During COVID-19, the healthcare industry was focused on reallocating resources to cope with an unprecedented number of admissions and figuring out how to reschedule regular services like surgical procedures, emergency room treatment, and so on. But now that the storm of the pandemic is beginning to diminish, the industry is starting to realize that it faces a more persistent problem: retaining its clinical and administrative staff.
Per the National Healthcare Retention & RN Staffing Report, healthcare has the second highest turnover rate of any industry other than hospitality. Commenting on the results, DailyPay noted that since 2015, the typical hospital has turned over 89% of its workforce. The analysis went on to state that, “Roughly 40% of hospitals surveyed in the same report, anticipate an increase in their labor force throughout 2018. The blend of high turnover and growth is creating staffing gaps which have an impact on a hospital’s bottom line.” To say nothing on the detrimental effects on patient care and satisfaction. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the issue and suggest ways in which offering employees continual education programs can encourage them to stay longer.
Less Training Equals More Employee Turnover
While healthcare is undoubtedly a high stress field that often requires employees to work long and irregular hours, one of the main reasons for its high turnover rates is that many organizations aren’t doing enough to encourage their employees to stay. In an article in Modern Healthcare, Melissa Merrifield, a vice president of human relations at a Kentucky-based healthcare organization, told her interviewer an all-too-familiar story about why clinical staff leave her so regularly. “Our data analytics tell us that our nurses who leave don’t see a lot of opportunity for growth and development,” she said.
The writer went on to cite statistics from the Association for Talent Development that show how the typical hospital employee spends only two thirds of the training that their peers in other industries have access to. Healthcare organizations also spend a paltry $602 for each employee’s continuing education, versus a median of $1,296 in other fields. “Healthcare organizations can no longer afford to shrink education and training budgets; this practice is manifesting in a workforce unprepared for changing patient demographics, technology and data analysis and multigenerational workforce integration, among others,” Donna Bodin, vice president of employee and wellness services at Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, told Modern Healthcare.
Lack of Training Programs for Older Employees
According to the report mentioned earlier, “the current emphasis has been placed solely on new hires, as 58.6% of hospitals have implemented new hire retention strategies.” This still means that almost four out of every 10 employers don’t have a formalized plan for extending the service of new employees. The author went on to state that “Even though the turnover rates in the healthcare industry are notoriously high, only 21.6% of hospitals have retention strategies in place for retaining older workers.” This means that nearly eight out of every 10 healthcare organizations are letting their most valuable assets walk away too easily.
Some healthcare organizations might be reluctant to invest in employee training programs when turnover rates suggest that many of them will leave. In an article for Training magazine, former HR director Lorri Freifeld addressed this concern when she wrote: “The fear for many companies is that they spend time and money developing people, only to see them take those newly acquired skills to another company. However, training actually can increase employee retention, when the training reinforces the value of the employee. In addition, a well-designed training program plays a critical part in nurturing associates’ psyches. Associates want to feel that the job they do is important to the success of the business and that the business is investing time and money in them to have the job done correctly, and at the highest level.”
The Power of Video-Based Training
Given the fast pace of healthcare and the number of new hires, traditional training methodologies can struggle to keep up. A video-based education platform like DeepHow via Stanley X can accelerate the process by allowing hospitals to record their experienced employees performing tasks and safety procedures with a convenient phone-focused interface. DeepHow’s powerful AI engine divides the footage up into micro-sized learning chunks that are titled and tagged to allow trainees to search for the exact content they need to view. Automated captioning in multiple languages increases accessibility for multilingual users and videos can be viewed by authorized users in any location so that they can learn at their own pace. This makes DeepHow particularly beneficial for health systems that need to upskill staff across multiple hospitals, clinics, and other facilities.
The battle to keep more healthcare workers in their current positions begins with the ability to make them feel valued, challenged, and engaged. And there’s no better way to achieve this than by providing ongoing learning opportunities.