Research by consulting firm Hay Group, shows that UK staff turnover rates are predicted to rise from 14.6% to 18% by 2018 i, which in itself is a surprising statistic. However, the bigger issue at present is that employee turnover in the care industry alone is already at 19% ii. This number simply highlights what most people already knew, that there are challenges facing the care industry over the coming years. Given the increasing life expectancy rates and the fact that more people are surviving into old age, England will need to add approximately 1 million workers by 2025 in response to the population ageing iii
So does this mean it’s time to start panicking? Certainly not. The answer can be found in a very simple and easy-to-implement process… employee training and development. Increasing the knowledge and expertise of existing healthcare staff and candidates looking to enter the healthcare industry is a sure-fire way to combat the growing departures and imminent knowledge gaps.
Learning and development
45% of staff say they’d feel more motivated if their organisation invested in skills training - cityofbristol.ac.uk
Everybody likes the idea of bettering themselves, and as shown above, active participation in learning and development can dramatically increase engagement levels as well as the motivation levels of staff and candidates. There is also an inherent benefit for you too, because by introducing a development programme with clear goals and targets, you can track staff/candidate performance and skill gaps. This gives you the opportunity to rapidly provide additional training where needed. Investing in staff and candidates in such ways shows them that not only do you care about them professionally, but that they also have a great opportunity to improve themselves and their career.
Career goals and pathways
It’s no secret that salaries and stress levels play a large part in the high turnover rate of staff in the healthcare sector, but this can be overcome (without major investment). When staff become disengaged with their roles, targets and their progression path, they start to lose interest, and this is when departures begin to happen. The solution then is to ensure employees and candidates entering the industry are given a clear path for progression with achievable targets/objectives. As long as the organisation then adheres to the progression path and duly promotes/rewards those that reach their targets, staff will be kept motivated, enthusiastic and will remain loyal to the company. Simply by documenting a pathway to success and highlighting the targets that need to be reached, the beliefs and mindset of the employee/candidate can be transformed.
It should go without saying, but the best way to ensure learning and development of staff and candidates achieves the best outcome (reduced turnover and improved recruitment) is to speak to them. Create an open dialogue in which staff and potential employees can raise questions about learning and development and also identify areas where they feel they may need more information or knowledge. It’s also a good idea to allow workers to request training in particular fields in order for them to become knowledgeable about different subject matters, and ultimately remain engaged with the role.
Training the easy way
Although training and development may seem like the ideal way to combat the staff turnover rates in the care industry, many will say that they don’t have the resources to allow staff to leave the office and attend training courses. But these businesses need not fret! With industry-specific courses now available online thanks to innovative training providers, care homes and recruiters can now ensure staff not only have the qualifications they need, but also the knowledge they want – with minimal disruption to operations.