In 2019, the overall national turnover rate for US based home health care employees was a staggering 21.89%. Better put, last year you lost 1 out of every 5 employees you had. Those are employees that you had spent money recruiting, onboarding, and training. Those are employees you then had to replace, spending more money recruiting, onboarding, and training the replacements. In fact, the Society for Human Management estimates it costs a company an average of 6 to 9 month’s pay to replace each lost employee.
The numbers are even more dismal in certain disciplines. Home care aides had a turnover rate of 25.36%, with LPNs running a close 22.50%. If you own or manage a home health care organization, you’re already aware of the high turnover rates and the unrecoverable costs involved.
WHAT DRIVES EMPLOYEE TURNOVER?
Why is there such a huge turnover rate in healthcare? The answers can vary depending on the setting where care is being delivered.
Home-Based Care Providers
When queried, the top 10 reasons for caregivers to leave a home-based healthcare business were:
- Poor Communication
- Hours and Scheduling
- Low pay and benefits
- Receiving little or no training
- Lack of recognition
- Lack of expectations with first client
- Lack of client compatibility
- Rude office staff – lack of respect
- Lack of openness to new ideas by management
- Travel or commute times
Identifying the areas of dissatisfaction and then controlling the controllable in your employee relations is one of the fundamental keys to improving employee retention. Though not stated as such, please notice that each of the enumerated complaints focuses on either an issue of respect or an issue of personal quality of life.
In fact, it could well be argued that a perceived lack of respect directly impacts personal quality of life, therefore making all 10 top reasons quality of life dependent.
Community, Facility and Hospital Based Care Providers
The top 10 reasons for employees to leave location-based care providers leave is comparable, but different in a few key elements
- Lack of advancement opportunities
- Work overload
- Poor salary
- Insufficient staff
- Poor organizational culture
- Lack of mentoring
- Poor personal fit with boss
- Insufficient access to technology
- Lack of training
- Insufficient time with patients
Though perhaps worded differently, there are clearly key commonalities why employees leave healthcare that stand independent of “where” the job is conducted. Ironically, they also stand independent of what discipline is queried.
Again, there is a clear level of importance placed on quality of life, as well as being provided the tools and information necessary to perform their job at an acceptable level.
Commonalities irrespective of location or discipline include:
- Poor communication
- Perceived lack of support
- Heavy workloads resulting in overly long hours
- Lack of training
- Insufficient compensation/benefits
- Lack of growth potential
Improving Employee Retention & Quality of Life
Employee retention is dependent on addressing these common concerns. You must control the controllable. To do so, your healthcare company must implement programs that address the following fundamental areas that lead directly to employee dissatisfaction:
- Centralized Communication
- Support Resources
- Digital Workflows
- Preparing New Hires For Success
- Training and Education
- Career Planning