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Retention Challenges & Strategies for Healthcare Leaders

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Dr. Aafreen Soudagar, CEO, Kalsekar Hospital

24-Sep-2020

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Employee retention strategies for healthcare organizations involves taking actions that are aimed at keeping staff motivation high and building a work environment that attracts and retains the best talent.

While every pandemic inadvertently serves to underscore the importance of a robust healthcare system; it also, ironically, undermines it due to the added stress that every healthcare professional is subjected to during such times. Workforce attrition can get exacerbated during such crisis and it becomes even more pertinent that Healthcare leaders imbibe a healthy work environment through best practices designed to retain the very backbone of any healthcare facility; its team of dedicated professionals.

For a healthcare facility, it is imperative that its working professionals remain fully focused and motivated to perform their duties with utmost dedication towards serving the society.Employee retention strategies for such organizations involves taking actions that are aimed at keeping staff motivation high and building a work environment that attracts and retains the best talent. Let us look at some simple initiatives can make a positive impact to how employees identify with the organization’s goals and remain committed towards their jobs.

Train to Gain: Developmental opportunities is often quoted as a key reason for attrition in facilities where the workforce finds themselves either under-placed or under-trained towards dispensing their duties. A great way around this concern is having Regular training sessions on topics that will deliver a positive impact to both; the employee’s functional knowledge and his/her confidence in rising up to bigger responsibilities at the job.

Vow to resolve: In medical facilities inundated with patients, like in the current COVID-19 pandemic, employees will have a spate of suggestions and challenges which will need timely resolution. It is important that the Management can foster regular All-staff meetings to understand such challenges and commit to resolve them in a time-bound manner. Such meetings not only serve as a redressal mechanism, but can also be an effective channel for garnering employee suggestions towards organizational improvement

Appreciate regularly: Employees want to be recognized for their achievements and contributions to their organization. This is especially true of healthcare professionals who often go beyond the call of duty during crisis situations. Having a formal recognition program covering the bulk of the organisation’s workforce, like a Monthly Star Performer program, can be a fair and engaging reward mechanism that can positively affect retention across the bulk of the workforce.

Celebrate togetherness: Many studies have suggested that employees become embedded in their jobs as they participate in professional life. The degree to which an employee feels connected with his/her organization depends largely on how the organization can foster team cohesiveness. This sense of belonging to a team that works and celebrates together can be brought about through activities like an Annual Day, Sports Day, Nurses Day, Doctors Day amongst others. The sense of belonging and the web of connections and relationships that get developed during such celebratory days can go a long way in retention.

All-round reward mechanism: Monetary benefits and employee satisfaction are intricately intertwined and therefore necessitates that every healthcare organization implements an appraisal mechanism that factors employee contribution across all parameters and suitably rewards them in a transparent and person-based pay structure. Implementing a 360 degree Appraisal program can ensure that employees are evaluated not just for their job-based deliverables, but also their contribution towards the organization’s mission and vision. It would be prudent to link retention with rewards so as to promote the culture of employees choosing to serve with an organization for a longer duration.

By understanding why employees leave an organization or choose to stay with it, the leadership team must devise multi-pronged strategies and ensure thorough implementation to tide over retention challenges.The above outlined broad-based & targeted strategies can thus only be driven through active participation of senior management and its success can be amplified only if these leaders assume primary responsibility for the implementation of the various initiatives.