November 7, 2022

Six low-cost solutions for improving staff retention

Editor's Note

Severe staffing shortages paired with high labor costs are among the most significant challenges faced by hospitals today, according to responses from hospital executives in an October 18 KaufmanHall survey, HealthLeaders October 31 reports.

The survey, named the 2022 State of Healthcare Improvement Report, shows that nearly half of respondents believe reducing labor costs is the most efficient way to reduce overall costs. However, a significant number of respondents noted that they are increasing wages, offering bonuses, and paying more for overtime hours. The report noteed that inflation and staffing shortages have pushed wages up in all areas.

In response to these survey findings, KaufmanHall presented six low to no-cost solutions for improving staff retention. 

  • Be flexible: design schedules that offer flexibility to staff and create a hybrid work model when possible.
  • Streamline recruiting and onboarding: create an efficient process to get staff on board and paid as soon as possible.   
  • Use automation: use artificial intelligence, robotics, and other new technologies to reduce the burden of manual administrative tasks while improving productivity and staff satisfaction.
  • Strengthen mentoring programs and succession planning: focus on the education of new staff and find tomorrow’s leaders to help reduce high turnover rates.
  • Redesign care models: create an efficient care model that eliminates waste and gives clinicians more time to do their job.
  • Use predictive analytics: create forecast models that predict volume and staffing needs to help align the workforce and reduce the need for temporary staff.

For more retention strategies and best practices for a pandemic-weary workforce, read the OR Manager 2-part series titled, "Retaining nurses in a post-pandemic era." Access part 1 here and part 2 here.

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