The healthcare industry has faced so many challenges in the past few years. Already faced with staff shortages, many healthcare organizations are also facing high turnover while dealing with higher demand due to a global pandemic and aging population. 

One in five healthcare workers quit their jobs during the first 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic—some leaving the industry or workforce altogether. Another 19% have considered leaving the healthcare industry and 12% have considered leaving their job for another role in healthcare. Most (79%) healthcare professionals said the worker shortage has affected them and their place of work.

These challenges can impact team member morale and quality of care, compounding them further. In fact, the world could be short 13 million nurses by 2030 If attrition doesn’t slow.

Strong HR leadership is more important than ever to ensure healthcare organizations can hire, engage, and retain the healthcare talent they need to care for their patients.

Kick off a great employee experience with strong onboarding

Healthcare professionals have many choices when it comes to where they want to work. Provide a welcoming and engaging employee onboarding experience to show them they made the right choice accepting your job offer. For example:

  • Extend a warm welcome to your team as soon as the offer letter is signed
  • Introduce your new hire to a work buddy who can help them learn the ropes 
  • Set goals so your new team member knows what’s expected of them

Extend the onboarding process out 90-365 days to ensure your new team members feel supported as they ramp to full productivity. Great employee onboarding can set the stage for a great employee experience so you can retain the talent you’ve worked so hard to recruit.

See how 98point6 used Sapling to onboard 100 physicians in two months as they navigated COVID-19.

Create a culture of learning

Learning and development helps your healthcare workers do their jobs more effectively, stay up to date with professional requirements, and deliver better patient experiences. It can also help your team members progress in their careers and improve the employee experience so you can attract, develop, and retain a skilled workforce.

Build a professional development plan and career path with each of your team members during the onboarding process based on their professional goals and compliance needs. Then revisit both regularly to make changes based on new career goals, skill gaps within your organization, emerging skills and technologies, and new mandated education requirements.

Keep in mind that your staff members are busy and may find it challenging to engage in traditional learning opportunities. eLearning reduces classroom and travel time, increasing learning access and flexibility while also providing documentation for compliance purposes.

See how Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust saved 8,300 hours on training and increased online learner engagement by 25% with Kallidus.

Engage your team with modern performance management

Healthcare work is fast-paced, but that doesn’t mean good performance management needs to go out the window. Drive better performance and higher engagement with continuous feedback, goal tracking, and regular manager check-ins. This can help ensure your team members feel valued for their contributions, know how their success is being measured, and don’t have any surprises during performance reviews.

A modern performance management system can record performance and progress throughout the year, simplifying the review process and tracking advancement opportunities. This can be crucial for retention, as higher pay, better benefits, and career growth are some of the most common reasons medical workers leave their jobs.

Prioritize team member well-being

Workloads have been increasing due to staffing shortages, and healthcare professionals are burning out. Burnout can have disastrous effects, ranging from disengagement and turnover, to medical errors and worker mental health crises.

Prioritize team member well-being by:

  • Creating a comprehensive benefits package that supports physical, mental, financial, and social well-being
  • Encouraging time off, perhaps even monitoring paid time off (PTO) balances to ensure team members are taking time to recharge
  • Promoting team building so your staff can get to know each other and provide better support to one another

Use surveys to monitor your team’s well-being concerns so you can address them before they become problematic. 

Final thoughts on HR success in the healthcare industry

Many people get into this industry to help people, but healthcare work can be physically demanding and emotionally taxing. This is particularly true today, as your team members are facing a global health crisis without adequate staffing. 

Take care of your team members so they can care for your patients.

Want to learn more about how Sapling helps healthcare organizations? Request a demo.


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Shaping HR Success in the Healthcare Industry