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To keep top talent, talk to employees about their workplace needs

By Shannon Geis, MA
May 22, 2017
Body of Knowledge Domain(s): Human Resource Management

If your practice is dealing with high levels of turnover, it may be time to start looking at your organization’s culture. In a recent MGMA Stat poll,  41% of respondents said their staff turnover rate was less than 10% in the last year. Respondents listed front office and clinical support staff as the positions where they saw the most turnover.

“There are a lot of hard costs to turnover,” says Jeff Freeman, senior vice president, people and culture, CompHealth, Salt Lake City. Freeman led a recent webinar called, “Creating a People-Centric Culture to Attract and Retain Top Talent,” which is now available on demand. Hard costs include the actual cost of hiring, training and employing staff. However, turnover also has several soft costs as well, says Freeman, including the negativity turnover and employee replacement can cause to an organization.

To stop high turnover rates, Freeman recommends what are called “stay interviews.” Talk to employees about why they stay at an organization. “Find out before people decide to leave,” he says. The best time to do these interviews is early in an employee’s tenure with the organization, but don’t just do them once, explains Freeman, because people’s motives can change over time. Some of the questions he says administrators should consider asking include:

  • What makes for a great day at work?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you with your job?
  • Does the job described to you before you started match with what you have experienced?
  • Do you have a clear understanding of the company’s goals and how your contribution fits into these goals?
  • Do you know where you stand in terms of your performance?
  • What has been most impactful to your personal development and success?
  • What has been the most challenging part of your role?
  • If you could wave a wand and change something here, what would it be?

Freeman also recommends conducting regular employee surveys and feedback sessions to find out what’s working and what’s not in your organization. Most importantly, make sure to act on the survey results as much as you can. “Be transparent about the things you can and can’t do,” says Freeman, and explain why.

If you acknowledge the feedback, even on things you can’t change right away, employees will feel more committed and engaged with your organization, says Freeman. And that can be the difference between turnover and retention. For more tips on how to retain your employees, check out the full webinar, “Creating a People-Centric Culture to Attract and Retain Top Talent,” available on demand. 

Shannon Geis, MA, Staff writer/editor, MGMA

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