In an economy where it is no longer necessary for workers to stay with a single organization for their entire career, employee retention is an issue that has dogged many high performance, high-pressure sectors like finance and business — but the problem is probably most stark in the case of the healthcare industry. The average turnover rate for new employees in healthcare rose to 14.7% in 2017, a number that represents a staggering amount of lost time and money for large healthcare organizations that may need to train hundreds of new workers every year.
Although there are many factors driving low employee retention, research on the subject has found that in many cases it comes down to the employee’s sense of connection and integration into the organization as a whole. Workers who have a relationship with their fellow staff members and feel that they are valued members of the team are more likely to stay on, especially during the times of added stress and difficulty that are an inevitable part of life in the healthcare sector.
In the case of hospitals and clinics, feelings of atomization and disconnect are exacerbated by the large number of regulations and protocols employees need to understand to effectively discharge their duties. Managing data flows so every employee knows where they can find vital information, both about their job and about the supports that are available to them as they begin to navigate the complicated world of healthcare, needs to be an essential part of any employee retention strategy.
The problem is that far too many large organizations (both within the healthcare sector and beyond it) still rely on antiquated data-sharing methods like printed handbooks, or complicated intranet tools like SharePoint that make it difficult for employees to quickly and easily find the answers they are looking for.
Given the importance of ensuring the highest possible standards of security and confidentiality, one of the most durable and effective solutions to this problem of employee integration is building specialized private networks for internal use by staff. Companies like Intranetconnections.com have extensive experience working with the healthcare sector, and can private networks that meet the particular needs of clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare organizations.
Employees can use these networks to instantly access the data they need in order to effectively perform their roles, and they can also serve as a digital repository for e-forms, workflows, and training documents. This is one of the best ways to ensure that new employees always know where to find answers to their questions. And because these networks can be designed to create internal communications platforms, they also make it easier for employees to contact each other in easy and secure ways.
As any experienced administrator knows, turnover rates come with a high price tag: it is estimated that turnover among nursing staff alone costs hospitals between $5 million and $7 million every year. Even harder to estimate are the human costs — the lost capacity, lost talent, and lost time caused by employees feeling isolated and unsupported in their work. For healthcare organizations that want to address this crisis, building a functional internal network is a key first step.