10 Proven Strategies for Successful Staff Retention in Healthcare

March 15, 2022

The average cost of training a new employee is $1,252. This figure doesn’t account for the money that a company needs to spend on advertising the role, researching candidates and conducting interviews.

When you put it all together, it’s easy to see why healthcare companies prefer retaining their existing employees instead of having to hire new ones. However, it’s a competitive job market and retaining employees isn’t always easy.

That’s why we’ve put together this article. It highlights all the different strategies used for boosting staff retention in healthcare.

Let’s get into it.

How do incentives increase employee retention in healthcare?

An employee retention incentive is a tactic that a business uses to encourage its employees to stay at the company. Essentially, it involves offering an employee something beyond what they usually get in order to entice them to stay with you.

There are lots of different types of employee retention incentives, only some of which are financial, and we’ve included 10 examples of incentives for healthcare companies in the second part of this article. 

First, let’s explore why incentives are worth considering. 

Why do retention incentives matter?

Employee retention incentives can:

  • Help you to hold on to your most valuable employees for longer
  • Allow you to save on costs relating to job advertising and hiring
  • Minimize time spent on interviewing and training new candidates
  • Increase employee satisfaction at your healthcare facility
  • Reduce employee turnover and increase employee expertise

Ultimately, incentives can be a great way to improve employee retention for your healthcare company and provide a higher quality of service to your customers. Support a satisfied employee team and even boost your bottom line.

10 best practices for employee retention in healthcare

1. Pay your healthcare employees a competitive wage

Employees value many things in the workplace, but this all starts with a fair wage. 

Research shows that 55% of employees value fair pay over all other workplace attributes.

That means if your healthcare company wants to retain its workers for as long as possible, then offering them a competitive wage is a great place to start. 

You may even want to implement a system of matching any offers that a valued employee receives from another company so you can be certain that money isn’t the reason an employee leaves. 

2. Improve work conditions

Does anybody really want to spend 40+ hours a week in a setting that they find uncomfortable or inconvenient? It seems unlikely. 

That’s why focusing on improving the environment your employees work in is another good retention strategy. Practically, this might look like providing comfortable seating and desks, controlling noise levels, ensuring access to all necessary medical and office supplies, or whatever is most relevant to your healthcare setting. 

Adding digital signage is an excellent and versatile solution that allows you to set up self-check-in kiosks, inform and educate patients and improve internal communications, all of which contribute to a more pleasant and easy work environment. 

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3. Allow flexible work schedules

There are nearly 5 million people in the United States now who work remotely for at least half of their hours. That speaks to a growing desire in the workforce for greater flexibility in the workplace.

Most healthcare facilities likely won’t be able to allow their employees to work fully from home, due to the nature of the business and the need for direct patient contact. However, this doesn’t mean you’re off the hook! 

Flexibility around scheduling is usually highly valued by employees. You could implement this by asking hourly workers for their shift preferences before creating the schedule each week, or by creating a portal that allows workers to easily swap shifts with one another.

Using staff retention strategies like these could help your workers feel like they have more control over their hours – and it’s difficult to walk away from that once you have it.

4. Offer staff retention bonuses at critical junctures

You may also want to look into offering retention bonuses. These are one-time payments that employees receive in exchange for sticking with your company.

Retention bonuses can be effective – especially when you time these offers strategically.

For example, you might have an employment contract with one of your doctors that’s about to come to an end. Offering them a one-time retention bonus to sign a new contract could help them feel valued and entice them to stay with you.

5. Invest in new technology

There’s plenty of new technology coming out in the healthcare industry, much of which is designed to make it easier for healthcare workers to do their jobs.

While you don’t have to buy every new type of healthcare technology that comes out, it’s important not to let your facility fall too far behind the times either.

If you don’t invest in any healthcare technology, then your employees are going to have to work harder to do the same job that similar healthcare workers can do more efficiently elsewhere.

Some employees may eventually get fed up with this and leave your company. You can avoid that problem by investing in technology like digital signage software, which can help your employees work more efficiently.

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6. Offer great benefits

Benefits are another really big component of keeping your employees happy. 

Even if you don’t offer quite the same salaries or hourly wages as some of your competitors, a great benefits package can make up for that disparity and help you retain your employees.

The best benefits packages usually include a combination of paid time off and sick leave, great health insurance, retirement benefits and discounts on insurance.

It’s also a good idea to try and offer a wide variety of plans to choose from when it comes to health insurance and retirement. That way, you have an option to make every employee happy.

7. Demonstrate your commitment to work-life balance

Ultimately, your employees are more than just workers – they’re people with lives outside of your healthcare facility. It’s important to recognize that and to maintain a culture of positive work-life balance at your business.

Doing this can not only help you retain more employees, but it can also help your business, as research shows that businesses with work-life balance programs report an increase in productivity.

It’s a bit counterintuitive, but you may be able to get more out of your healthcare clinic by emphasizing work less.

8. Use growth as one of your employee retention strategies in healthcare

Many of your employees will likely have goals that extend beyond their current positions. For example, a front desk worker may eventually want to become a nurse, or one of your nurses may want to transition into a role as a medical technician.

Businesses that encourage this type of career growth tend to have happier employees. That’s because when you help your employees work towards their goals, they generally feel like they have room to grow at your business. And that makes them more likely to stay with you long-term.

9. Partner with a local gym to offer employees discounted memberships

Another idea that you can use to retain more of your employees is to offer incentives that help them stay healthy. One way to do that is by giving your employees the option to get a discounted membership at a local gym.

You may be able to work out a trade with a gym in your area to offer this so that you’re not having to pay for it out-of-pocket. For example, you might offer discounted healthcare services to the gym’s employees in exchange for discounted memberships for your workers.

Offering your employees a benefit like this is a great way to show them that you care about them as people – not just as workers. And building that kind of relationship is a great step towards improving your employee retention rate.

10. Listen to your employees

Ultimately, your employees are the best judges of what they need to be happy in the workplace. 

Even if you’re committed to providing them with whatever they need to be happy, you may have blind spots that you simply don’t see because you’re not performing the same tasks that your workers are on a day-to-day basis.

That’s why it’s critical to solicit feedback from your employees and respond to it whenever possible. Doing this regularly can go a long way to helping you retain your most valuable workers.

Keep in mind, some workers may not feel comfortable telling you their true opinion directly, so it’s a good idea to offer some anonymous forums for feedback that allow employees to speak their minds without fearing repercussions. 

UPshow makes it easier to implement your healthcare workforce retention strategies

There are lots of financial benefits that you can offer to retain more of your healthcare employees. However, sometimes creating a better workplace can start by simply boosting morale. 

Digital signage can play a big role in that process at your healthcare facility. Whether you’re looking for a way to automate some of your workers’ tasks or you want to give them an easier way to communicate with each other and with management, digital signage software from UPshow can help.

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