5 Ways Continuing Education Can Help Retain Healthcare Professionals

Retaining healthcare employees is important anytime, but particularly in a tight job market. CNN Business says, “The U.S. will need to hire 2.3 million new health care workers by 2025 in order to adequately take care of its aging population.” As the baby boomers age, our efforts to not only hire, but retain qualified workers will become increasingly important.

A Monster article suggests the coming nursing shortage could be particularly acute, especially if healthcare reform continues to expand coverage and hospitals seek to improve quality scores and reimbursement. Focusing on retaining quality employees while seeking new ones, is the new business imperative in healthcare circles. Here’s how offering continuing education to employees and potential candidates can help in both areas.

Five Metrics for Continuing Education

Healthcare recruiters can always use the help found in robust hiring packages. One benefit that has clear ROI for the healthcare provider and the employee is continuing education.

While employers may believe workers are too busy to take advantage of these benefits, a study in the Harvard Business Review says that a lack of career advancement opportunities is one of the big reasons employees quit their jobs. A recent Gallup poll backs up this finding, stating that 87 percent of millennials want professional development opportunities in their job. How can employers respond and how can these changes benefit the organization?

  1. Making training a priority for the team has clear benefits for on-the-job skills. Employers should seek feedback from employees to determine a match between their interests and concrete skills they can apply on the job. If employees want to improve their training and public speaking skills, why not engage those employees on an outreach committee to help PR and marketing teams spread goodwill about your facility? Or, put these skills to work for HR/recruiting, at job fairs and schools to encourage more students to go into the healthcare field.
  2. Tying educational benefits to compensation metrics will bring education full circle; employees will seek more education to improve their salary and will apply these skills on the job. Higher salaries mean higher employee retention. Better skills could improve job performance. There is a full-cycle benefit for the entire organization.
  3. Encourage learning at work by allowing at-work study groups. The added benefit is increased camaraderie. A Gallup poll suggests the amount of effort expended in the workplace is equal to the level of friendship and camaraderie on the job. Developing a sense of “we’re all in this together” is a win/win for employee retention.
  4. Adding a tuition reimbursement policy that helps employees at the beginning of the semester is an important benefit distinction that can help retain employees. Monster points out that after-the-fact reimbursement policies can be difficult for single parents and single paycheck employees. If you’re wondering why more employees don’t take advantage of continuing education, look at when you’re paying the benefit, as well as how much you offer.
  5. Recognizing employee education achievement is the final step in leveraging continuing education to help retain healthcare professionals. It’s part of creating a culture of learning in an organization.

Find Top Healthcare Employees Today!

National Recruiters is dedicated to helping you find and retain top healthcare employees. Talk with our team about strategies to help engage and promote existing employees while activating strategies to find new ones. Contact our expert recruiters for advice.

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