Reflections on 30 Years in HR with Lisa Perez, CEO of HBL Resources


Hiring and retaining employees is one of the healthcare HR departments’ most significant challenges. The consequence of higher levels of employee burnout is higher attrition levels.   

Pre-pandemic, one study found that hospitals had an alarming turnover rate. Between 2015 and 2019, the typical health facility churned about 89% of its workforce, further evidence of a more extensive internal cultural issue before the pandemic. Overly high employee turnover puts your organization into a constant hiring loop, significantly stressing the organization.   

Strategic recruitment and robust onboarding are vital for employee retention. Here are some tips for improving employee retention in the healthcare industry.

Improve Engagement

Improving engagement leads to better employee retention and directly impacts patient care! Disengaged employees are more prone to costly mistakes that could drastically affect patient safety. On the other hand, highly engaged employees provide a higher standard of care and generally have higher levels of job satisfaction. 

Low engagement can result from many factors, including excessive overtime, unpredictable scheduling, and heavy workloads, to name a few. And while many of these are unavoidable, there are some ways to improve engagement, including: 

  • Proactive communication
  • Recognition programs/software
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion programs
  • Training and development 
  • Burnout prevention and other mental health resources

Let’s dive into a few of these tactics a bit more. 

Star of the Month

There is a reason why kids loved “student of the month” in elementary school. Behavioral psychology shows that being recognized for hard work leads to higher productivity and individual confidence. Recognizing and celebrating your employees improves morale and helps with retention. 

Generally, people work in healthcare because they genuinely want to care for and help others. Celebrating your employees’ contributions to the patient experience and the organization’s goals can keep them motivated, especially in times of stress and overwhelm.

Offer Resources

Focusing on the mental health of your employees can help avoid burnout and lower engagement levels. When constantly stressed, we become fatigued and more susceptible to making mistakes. Mental health disorders that affect our ability to perform well at work can also develop under these conditions. Offering mental health and burnout prevention resources for your employees can help improve mental health and engagement. Here are some things to consider:

  • Flexible mental health days
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Good mental health care benefits

Provide Career Development Opportunities

Research shows that most employees want a clear career path and professional development opportunities provided by the employer. Offering opportunities for career development demonstrates just how invested a company is in the long-term success of its employees. Not only that, but providing opportunities to develop new skills or upskill can be cost-effective and beneficial for your organization. Be sure to market these opportunities in job listings as well. In today’s market, candidates look for companies that offer career development, helping you attract and retain top-quality candidates. 

Hire the Right People

Finally, you need to hire smarter! When you hire for culture, you are hiring people who are already more aligned with what you want for your organization long-term. Modernized hiring strategies can have an immense improvement on your overall workplace culture! Employees stay at a job twice as long when there is strong culture alignment with the organization. Being aligned from the point of hire sets the company and the candidate up for success! 

Want to hire better? Learn about the Culture Fit Assessment! With our tool, you’ll have a highly engaged workforce that keeps your retention rates and hiring costs low.