July 2005

Human Resource Leaders Focus on Employee Retention


Minimizing employee turnover is a critical success factor for any organization, and Catholic Health Initiatives is no exception. Recently, human resource leaders from across the system participated in a teleconference to discuss tactics that have proven to be effective in reducing turnover at market-based organizations. Following is a summary of practices for employee retention within Catholic Health Initiatives: Paying Attention to the Basics
  • Ensure that compensation structures are competitive in the market.
  • Hire for fit, ensuring that candidates fit the workplace culture as well as skill requirements.
  • Fill vacancies to prevent employee stress as a result of understaffing.
  • Provide “safety net” benefits for employees, such as Employee Assistance Programs that can help them deal with work/life balance issues.
  • Develop the future workforce, perhaps by working with schools in the community.
Engaging Employees
  • Have supervisors meet regularly with employees to discuss employee development needs and any barriers to development.
  • Focus on new employees through a structured assimilation process.
  • Use employee recognition programs to recognize as many employees as possible, even those with less tenure.
  • Involve employees in the development of policies and procedures, as well as their consistent application.
  • Use patient satisfaction programs to engage employees and model desired behaviors.
  • Establish a Workplace Improvement Fund that provides each department with a modest amount of money that employees can use as they like to improve their work environment.
  • Provide diversity training as a way to improve overall engagement and relationship building.
Developing Employees
  • Provide managers with training in basic management skills, coaching techniques and team building skills.
  • Conduct quarterly meetings with managers whose departments exceed targeted turnover levels to identify causes and action plans for improvement.
  • Conduct exit interviews with departing employees to identify issues and areas for improvement.
  • Provide development and career advancement opportunities for front-line employees.
For more information on these practices and the market-based organizations that have used them successfully, contact Dan Clark, vice president of human resources for Catholic Health Initiatives, at danclark@catholichealth.net.