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Employee Retention Is Vital to the Healthcare Industry

image for dusanpetkovic / Getty Images
dusanpetkovic / Getty Images
  • Among nurses and hospital IT staff, job satisfaction is "stable," though nurses feel less confident than IT staffers.
  • Nurses want good managers (68%), while hospital IT workers want staff that trusts in their work (76%).
  • According to the data, 2 in 5 HR executives report that their companies offer management mentoring, job shadowing or mentorship, and redesigned roles to allow for "greater potential growth."

Employee retention is important for any business, regardless of its size or function. To better understand just how paramount employee retention is versus recruitment, researchers at The Workforce Institute at Kronos and Regina Corso Consulting conducted a new study that examined the healthcare industry and its need to focus on keeping staff, rather than relying on new hiring.

According to the study, titled 2020 Vision: Working in the Future of Healthcare, researchers measured employee satisfaction among registered nurses and IT professionals in healthcare. They then compared the data against measures that HR professionals take to recruit new talent.

What researchers found through the study was that while keeping staff happy in their current roles requires effort from management, it's worth it in the long run, thanks to a low unemployment rate and a shrinking pool of good candidates.

"More than ever, the frontline workforce has the freedom to be highly selective among a sea of employers actively hiring for open roles," said Joyce Maroney, executive director at The Workforce Institute at Kronos. "Good pay alone isn't enough to attract high performers in healthcare or keep your best nurses from leaving. To maintain staff satisfaction and engagement, work culture really does matter: from ease of scheduling and flexibility to training and development opportunities."

Keeping your employees happy makes for an effective workplace. While examining the healthcare industry, researchers found that both nurses and hospital IT employees were relatively happy in their positions.

Data shows that 56% of IT staff and 53% of nurses believe their organization is "a great place to work." Furthermore, 84% of hospital IT staff and 78% of nurses reported feeling "empowered" on the job. Researchers also found that 80% of IT staff reported feeling "confident that managers have the resources they need to make effective decisions for their department," while 64% of nurses said they trusted that their organization had "their best interests in mind" when starting new workplace initiatives.

Overall satisfaction is also generally greater among employees with a longer tenure at the organization. Researchers said 62% of nurses with more than 20 years in their role said as much, with 61% of IT staffers with 10 or more years under their belt also in agreement.

While most respondents said they were happy at their jobs, they were not as confident about their organization's employee retention efforts. Just 57% of nurses said they felt their organization was doing everything it could to keep good nurses around. With that in mind, HR execs admitted that only 18% of their employees were "very satisfied" in their overall careers, compared to the 70% who said they were "generally satisfied" and 12% who said they were "dissatisfied." [Read related article: 15 Cool Job Perks That Keep Employees Happy]

With the job market now clearly in favor of workers, it's become hard to find and attract exceptional workers. Now that workers have the upper hand, they are selective about choosing an employer that will be the best fit.

Researchers found that 3 in 5 respondents said it was "very important" to work for an "employer of choice." For nurses, that means working for good managers (68%), while for hospital IT staff, it means working with people who trust in their work (76%).

While those wants are certainly understandable, compensation also plays a huge role for both nurses and IT staff. Competitive pay was listed as the top reason high performers join and stay at an organization, but 68% of IT staff and 66% of nurses said they highly value competitive benefits as well.

Company culture is also important, with 66% of nurses and 64% of IT staff wanting to make sure they would enjoy working at a new organization.

Other perks that generally keep nurses and hospital IT professionals around are paid time off (91% listed it as "very important"), a flexible schedule (87%), competitive benefits (84%), and schedules that take availability preferences in mind (76%). Professional development was also found to be important among 7 in 10 nurses. [Read related article: Want Top Talent? Give Employees the Flexibility They Seek]

Andrew Martins

Andrew Martins is an award-winning journalist with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Ramapo College of New Jersey. Before joining business.com and Business News Daily, he wrote for a regional publication and served as the managing editor for six weekly papers that spanned four counties. Currently, he is responsible for reviewing tax software and online fax services. He is a New Jersey native and a first-generation Portuguese American, and he has a penchant for the nerdy.