Healthcare workers have been through the wringer recently, and it should come as no surprise that many are feeling more than a little burned out. In fact, many healthcare workers are choosing to leave their roles or the profession as a whole (more than 40% of healthcare workers – per our latest survey). This has created a significant worker shortage that has had far reaching negative impacts on those still in the field, the hospitals and facilities where they work, and the patients they care for.

It’s clear that hospitals and healthcare organizations must focus on extending employee tenure and retaining their talent, a tough feat in an industry that can take a heavy emotional toll, even in the best of times. So, what can healthcare employers do to help reverse the resignation trends of the past few years? What do healthcare workers want and how can employers provide it?

Understanding the Discontent

The Keep Financial team recently conducted a survey of healthcare workers to dig into these issues. The questions centered on employee sentiment, engagement, compensation, and retention. Our results suggest that the industry is grappling with high levels of discontent, with only 54% of respondents feeling valued and 41% considering leaving their jobs.

What are the reasons for this discontent? Clearly, the healthcare industry has faced serious challenges in recent years, challenges that would test even the most devoted of workers. So, it’s no shocker that burnout was one of the top reasons noted by those considering leaving. However, despite rampant cases of burnout across the field, “better pay” came in above all else, with 56% citing it as a reason they were contemplating a new job. Those numbers suggest that a large percentage of workers feel they’re being undercompensated or are not earning enough to feel financially comfortable – or motivated to stay in such a demanding role.

Delivering Stability and Opportunity

Our survey also dug into questions around compensation, to see how a change in compensation model could impact sentiment. It found that 85% of respondents would take an upfront cash bonus (beyond existing compensation) in exchange for staying at the company for a specified period of time. This suggests that an immediate lump sum of cash has the power to deliver meaningful value and even change worker sentiment.

Of course, each employee measures value differently. What’s important to one individual may mean nothing to another, so it’s difficult to deliver reliable value with a one-size-fits-all package of traditional employee perks. With cash, it’s different. With no spending stipulation, cash has the power to deliver personalized value and make a difference in people’s lives, no matter their life situation or need.  

The survey went on to ask how respondents would spend that upfront cash, and results offered a glimpse into what many in the field are after. The top three answers were pay off debt (39%), save for retirement (38%) and invest (27%), all of which point to the desire to increase financial stability and overall financial wellness.

Indeed, receiving a lump sum of cash can be life changing and go a long way toward helping build financial stability and wealth. Healthcare employers who can deliver that kind of value to their employees are more likely to recruit top talent – and retain them – which helps ensure more consistent care for patients, reduce workplace disruptions, and slash time and money required for recruitment. By listening to employee desires and adjusting compensation plans to help address them, employers can help improve worker happiness, satisfaction, and retention, which has far-reaching benefits for both healthcare providers and patients.

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