Reducing Staff Turnover & Improving Staff Satisfaction

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One of the most costly occurrences at any business is staff turnover.  While turnover is inevitable, there are some steps you can take to significantly reduce the frequency, time, expense and drain on tenured staff by adhering to some compliance best practices.

Surveying your staff on a regular basis is a requirement of The Joint Commission (Ask Renee what the EP is). Many providers do this to “check the box” and meet their accreditation standards. The savvy businesses use this as an opportunity to get a clear understanding of what their staff is experiencing working for their organization and use that information to create a cohesive and proactive working environment. If your employees feel appreciated and taken care of, they’ll take better care of your clients, treat your business like their own and will be less likely to leave for another opportunity. Behavioral Healthcare is a very stressful field, and making sure our people are OK is very important. Someone said, “Take care of your people, they’ll take care of your patients, and it’ll lead to great performance.”

Below are some best practices for surveying your staff:

  • Request staff to take surveys once a month. This should be voluntary, but heavily suggested
  • Offer staff the ability to complete a survey at any time if they choose. This can be done by creating a link that can be accessed in a company web portal or website, QR code that’s posted in public areas at your facility, employee handbook, or having paper survey forms placed in a public place at all times
  • Use an electronic system that will allow you to easily aggregate the information you receive
  • Give staff the option to complete the survey anonymously or use their name
  • Create standard surveys for many areas – some recommended areas to survey include
    • Workplace Safety
    • Company Culture or Peers
    • Management & Leadership
    • Job Satisfaction
    • Communication
  • Ask clear and relevant questions with the end goal in mind. You may not like the answers you get, but this will give you information you need to make your business better
  • Leave space on the survey for free writing, so people can make suggestions or write feedback in their own words
  • Questions should be set up so people can answer on a scale of 1-5, but don’t give them an option to answer 3. This way they are not allowed to sit on the fence. Middle of the road is no opinion, and not very helpful. You can also add Yes or No questions.
  • You may want to assign points values to the questions as well. This way, you can have a score total at the end, and have a quantifiable score
  • Acknowledge the team for taking time to complete surveys. People tend to want to do what others are doing. You don’t necessarily need to share everything, but you want your staff to know that you know that other people are taking the surveys. This can be done with a public posting or an email announcing how many surveys were received this month. Something like “October 2022 – 26 surveys received.” Offer incentives for improved response rate. For example, last month we had 26 completed surveys. If we can hit 30 this month, we’ll order pizzas for everyone next week.
  • Do something with that information. If you’re going to request that people take these surveys, it’s extremely important they don’t feel like it’s a waste of time. Do this by sharing some of this information with the team. For example, last month, we had some comments about the vending machine not being filled often enough. As a resolution, we will be assigning XYZ Supervisor to check the inventory twice a week, instead of once a week. In addition, we’re going to put a suggestion box on the table next to the machine, so you or the clients can request your preferred snacks.  
  • As Peter Drucker said, “You can’t improve what you don’t measure”. If you’re going to get this important data, make it useful. Each question and score should be recorded and graphed if possible. It’s important to look at this information and compare it with historical data and monitor trends.
  • This information should be gathered in a system that gathers your HR and training information for more in depth quantitative analysis. You may find that certain levels of staff receive less hands on training or attention, leading to higher turnover.

If you’d like more guidance on how to collect this information, what data to look at, or how to use this data, please let us know.

The goal with all of this is to recognize positive trends and observe the practices that contribute to those results. Conversely, you can catch downward trends, and look at the causes so you can modify behaviors and systems to improve results.We will be creating additional resources on ways a good compliance program can produce or save your organization money, or help it run more efficiently. If you have any topics or suggestions, please let me know.

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We are a Team of Former Inspectors, Compliance Officers, Developers, and Healthcare Executives who saw a real need for a functional, analytical, and optimized platform for facilities. With our 40,000+ hours of experience, and painstaking creative efficiency – We designed Hatch.

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