The 5 Most Common Reasons for Employee Turnover in Healthcare [Blog]

December 27, 2016 Pete Hannigan

hospital revolving door

Is your healthcare facility a revolving door? Review these top five most common reasons for employee turnover to see if they are prevalent in your organization. 

1. They’re overworked:

In most industries, overworked employees experience physical and mental exhaustion. However, healthcare workers are more taxed than most. A typical shift is 12 hours. When they’re pulling extra shifts of 12 hours or more, this means they’re on their feet constantly, lifting and bathing patients and running from one emergency to the next.

Employees in understaffed units often find themselves working in dangerous or less-than-ideal conditions. How? They struggle to stay sharp when they don’t have enough time to recover between shifts, which can endanger patients. Nurses can lose their licenses if their quality of care slips, compounding their stress.

The demand for good nurses is high, so why would they stick around for jobs that jeopardize their long-term careers? (They won’t — and don’t.) 

2. They’re not the right cultural fit:

Hiring managers and recruiters should be screening candidates not only for the right skill sets, but also for whether they’ll work well with the rest of the unit. Nurses who clash with colleagues, don’t care for the management style, or don’t agree with the organization’s philosophy of care will be quick to seek new opportunities. 

3. They’re unhappy:

Employee dissatisfaction can stem from a number of factors, including working too often and feeling disregarded by superiors. 

If management doesn’t listen to workers’ feedback, they become resentful of not being taken seriously. Those in top positions must provide strong leadership while engaging staff members and hearing their input.

Something as simple as treating employees to an ice cream social can foster positivity and goodwill, which create happier workplaces. 

But occasional treats, and recognition in general, aren’t a retention plan. Opportunities for continuing education and skills development will motivate people to stay with the organization, especially if they see a path to promotion through these efforts. 

4. They feel out of the loop:

Transparency is essential to fostering strong employee relationships. People distrust managers who refuse to share information, and they’re skeptical of companies that obscure their decision-making processes.

Strive to share company updates with employees, and provide forums for asking questions and raising concerns (such as a “town hall”). When implementing changes, explain how employees will be affected and where they fit into the master plan. Regular communication signals that your organization respects employees and expects them to be a part of the company’s future. 

5. They’re underpaid:

Stagnant wages are the top reason people leave jobs — and that’s bad news for the healthcare industry. The average salary of an RN in 2016 was $61,875 — 3.1 percent less than in 2015.  

Bottom line: Businesses that pay fair wages retain the best people — no matter the industry.  Competitive compensation is essential to cultivating longevity among your workforce.

About the Author

Pete Hannigan

Pete is a Director of RPO Services at Hueman. What’s Most Important? To be a great role model for my kids! To enjoy life, stay positive, see new places and enjoy the outdoors. Each day is a gift and to always keep that mindset. In One Word, I Am: Handsome…j/k I would say friendly. My career? 14 years in the staffing industry. I started out working with clients for a few years as an account manager, then transitioned into recruitment. After 9 years as a recruiter I transitioned into management and now have the pleasure of working with both recruiters and client partners!

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