Ten Reasons Your Care Team Quits and How to Avoid Them
Keeping staff is challenging, especially when dealing with a new business’s natural ebbs and flows. High turnover in any company can be costly, but it’s even more challenging when you’re working in a sensitive field like healthcare. Fortunately, we are also seeing more businesses that specialize in helping other companies find and keep great employees. Many healthcare organizations have a retention problem, with first-year turnover among new hires ranging from 50 to 70 percent. Newer data shows that the churn doesn’t decrease over time but gets worse. As many as one-third of all employees leave within their first year and almost half leave within their first three years. Even if you work hard, and offer competitive salaries and benefits packages, your team members may still quit because of less tangible issues such as feeling unappreciated or being treated like a cog in the wheel rather than someone important to the organization.
With careful planning and execution of employee-friendly processes, you can create an environment where your team will thrive — not one where they feel like quitting daily. Here are some common reasons why care team members quit and how to avoid it:
- Lack of Recognition
People like to feel like they are valued, and a quick and consistent method of showing gratitude is a great way to encourage team members to stay. If you have a system in place already — great. However, many businesses do not have a formal system in place and, as a result, gratitude is often left unspoken. If your company is one of these, it’s time to put a system in place. For example, every Monday morning, have your team meet for an all-hands meeting. At the end of the meeting, have every team member who has done something exceptional (or above and beyond the call of duty) be recognized in some way. It can be as simple as having the honor go to one person each week, or it can be as complex as having each person stand up and receive applause from the entire team.
- Lack of Growth Opportunities
One of the best ways to keep your best employees is to make sure that they continue to grow and advance in their careers. This can be done through formal training programs, open paths for promotion, or simply by making sure that your best employees are challenged (and compensated fairly) as they do their jobs. If you are not already doing one or more of these things, now is the time to start. It’s never too late to implement new programs or systems that will keep your team members satisfied and engaged in their work. You should also be aware of how your hiring practices will affect the growth opportunities of future employees. For example, if you hire only part-time employees, you’re less likely to create open paths for advancement.
- Incongruent Values Between Employees and Managers/Company
If your team members are coming to work every day with a sense that the company does not share their values, it will be difficult to keep them engaged. Some of the best ways to avoid this problem are to be upfront about what the company stands for, including what it does and does not stand for. You should also make it a regular practice to ask your employees what they feel the company values should be. This will allow you to keep your culture aligned with your employees’ expectations.
- Lack of Communication from Hospital Staff.
Healthcare professionals are expected to be extremely communicative and direct. They should be empowered to be upfront and honest with their patients and families, and they should be able to feel comfortable challenging each other during difficult situations. If your team members are feeling like they are not being communicated with, you might have a problem with a tyrannical manager, or you might not be communicating with your team members effectively. Whatever the reason, it is essential to address this problem as soon as possible.
- Caregivers are not Paid Enough.
This is a big one. If your staff members feel like they are not being paid enough, they will likely seek employment elsewhere. So, you need to not only pay your employees fairly, but you also need to make sure that your employees know that they are being paid fairly.
- Employees do not Feel Adequately Trained Before Being Hired.
This is more of an issue for entry-level employees, but it can happen at any level in the company. If an employee feels like they have not been properly trained for their job, they are likely going to struggle — and eventually, quit. As a manager, it’s important to be aware of your training schedule and make sure that your employees know what they can expect. This can include everything from training on the company’s computer system to how to use medical equipment. You may even want to consider hiring a training and development specialist who can help create and execute a training schedule.
- Employees Don’t Feel Like They Are Part of the Company Culture.
If you have a strong company culture and an engaged team, your employees are likely, however, if there is a gap between the employees and the company’s culture, it could be causing employees to feel like they are not a part of the company. To fix this, you need to make sure that the company culture is being lived at every level of the business. This includes the managers and leaders, but it also includes the employees themselves. You should hold regular events that let the employees show who they are as a group. Consider hosting a yearly retreat or hosting an annual team-building event.
- Employees See Little Advancement Opportunities.
If you have employees who see no path for advancement, they will eventually feel unfulfilled. This can lead to employees either resigning or being simply unproductive as they wait to be promoted. This is another issue that can be addressed with a little planning. Make sure that you know where each member of your team is best suited for advancement. Together, decide what the next few years of advancement look like for the team.
- Employees Are Constantly Committing to Rotational Shifts.
If your business model includes regular shifts, make sure that you are mindful of how often those shifts occur. If you expect your employees to commit to shifts that come up on short notice, it can be extremely frustrating. For example, if you have 24-hour care for your team you’ll have shifts open on the weekend. If one of your team members is expecting a family visit, it can be incredibly frustrating to have to call in sick during those times.
- Your Care Team Feels Overworked and Undervalued.
If your team members feel like they are working too much and being undervalued, they will likely quit. Apart from the pay, one of the best ways to keep your team members happy is to make sure they feel like they are valued. Show them how they are helping people, and let them know that their work is appreciated. At the same time, make sure you understand what your employees need to feel valued. Is it more time off? Is it more breaks? Is it more recognition for the work that they are doing? This is something that each team member will likely have a different answer for.
Keep these top ten reasons your care team quits in mind as you build your team and work to keep them engaged. You can make sure your team stays happy and engaged by making sure that they have everything they need to do their job well. The cost of recruiting and training replacements can become quite steep if you are constantly replacing your staff members.