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    Cristy Good
    Cristy Good, MPH, MBA, CPC, CMPE
    Daniel Williams
    Daniel Williams, MBA, MSEM

    Ask MGMA receives several questions about how medical group practices respond to being short-staffed and handling high employee turnover. In our recent 2023 MGMA DataDive Practice Operations survey report, MGMA’s latest benchmarking data show that turnover rates for front office staff across all practices hit 40% in 2022, and clinical support and business operations support staff turnover rates were 33%.

    Dealing with staffing shortages and high employee turnover can be challenging for a medical practice, but there are several best practices that can help you manage these issues effectively:

    1. Develop a comprehensive recruitment strategy:
      • Create a well-defined recruitment strategy that outlines where and how to find potential candidates.
      • Utilize online job boards, social media, and professional networks to expand your candidate pool. The MGMA Career Center supports both those wanting to post jobs as well as those seeking opportunities.
      • Consider employee referral programs to encourage current staff to refer qualified candidates.
    2. Streamline the hiring process:
      • Simplify and expedite the hiring process to minimize the time between posting a job and making an offer.
      • Use technology to automate candidate screening and assessments.
      • Conduct structured interviews with standardized questions to evaluate candidates consistently.
    3. Develop competitive compensation and benefits: MGMA DataDive has benchmarks that practices can use to compare to
      • Regularly review and adjust compensation packages to remain competitive in the market.
      • Consider offering performance-based bonuses or incentives to retain top talent.
      • Ensure that your benefits package, including healthcare and retirement plans, is attractive to employees.
    4. Prioritize employee engagement:
      • Focus on creating a positive workplace culture that promotes employee engagement and job satisfaction.
      • Encourage open communication and feedback between staff and management.
      • Recognize and reward employees for their contributions and achievements.
    5. Invest in training and development:
      • Develop comprehensive onboarding programs to help new hires integrate quickly and effectively. We have an Orientation and Onboarding Toolkit that many find helpful.
      • Provide ongoing training and opportunities for skill development. Some groups have developed their own programs in which they “grow their own.”
      • Support career advancement through mentorship and educational assistance programs.
    6. Flexible scheduling and work-life balance:
      • Offer flexible work schedules when possible to accommodate employee needs.
      • Implement work-life balance initiatives to reduce burnout and turnover.
      • Consider telecommuting or remote work options where feasible.
    7. Cross-train staff:
      • Cross-train employees to perform multiple roles to address staffing shortages.
      • Develop contingency plans for key positions to ensure minimal disruption in case of turnover.
    8. Employee well-being programs:
      • Implement wellness programs that promote physical and mental health.
      • Provide access to employee assistance programs for support during personal challenges.
    9. Regularly assess staffing needs:
      • Continuously monitor staffing levels and adjust hiring strategies as needed.
      • Use data and analytics to predict staffing needs based on patient volume and other factors.
      • Utilize temporary staffing agencies when experiencing short-term shortages.
      • Consider the use of locum tenens providers for medical roles.
    10. Create succession plans:
      • Develop succession plans for key positions to ensure a smooth transition in case of unexpected departures.
      • Identify and groom internal candidates for leadership roles. If you can do this well, your leadership will be set up for success rather than drinking through the fire hose.
    11. Exit interviews and feedback:
      • Conduct exit interviews to gather feedback from departing employees.
      • Use exit interview data to identify trends, concerns, and areas for improvement.
      • Act on feedback to make necessary changes to reduce turnover.

    Remember to reach out to your colleagues on the MGMA Community as they are a great resource to bounce ideas off. There is also a library with resources that members have shared that can be helpful.  There has been a recent conversation in the Manager Collaboration where members have been sharing some of their most helpful interview questions. We will be using some of their suggestions for a new tool coming up.  A few other new tools that will soon be available include an Employee Satisfaction Survey example and Sample Exit Interview questions.

    Additional resources

    Daniel Williams

    Written By

    Daniel Williams, MBA, MSEM

    Daniel provides strategic content planning and development to engage healthcare professionals, managers and executives through e-newsletters, webinars, online events, books, podcasts and conferences. His major emphasis is in developing and curating relevant content in healthcare leadership and innovation that informs, educates and inspires the MGMA audience. You can reach Daniel at or 877.275.6462 x1298.

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