The healthcare industry has been familiar with labor shortages for quite some time. In the past decade, the turnover rate across all healthcare jobs has risen nearly 5%. And between 2015-2019, healthcare facilities churned about 89% of their workforce.
More recently, a new report shared that staff shortages could still be around for another four years. This has caused many medical practices to wonder how much more they can take as workforces decline even more.
So, how can medical practices improve retention and recruit new talent with a growing competitive labor market? Read on to learn strategies to restore your workforces without breaking the budget.
One way your practice can counteract staff shortages is to upskill current staff. You can do so by providing opportunities to expand their skillsets through extra training.
Your team might want to take preventive care courses or learn more about pharmaceutical products — or deepen their skills on how to improve patient experiences. They might like to learn the latest HIPAA OR OSHA compliance requirements. Your nurses may want to pursue higher learning with online DNP programs.
You can support your staff to pursue these opportunities by first allowing them to have flexible schedules and enough time to hit the books. Then, provide cloud-based learning management systems to help them gain new skills when it’s convenient for them.
Software like Litmos or SkyPrep offers healthcare-focused training modules – allowing staff to join programs and earn certifications.
When you invest in upskilling staff, you’re maximizing your team’s potential as well as creating a more well-rounded team.
Make compensation and benefits stand out
Making compensation stand out doesn’t always mean offering more money. Your practice can consider offering weekly pay instead of bi-weekly or monthly payments. This can make a compensation package more attractive to both new hires and your current employees.
Paychecks will be coming in faster, which your team will be pleased about. And as they get paid every week, they might be more inclined to accept more hours or shifts. This can help lift off some pressure when your practice has limited members on the clock.
Also, double-check your benefits packages. Are you offering the most desired perks healthcare workers want? Nowadays, according to our recent survey, healthcare workers want benefits related to family, wellness, and their work environment.
You can also expand current benefit packages by offering bonus days off, mental health resources, or learning stipends. Another one you can add is offering a mobile app that can help staff gain autonomy over their schedules and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
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Monitor staff burnout
With ongoing staff shortages, the healthcare working environment is packed with high demand and intensity – causing physicians to feel extremely burned out. In fact, our survey of more than 500 health professionals revealed that burnout was a top pain point that hurt retention.
Moreover, the fluctuations of the COVID-19 pandemic have increased workloads and work hours. It’s left Healthcare workers feeling frustrated, exhausted, and less motivated at work. Of course, this impacted patients and the quality of care they received.
Practice managers can ease work pressure from their team by providing a smart scheduling app to keep track of their staff’s hours and distribute workloads more evenly. Medical practices can also offer rotating schedules. This option can help practice managers give their team breaks between longer shifts and weekend shifts.
Your practice can also provide end-of-shift surveys to monitor team burnout, morale, and well-being. Next, review the results and see which areas you can improve. Then, make changes as needed to create better staff experiences.
Combat staff shortages for the long-term
With ongoing staff shortages, the need for healthcare workers is in growing demand. But that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. Take the right actions now and you can keep your practice thriving in spite of any challenge.
Remember that small changes like upskilling staff, updating employee benefits, and monitoring staff burnout can make a big difference in helping you restore your workforce.
For more tips on hiring and retaining staff in a competitive market, download our free ebook on Overcoming Staff Shortages in Healthcare.