School Them

Lesson 2: Topic 12 of 21

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Unused skills atrophy. New skills are needed as work demands change and new technology is introduced. When you commit to keeping your staff trained, it sends a message to them: you matter enough to us that we will invest in you.

Why is that? Well, training costs money, and there are a number of facilities that operate on thin margins, seeking to cut costs wherever possible. Training is an easy budget to cut, but doing so is detrimental in the long term.

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Given the pressure coming from healthcare oversight agencies to reduce turnover, offering staff opportunities to enhance their skills and advance internally would be a way to keep good people, enhance job satisfaction, and meet regulatory requirements. So consider adopting the following:

  • Pace your in-house training; don’t cram too much information into meetings.
  • For your licensed and certified personnel, arrange to pay for their continuing education units (CEUs). 
  • Arrange for skills monitoring and skills refreshers on a routine and random basis. 
  • Coordinate with outside entities to put on seminars or workshops for employees on topics that are pertinent to their roles (many of these can be free or at a nominal cost from providers who fund it out of their marketing budgets). 
  • Offer tuition assistance or tuition reimbursement programs for career-specific college courses. 
  • Prioritize promoting from within and design a clear path for staff to move up in the organization. 

That last point bears repeating. It’s well known that employees who feel they are stagnating at their current employer are likely to jump ship to be challenged, find growth, and advance their careers. According to Dr. Jacquelyn Kung, CEO of Activated Insights, hospitals tend to promote from within roughly half of their staff, and in the hotel and retail sectors it’s about one third of their staff, while that statistic plunges to well below 20% in long term care facilities. Since, as has been pointed out, long term care employees have the highest rate of turnover, giving them not merely adequate but exceptional training that offers a chance to move up is one way to retain them.