How to Attract and Retain Healthcare Workers

Posted on 06.07.2024

Healthcare workers and doctors standing in hall of hospital.

Amid a continuing staffing shortage, healthcare organizations are also facing an increasing decline in retention. Despite the demand for these essential workers, one out of five healthcare employees have completely left the industry since 2020 and some 47% of these workers have plans to quit within the next two years. Already struggling to meet the need for efficient, quality healthcare, many healthcare systems across the country could find themselves hurting for talented, dedicated workers over the next decade. However, there are several strategies healthcare employers can utilize to increase retention and attract new hires.

The top three strategies for attracting healthcare employees

There are several strategies healthcare employers can leverage to increase retention and attract new hires. These include a combination of HR best practices, company policies, and learning and development opportunities

Read more: Best Practices for Maximizing Employee Training Programs

1. Competitive compensation

When faced with a staffing shortage, attracting new workers to fill open roles is essential to recovery. One way to do so is to ensure that the pay you offer employees is considered competitive within the area you’re hoping to recruit talent. If you haven’t updated your compensation plans recently, that means it’s probably time to review what your standard pay is for each position within the organization and assess how it compares to similar roles at other local and national healthcare facilities.

While it’s not always financially possible to raise your base wages across the board at one time, beginning the process of improving compensation can at least show that you’re invested in improving.

2. Build a strong workplace culture

Today, more employees than ever before place a lot of importance on an organization’s culture. When looking for new opportunities, many job seekers will take a company’s culture, values, and mission into consideration before applying or accepting a job offer.

A strong, positive culture also makes a big impact on happiness, productivity, and retention. In fact, 56% of employees say that a good company culture is more important than salary for job satisfaction. Some ways to create a strong, supportive culture in your healthcare organization include

  • Listen to employees. Survey your current workforce to find what their needs are, what they’re looking for from the company, and, based on the results, determine how that can influence culture.
  • Be transparent. Transparency is essential to keeping employees engaged, informed, and invested in their work and the organization.
  • Encourage work-life balance. It’s often harder to have work-life balance in the healthcare field than it is in others, but it is still important to encourage this balance wherever possible.
  • Have clear values and follow them. Make sure your organization’s values and mission are clear to all employees. Even more important, follow those values and live up to your organization’s mission. This can inspire trust in workers and ensure they’re dedicated to the work you do.

Read more: The BNHC-CareerStep Partnership and its Impact on the Future of Medical Assistants

3. Make health and wellness a priority

Every field comes with challenges – healthcare especially. In an industry that can be both physically and emotionally challenging, it’s essential to provide support and understanding to employees who may regularly face burnout and compassion fatigue. Ideally, that could like

  • Offering mental health resources through the organization or providing easy-to-access resources through health insurance.
  • Conducting regular check-ins with employees in high-stress roles to gauge wellness.
  • Making regular mental health days a part of designated paid time off.

4. Provide clear career pathways

Opportunities to advance their careers are important to many workers. Creating clear guidelines and ensuring workers are aware of the steps they need to take to advance with your organization is vital to retention.

Additionally, managers should be empowered to mentor and guide their teams toward success. This could look like regular one on ones, specific career guidance, or just support in pursuing further education.

5. Training opportunities

Besides the usual onboarding process and on-the-job training new hires receive, regular training and upskilling opportunities are vital to employee satisfaction. Having a clear training or education program within your organization can also be a big draw to potential hires. More than three-quarters of employees would stay with their current organization longer if they were given better training and development options. Without these opportunities, 39% would likely choose to leave within a year for a job that can offer better learning programs.

Offering a strong training program that benefits employees and your organization – as well as attracts new hires – is more than providing regular job-based training sessions. It should ideally involve in-depth training and education that can provide a pathway toward career advancement, credentialing, and skills development. However, most organizations, no matter how large, don’t necessarily have the resources to create and launch career-specific training programs on their own. That’s where a proven training provider like CareerStep comes in.

Read more: How to Provide Training for Healthcare Workers in Rural Hospitals

How partnering with CareerStep can benefit your healthcare organization

For over 25 years, CareerStep has partnered with healthcare systems, schools, and employers to provide job-focused training programs in various medical roles, from administrative to clinical. Through partnership with CareerStep, your organization can provide effective, self-paced training and pathways toward certification and career advancement to new and current employees. With online courses designed with real-world job needs in mind, employees can build essential skills, prepare for industry-recognized certification, and be assets to your healthcare system. By offering training programs and a pathway toward advancement, you can increase retention, employee satisfaction, and the quality of care your organization provides patients.

Learn more about partnering with CareerStep

Learn more about the benefits of online training and how your organization can partner with CareerStep today. Our training experts can help your organization identify the right programs for you and help you take the first steps toward improving your workforce.