Health care providers will continue to struggle to retain employees unless they make necessary changes, such as establishing pay increases and improving company culture, according to two recently released reports.
Nearly 40% of healthcare workers are considering leaving their organization, said a report released last week by Qualtrics, a provider of experience management software. The company surveyed 3,000 healthcare professionals for the report.
Much of healthcare workers’ desire to leave stems from feelings of burnout, according to the report. But dissatisfaction with payment also plays a role. Healthcare ranked last in employee satisfaction with pay among the 27 other industries Qualtrics surveyed. Only half of healthcare workers think their pay is fair.
A report released Tuesday by education technology company Cengage Group revealed another reason health care workers leave jobs — the mission and values of their employers. The report surveyed 200 healthcare workers aged 25 and over who left their job and found a new one in the same industry between May 2021 and May 2022.
A full 52% of healthcare workers who left their jobs said the main reason they left was that their company’s mission no longer aligned with their values. Healthcare workers cited this reason three times more often than compensation, according to the report.
In an interview earlier this month, director of a California nurses union, said dangerous levels of staffing shortages among health care providers are making health care workers feel as if their employers don’t care much about patient safety. This creates a critical disconnect between the values of workers and their employers, as nurses typically enter their jobs to help people and provide quality care, said Rosanna Mendez, executive director of SEIU Local 121RN.
She said it is not unusual for a patient to fall out of their hospital bed because there is no nurse to help them get to the toilet. Patients also often have to wait much longer than they should to get their medication because nurses aren’t available to administer it, she explained.
“Ultimately, this causes enormous moral, psychological and emotional harm to nurses. They come home in tears because they are unable to provide the care they want,” Mendez said.
Job hopping doesn’t necessarily solve the mismatch problem, the Cengage Group report found. Among workers who left their healthcare role for another in the same industry, 35% said they regretted the decision. This is significantly higher than the rate reported among the survey’s 1,200 respondents across all industries, which was 16%.
The report also found that 69% of healthcare leavers were happy in their new role. That’s significantly lower than rates reported in other industries—for example, 86 percent of the 200 tech industry leavers included in the report said they were happy in their new role.
Healthcare needs to take a serious and comprehensive look at these workforce issues if the industry is to solve its workforce crisis – the report says healthcare is doing incredibly poorly at attracting new talent.
Across all industries, the vast majority of respondents said they would change careers if they lost their jobs. But only 9% say they would switch to healthcare.
Photo: FG Trade, Getty Images