Training, tailored benefits and paths for career advancement help build loyalty and reduce employee attrition
When more than 75,000 Kaiser Permanente clinical and support workers walked off the job, it sent shock waves among health care employers everywhere. Even before the strike, primary care doctors in outpatient practice had been grappling with a talent shortage that could risk access to essential preventive and emergency care in communities across the U.S.
The growing need for outpatient care has changed the face of health care, impacting operations and staffing. Private practices have fewer staff and, while most employees in large health care institutions have distinct roles, in many private practices support staffers wear several hats and have multiple responsibilities. That means that practices must be creative to provide opportunities for advancement and mobility within their organizations.
Whether your practice has been treating patients for years or you’ve just opened your doors, your success depends on hiring and retaining great health care talent. Failing to keep your best performers can potentially result in understaffing with a less qualified workforce, ultimately hindering your ability to provide quality patient care.
According to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare industry leads the country in the number of employees voluntarily quitting, so it’s very important to form and maintain a solid working relationship with new hires from the start…and have a strategy to keep them on board longer term.
In private practices, instead of going with standard, across-the-board benefits, make yours fit the needs and wants of your staff by assessing their top priorities and partnering with other practices or other organizations in your building or on your block to provide discounted group rates or shared services.
By better understanding the skills, preferences and performance of their employees, physicians in outpatient practice can take steps to minimize attrition and design career paths based on each employee’s life stage and ambitions. Upskilling and proactively informing the staff about internal job opportunities—or even job swapping with a partner practice—can help your employees build a longer career with your organization.
From front-office staff to the medical assistants taking vitals, these are the people who represent you and give your patients a connection to your practice. Find ways to show you understand their importance to the practice’s long-term success. A staff that feels heard and appreciated and has meaningful prospects for growth is a loyal, more productive staff. And a more productive staff provides better patient care, which ultimately leads to an improved patient experience. Implementing even a few of these tips can have a positive impact on retaining your best employees and achieving the overall business goals of your practice.
Thomas Rametta is president of Ultimate Medical Academy in Tampa, Florida