In its most recent Employment Projections Report, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics says that occupations and industries related to healthcare are projected to add the most new jobs between 2012 and 2022. Healthcare support occupations are expected to grow at a rate of 28%, and healthcare practitioner and technical occupations are expected to grow at a rate of 21.5%.
Meanwhile, the American Association of Medical Colleges predicts that the US will face a shortage of between 46,000 and 90,000 physicians by 2025. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reports that the US is also projected to encounter a shortage of registered nurses that will continue to worsen as baby boomers age and more people become insured under the Affordable Care Act.
With all this in mind, it's more important than ever for healthcare organizations to be adept at attracting and retaining good staff. Here are some tips that can help.
Getting people to come to work for you
- Create a positive working environment. Staff satisfaction equals less turnover. To ensure that staff stays satisfied, keeping them engaged is vital. According to the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA), employee engagement correlates to individual, group and organizational performance in the areas of productivity, retention, turnover, patient care and loyalty. To engage employees, you need to show them a connection between what they do and the organization's overall success. Other methods for creating a positive work environment include treating employees with respect, providing opportunities for professional development, offering flexible work schedules and encouraging staff to share new ideas and participate in decision making.
- Focus on hiring the right people. The time you've spent creating a positive work environment won’t matter if you don't start with the right people. The ASHHRA says when looking for job candidates, you should focus not only on existing position requirements, but also on what will be needed down the line based on the facility's direction.
- Offer a great benefits package. Many organizations offer benefits packages that include competitive salaries, good healthcare benefits and retirement benefits. But some are going above and beyond to attract quality employees. Recruiterbox points out that if you browse through CNN's list of 100 Best Companies to Work For, you'll find companies that offer benefits such as free child care, healthcare centers, unlimited sick time, large bonuses, sabbaticals and more.
- Look toward the next generation. Younger workers have more time left to spend in the workforce, so it makes sense to put some effort into recruiting and keeping them. The use of social media as a recruiting tool may help to reel them in.
Retaining staff once they're onboard
- Give new employees a warm welcome. The ASHHRA suggests sending a welcome card or letter, appointing a temporary mentor, creating a first-day agenda, preparing the work space ahead of time, introducing the new employee to co-workers right off the bat and taking the new employee to lunch on the first day.
- Streamline processes to ease employee workload. According to Hospitals & Health Networks (HHN), redesigning workforce processes and adopting technology can increase efficiency and effectiveness, and therefore increase job satisfaction.
- Offer rewards and recognition. HHN also advises that acknowledging and rewarding employees for excellence fosters goodwill and creates a more positive working environment, which makes them more apt to stay.
- Promote from within. Employees often seek positions that will allow them to grow with the company. Maintaining a policy of promoting from within, when possible, will let employees know there are opportunities for advancement.