Increase Employee Retention:
Give Them a Dose of Nurses’
By LeAnn Thieman
With increased workloads, demanding staff ratios, and
challenging work conditions, many employees are feeling burned out –
not just those in the healthcare industry, but across all
industries. Today’s workers are not signing on and staying on just
for the money. They are opting for employers who care about them,
professionally and personally. How they are treated on the job is a
primary factor in their satisfaction, their resistance to burnout,
and their willingness to be a long-term loyal employee. Work-life
balance is often a top priority.
data from a Harris Interactive survey reveals enlightening
information on workforce attitudes. It shows a continued disconnect
between employers and employees, relating to the effectiveness of
various staff retention tactics. The study claims only thirteen
percent of employees say their employers put effort into keeping
them on their jobs.
Considering that it costs thousands of dollars to recruit and hire a
new employee, organizations are eager to retain the ones they have,
in addition to attracting the emerging workforce. Many have learned
that in order to recruit and retain, they cannot simply offer more
money or bigger benefits. They need to give employees a hefty dose
of nurses’ medicine.
businesses, including medical organizations, can benefit from these
ten tips, treating their employees with the same competent,
compassionate TLC that nurses give their patients. By doing so,
your organization will inspire talented workers to sign on and stay
on. These tips include:
Smile a lot. Be kind. Visit them often: Keep an open door
policy. Don’t just ask to speak with your staff members when they
make a mistake. Visit with them when they’ve done a great job.
Commend them in person rather than in an email or memo. No matter
how busy you are, don’t act rushed or distracted. Make your
employees comfortable around you and allow them to speak their
feelings, ideas, and needs.
Ask “How can I help you?” Don’t assume that you, the
supervisors, or the HR department knows. Hold a staff meeting on
the topic or create a survey and grant anonymity. Ask them what
they need during the next employee evaluation. You may be surprised
by what you learn when you simply ask the right question.
Do an assessment on a regular basis: Ask for their input on
their “condition” or their job position. Note what you observe.
Evaluate the situation with each person, then make a plan and
implement it. Give your employees access to the support they need –
technically or personally – to perform at their best. Not only will
they do a better job and be more satisfied, your company will
prompt in answering their call lights: When a patient has a
need, they “call” for assistance; watch for instances where your
employee “calls” for help, verbally or otherwise. Address each
concern and attempt to meet their needs as soon as possible.
Explain all procedures and changes: Make sure your staff members
know why the changes are taking place and reiterate their
importance. While it may not be an easy course, make clear the good
that will come from it. Reinforce how their cooperation and
positive approach will greatly affect the workplace.
Communicate often and clearly: Keep your employees up-to-date
with what is happening so they feel more involved and less afraid of
change. If they have concerns, be sure to listen first – without
talking or interruptions. A gentle touch on the hand or shoulder
conveys sincerity and interest.
Ease their pain: Though it is sometimes impossible to
take away all the discomfort, honest efforts to do so go along way
toward relieving it. If the pain is work related, ask for their
suggestions to ease it. If the pain is personal, such as a relative
passing away, be considerate. Offer them a day off or an additional
paid day of vacation. Send flowers or a sympathy card to the
employee’s family to show that you care.
Promote independence and self-sufficiency: Help them be
stronger. Encourage continuing education. Compensate them and
their schedules so they can gain the additional skills that will
make them better employees. Give them as much control as possible,
and they are more likely to cooperate with the “treatment plan” and
other changes that come along.
Change positions: Being in the same position too long can
sometimes be uncomfortable or stifling. Offer flexible shifts,
telecommuting, or job sharing. Encourage your employees to grow in
their skill sets and job responsibilities. Perhaps you could even
suggest a transfer within the department or organization.
Provide them nourishment: Help nurture their minds, bodies, and
spirits. Remind them to take breaks, eat meals, and ask for help.
Provide inspirational, encouraging books, periodicals, and
speakers. Bring in a massage therapist after a particularly
stressful quarter or show your appreciation with a free company
lunch during a successful period.
Implementing these ten tips creates a “care plan” that does not
coddle employees; instead, it strengthens and empowers them. This
transcends to their work, which promotes a positive company culture,
increased productivity, promotes creativity, inspires loyalty, and
leads to a healthy bottom line.
employees a dose of the same medicine nurses give their patients
results in greater retention. With a little TLC on their part and
yours, everybody wins.
Read other articles and learn more
about LeAnn Thieman.
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