In an industry that is largely shaped by government regulation, workforce planning and a limited supply of skilled talent pool, employee retention takes on a paramount level of importance. This is exacerbated by an increasing level of mobility among healthcare workers in today’s global economy.
It’s common knowledge that to attract, hire and train new hires to an acceptable level of competency takes time and an incredible amount of resources at scale. According to an article in HRM Asia, it cost approximately 33% of a new recruit salary to replace an employee who left their job. Whereas for a highly skilled professional at a higher level, the cost can go up to 150% of the person’s annual income! Whereas according to HRSINGAPORE, the cost of replacing an employee is 50% to 60% of their annual salary.
As an HR or employer, what can you do to improve staff retention? In this article, we will share 5 strategies to reduce the employee turnover rate that are commonly witnessed after the New Year session.
1. Ensure Competitive and Equitable Compensation
It’s a common practice for HR to benchmark the salary compensation of similar roles to that of industry peers. This form of C&B benchmarking works well in certain industries where workers are highly skilled, attain a high level of education and the industry has a high representation of MNCs. (Multi-national corporations)
However for slow growth / sunset industries or industries that are largely dominated by local organizations, entry or lower level staff may not be able to attain a competitive salary relative to the median gross monthly income in Singapore. (According to data provided by MOM Labor market statistics and publications)
The outcome of this will inevitably result in higher turnover among lower-level staff as they strive to improve their income and living condition by repeatedly going after increment from the next and subsequent employers. Given the high cost of living in advanced economies such as Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, it’s understandable why this group of employees choose to do so.
2. Create A Supportive Environment
It’s a known fact that having a supportive work environment is important. It boosts employee morale, work satisfaction and ultimately the retention rate. The first step is to evaluate how the present workforce perceives the existing work culture/ environment. One way to go about it is to conduct pulse surveys regularly. Through this, you can understand the gaps and the needs of the employees. There are free or low-cost ways of conducting pulse surveys. E.g. Google Form or Survey Monkey.
Some of the common needs are better onboarding processes (housing can be a big thing if a significant portion of your workforce are foreigners relocating to your country), facilitate opportunities for employees to relax, offering opportunities for training and development. Perhaps an annual fund for employees to attend courses or recreational activities can be interesting to look at too.
3. Hire Top Notch Employees
For many of us, we may recall an ex-colleague who has left a deep impression. Quite often, these individuals have inspired us through their exemplary conduct (professionally or personally), their domain expertise and how they have influenced us for the better. What if an organization starts to hire more of such individuals? For many organizations in various industries, hiring someone with the basic required skill set and education to fill a role is the default norm.
The question to ask is: What if you start hiring exceptional folks on a pro-active basis? Aside from the positive impact it can have on business operation and morale, perhaps it can even lead to an improved bottom line as well. This is an article by Harvard Business Review on how BlackRock builds a game changing talent strategy.
4. Schedule Stay Interviews
Many organizations organize exit interviews with departing employees to learn why they are leaving the organization and what are the factors that contribute to that decision. Rather than learning this right at the stage where employees no longer desire to work for the organization, why not do this on a regular basis? e.g. semi annual or quarterly basis
This will allow the organization to figure out ways to retain the staff, while addressing the major issues concurrently. A stay interview is a structured discussion between the HRs and employees. The HR will ask a set of questions to learn more about the employee. This can retain employees who may resign in the near future while allowing the organization to build trust with the employees. According to a survey conducted by Paychex from 1,000 HR practitioners, only 27% of the HRs use stay interviews to understand staff concern and improve retention.
Typical questions to ask employee during stay interviews include:
What motivates or demotivates you at work?
What additional skills or expertise are you keen in developing?
Do you feel that you are fairly treated at work?
What challenges or issues do you face in your workplace?
What would make you consider leaving the company?
What can we do to support your growth in this organization?
5. Encourage Employees To Take Time Off
In today’s fast-paced environment, it’s common to have employees feeling burned out and drained. This is especially true for staff working in the front line, on shift or those who regularly worked overtime. Sometimes work can be the only defining thing for an employee, and that becomes an unhealthy thing. Employees who are overworked tend to be unhappy, unlikely to engage well with customers/ colleagues and their productivity can take a hit too. They may not contribute to a positive work environment as well.
Employees who take time to recharge and rest tend to have a positive mindset, get along better with colleagues and are ready to cope with the challenges at work. By actively encouraging employees to go on paid or sabbatical leave, this can lead to a happier and more productive work environment.
In a nutshell, there are many ways a HR can do to reduce employee turnover rate. But it will require a curious mentality, problem solving mindset, willingness to step out of the box and approach this issue with a long-term focus/ implementation.
Read Next Article: 7 Signs You Need To Overhaul Your Talent Acquisition Strategy Now!
If you are looking to fill your healthcare jobs in Singapore, Australia or New Zealand, please visit our career portal today!