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January 20, 2023

Five Ways to Avoid Staff Burnout in Healthcare

Healthcare is hemorrhaging.

We're bleeding staff. The best workers suffer from burnout, get disillusioned, and leave.

How do we stop it?

Here are five ways to reduce staff burnout, increase employee satisfaction, and build stronger departments. 

1. Ask your staff what matters to them. 

One of the best ways to assess staff satisfaction in any work environment is simple: Ask them. 

Too often, decisions are made at the highest levels of an organization and handed down. Frequently, this type of decision making does not take into account workplace conditions, the requirements of the actual work being done, or the needs of the people performing the tasking. Instead, decisions are made based on perceived business outcomes, overall optics, or revenue. 

According to one radiology technologist included in a study performed by Phillips

“Working with patients and helping them to feel better” has always been extremely satisfying for me. However, the overall patient throughput has “increased tremendously for profit reasons,” so time spent with the patient has decreased to “close to zero.” 

The same study noted that the most important factor of job satisfaction to the staff they spoke with was: the “ability to work as a team to deliver highly competent, patient-centered care.”

Some companies have instituted something formally called a “listening program.” According to HR Morning, companies that solicited feedback (and acted on it) had retention rates up to eleven times higher than those that didn't. 

In the healthcare setting, when the average hospital turnover rate is more than 25% (versus just over 10% across all industries), keeping valued staff is a critical priority. 

Tactical Application: 

  • Ask hard questions and listen to the answers. Why do your employees stay? Why do they leave? What brings them satisfaction in their work? Are hours and benefits fair? 

2. Once you’ve asked the questions, act on the answers. 

Asking for input is pointless if there is no plan to implement suggestions and demonstrate that the asking wasn’t only for show. Given the high costs of recruitment and staff training, even moderate investments in employee retention are likely to provide significant cost savings.

Tactical Application: 

  • Show staff you’re listening by publishing or otherwise sharing the results of the survey. 
  • Increase the transparency of administrative decisions, including valued staff in the process, or at least informing them of timelines and reasoning behind decisions.
  • Dedicate effort to implementing significant changes when it is clear they will likely increase staff satisfaction. 

3. Invest in employee growth and well-being. 

Advancement is surprisingly often ranked as more important than compensation. According to a LinkedIn report, 94% of employees stated that they’d stay with an organization longer if it invested in helping them learn. 

Additional inputs are likely to focus on benefits and compensation, and organizations should be thinking about the increasing post-pandemic emphasis on wellness and autonomy as well as catering to a younger workforce as baby boomers continue to retire. 

Tactical Application: 

Options for new programs might include: 

  • Student loan assistance programs
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Childcare assistance or facilities
  • Wellness stipends for things like massage or fitness classes

4. Prioritize an inclusive culture if you haven’t already. 

A recent survey demonstrated that only 62% of healthcare respondents worked for organizations with DEI initiatives in 2021. 

If your organization isn’t focusing on inclusion and diversity, or isn’t sure where to get started building this into your current language, culture and practices, there are DEI consultants available to help show you where to begin. There’s no defense for ignoring the importance of workforce inclusivity. 

Tactical Application: 

  • Evaluate current wording of departmental memos or announcements and adjust to use inclusive language. 
  • Invest in training for managers and above. 
  • Bring on a DEI consultant or hire a staff position to oversee inclusivity and diversity efforts. 

5. Evaluate workloads and employ automation where possible. 

The best workers tend to be those of whom we ask the most. The most time, the most work, the most…everything. Acknowledge that everyone deserves time off, and find ways to distribute workload to keep from burning out your best employees. 

Even if there is initial investment required up front, there are advancing technologies that can help lessen rote and mundane tasking, freeing up employees to return to more satisfying and hands-on work with patients. 

Tactical Application: 

Look for technologies that can automate workflows in areas like: 

  • Quality control and assurance
  • Documentation
  • Analysis of routine testing
  • Tracking equipment status and maintenance
  • Employee credential management

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January 20, 2023
Five Ways to Avoid Staff Burnout in Healthcare

We're bleeding staff. The best workers suffer from burnout, get disillusioned, and leave. How do we stop it?‍ Here are five ways to reduce staff burnout, increase employee satisfaction, and build stronger departments. 

Read more >
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In the near future, Enzee’s platform will provide the same features from radiology and radiation oncology to the entire hospital equipment QA program and also connect to existing compliance and test tracking apps, providing a holistic picture of a facility’s compliance and quality across personnel and departments.