules, this can be concerning to many employees. It was reported in Healthcare Global that in the healthcare sector, many employees rate balance and flexibility as important factors in their decision to leave. With commitments outside of work affecting employees’ schedules, many times offering part-time positions, job-sharing, and flexible work hours will encourage work-life balance. Offering on-site childcare or auto care options can also ease the burden in your associates’ lives. Giving your employees these options can encourage them to stay.
Outside of these easy-to-implement suggestions, employers can also offer mentoring programs, open communication policies, retention bonuses, and competitive benefit packages. To decrease boredom among employees, do not be afraid to assign challenging tasks or projects to those looking for more beyond their responsibilities. Sometimes even increasing the variety in assignments can also curb the feeling of boredom among your associates.
If your hospital or healthcare facility is ready to implement practices to better retain employees, it is important that initiatives are in place for before and after an employee is hired. Many times turnover can be lowered with the right recruiting efforts in place. When looking to fill a position, keep in mind the characteristics of your most successful employees and how their attributes have a positive effect on the organization. As your organization still wants to encourage a diverse workforce with fresh ideas, remember the specific characteristics that are essential to being successful within the job. With strong recruiting efforts and programs in place for current employees, your organization could be an advocate for employee retention.
What is your hospital or senior facility's culture? Are you developing a culture of retention? Share your innovative programs you have in place to help retain talented employees, we would love to hear.
1 comment(s) so far...
By gemma kodumal on
6/12/2012 8:04 AM
Re: Do You Feel Like Bolting From Your Job?
It is also important that when hiring,hire all types of people-so when it is a Christian Holiday, they can be off while others will cover shift(s), also that people can learn and be more tolerant of other culture and beliefs, another way of hands on education on culture.