Your Playbook to Improve Staff Retention

Increased staff attrition rates mean healthcare organizations are spending valuable time and money on rehiring and re-training new employees and losing revenue.

Staff attrition rates in healthcare rose 20.6 percent in the past year, a startling increase that is likely to complicate efficient operations in an organization.1 As employee turnover grows, healthcare organizations struggle with the high costs of replacement, which can average an astounding 150 percent of that employee’s annual salary.2

As you’re working tirelessly to defeat recurring departures, consider playing defense—getting to the root of the problem before it surfaces. Why are key players opting out of their spot on your team? Let’s first dive into three main reasons for staff attrition:

Three Strikes… And They’re Out


Have you ever heard the phrase, “People don’t quit jobs—they quit bosses”? Employees who have issues with their direct supervisor’s management style and are unable to communicate effectively are more likely to move on.3

Workload and job content

Employees often break away from an organization because of overwhelming workloads and/or assigned work that is unrelated to their skillset.4 They are likely to seek other opportunities with better work-life balance and alignment with their skills.

Few or no career advancement opportunities

Employees may feel stagnant and lose interest in their career if there is no clear path for career advancement or access to professional development and training tools. These individuals will in turn seek opportunities with more growth potential.

A Winning Game Plan

There are a handful of educational resources and programs you can implement to make employees feel valued and excited to work towards your organization’s mission. Here are six plays to cultivate employee satisfaction and defeat staff attrition.

1) Onboarding & New Hire Orientation

A strong retention game plan starts on day one. With a purposeful onboarding process in place, you can standardize knowledge of the company, culture, and how an employee’s position fits into the mission.5 A well-onboarded employee is more comfortable and motivated, leading to a higher chance of retention.6

2) Mentorship Programs

New hires who are assigned a mentor have an edge in adjusting to company culture. These employees can work with their mentors to ask questions, learn more about the organization, and discuss any issues that arise.5

A strong mentor provides guidance and makes their mentee feel confident in their role—making them more likely to stay with the company. Leadership training programs are a great resource for building strong mentors.

3) Training & Professional Development

Building a clear career path for employees with high-quality educational resources and career advancement opportunities increases staff retention.7 Examples of training and professional development options include tuition reimbursement and a budget for continuing education training.

4) Competitive Salary & Benefits

Skilled employees are more likely to stay in an organization if they are paid well. Things to consider when defining compensation include skills, experience, supply and demand, and geographical location. And it’s not only pay—strong benefit packages including health insurance and continuing education reimbursement also help attract and retain staff.8

5) Staff Engagement

Engaging and recognizing your staff leads to overall greater job satisfaction. Leaders should make an effort to engage with staff at every level, from providing leadership training and professional development to public recognition of accomplishments and regular team celebrations.9

6) Meaningful Work

Employees who find their work meaningful are happier, perform better, and choose to advance their career within their current organization. Get employees excited about their role with a clear, constructive, and meaningful onboarding process.8

Make sure your employees know your bigger picture and demonstrate how their work fits into that. Providing background on the meaningful purpose they’ll serve sets a solid foundation for employee satisfaction.

Building an All-Star Team

All or a combination of several of these plays can earn your organization a well-deserved win—better staff engagement and lower staff attrition. With an engaged and retained staff, not only will you have a strong team, you’ll improve your bottom line by reducing costs to hire. Start engaging your staff on the first day with open communication and a meaningful onboarding program to get them excited to advance their position on your team.

Looking for tools to get started? MedBridge believes that providing high-quality education is the most effective way to engage and retain staff. Implement a winning strategy with professional development resources that include video-based continuing education courses, leadership and onboarding training, live webinars, orientation offerings, and advanced Certification Prep Programs. With these powerful solutions, your staff will be equipped to take their career to the next level all while improving quality of care and outcomes in your organization.

  1. Becker’s Hospital Review, “Will 2018 be the year healthcare addresses its turnover problem?” January 2018
  2. Alvernia University, “The Hidden Cost of Employee Turnover” October 2016
  3. The Street, “People Don’t Quit Jobs - They Quit Bosses” May 2018
  4. Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies, April 2018
  5. Robert Half, “Effective Employee Retention Strategies,” June 2018
  6. Tiny Pulse, “Why good onboarding leads to better employee retention,” July 2018
  7. Robert Half, “Professional Development Training: A Win for the Entire Team,” February 2017
  8. Forbes, “7 Tips to Better Employee Retention,” March 2015
  9. Select International, “Seven Steps to Improving Employee Retention in Healthcare,” 2016