Hiring and retaining top talent in the behavioral health field isn’t always easy. Not only have there been widespread labor shortages impacting behavioral health and human services for the past several years, but organizations typically don’t have the budget to offer highly competitive salaries, making recruiting even more challenging. As such, it has become increasingly urgent for behavioral health organizations to prioritize employee retention and prevent employee turnover, which can negatively impact operations, other staff members, and patients.
Taking a holistic approach to human capital management (HCM) with the right tech solutions can help organizations enhance job satisfaction and combat high employee turnover. Find out how your company can benefit from features designed to encourage employee recognition, improve staffing, and boost employee retention.
Understanding Employee Turnover
Employee turnover measures the number of employees who leave an organization within a specific period of time. Employee turnover rates are often measured in monthly or annual increments.
The total employee turnover rate includes both voluntary and involuntary turnover. Voluntary turnover refers to employees who choose to leave the organization, including resignations or retirement. Involuntary turnover occurs when the employer decides to let the employee go through layoffs or firing them.
Typically, organizations are most concerned with measuring and preventing voluntary turnover as that is the portion that they don’t have direct control over. That said, maintaining financial sustainability and avoiding overhiring can help prevent involuntary turnover as well.
The Importance of Combating Employee Turnover in Behavioral Health
Employee retention is one of the top challenges for behavioral health and human services providers. This segment of health care typically has higher-than-average employee turnover rates, with some studies estimating turnover rates of up to 70% within the field. This can present a variety of challenges for organizations.
Having a high turnover rate can be costly as you must account for the expense of onboarding a new employee along with the lost productivity while that role is waiting to be filled. In the healthcare field, it’s also common for organizations to pay overtime or extra labor costs to have current employees work to fill the hours or caseload for the open role, or for a contract travel clinician to come in and provide coverage.
These factors hurt a company’s bottom line and can lead to staff burnout if other employees must pick up extra hours or take on a higher workload after an employee leaves. Since burnout is already a significant issue in the field, this is a major concern and can lead to even more turnover down the road. Turnover can also negatively impact employee morale within the work environment and encourage other employees to consider leaving as well.
Employee turnover can also harm the patient experience. In behavioral health and human services, a great deal of work goes into building trust between patients and care providers. Building that relationship over time can be incredibly valuable for the patient experience and care outcomes. If clinicians and even front desk staff members are frequently leaving, patients aren't able to build those ongoing relationships or feel as comfortable when visiting a facility.
How to Boost Employee Retention With a Unified Human Capital Management Platform
Taking a holistic approach to human capital management can help you support your team members throughout the whole employee lifecycle. As a result, you can deliver a positive employee experience and reduce voluntary turnover. A unified HCM platform can provide a centralized location for your workforce data, performance management tools, internal communication, recruiting management, employee benefits, and other key human resource management initiatives that promote employee retention. Here’s a closer look at some key benefits of using a holistic HCM system.
Reduce Burnout by Hiring Intelligently
Employee burnout is a serious challenge in behavioral health and human services. Employees in this field often have to take on heavier workloads due to the industry’s ongoing labor shortage. This can prevent them from getting adequate rest in between shifts or achieving a reasonable level of work-life balance. Employees who feel overworked or burned out tend to become disengaged and may start looking for other employment that can give them the healthy work-life balance they need.
To prevent this increase in employee turnover and promote better employee wellness, behavioral health organizations must carefully allocate staffing resources to provide adequate employee support. This may require hiring extra team members to offset the workloads of employees in busy or short-staffed departments or roles.
ContinuumCloud’s HCM platform can help leaders track labor needs and hours in real-time to obtain insights on where help is needed most. The platform’s unique Position Control feature also helps employers prevent over-hiring and prioritize hiring for their open positions by providing a clearer view of the current openings and an organized hiring approval process.
Encourage Frequent Employee Recognition
Providing frequent recognition and feedback to employees can boost morale and reduce employee turnover. However, this is one area that many employers get wrong. Research from Harvard Business School found that over 80% of employees don't feel recognized or rewarded by their employers.
ContinuumCloud’s HCM solution offers employers different ways to provide more frequent recognition for top performers. For one, the platform includes a built-in peer-to-peer employee recognition feature called Shout Outs. This online recognition program allows individuals to recognize their peers for their help, accomplishments, or exceptional patient care. Peer-to-peer feedback is valuable as it validates an individual’s contributions while encouraging teamwork.
The platform also provides tools to encourage more frequent check-ins and feedback between managers and employees. Many organizations simply rely on the annual performance review as the primary method of delivering feedback but employees often desire more frequent, ongoing feedback.
ContinuumCloud’s HCM platform makes it easy for employers to provide continual feedback, track progress on performance goals, and schedule regular check-ins. These check-ins also encourage employee retention by offering more opportunities to discuss potential career paths and internal growth opportunities rather than looking for a new job elsewhere. Encouraging open discussion on future goals and career development can help keep your high-performing employees motivated and deter them from looking outside the organization for their next role.
Streamline Employee Benefits
Providing the benefits that employees want — and effectively communicating those benefits in a clear manner — can improve employee satisfaction. Understanding and comparing the available benefits packages and plans can be complicated, but the right platform can make a big difference. Offering benefits like health insurance or special perks and fringe benefits is only an effective employee retention strategy if employees know that those things are being offered and can easily sign up for them.
ContinuumCloud streamlines benefits administration from both the employer and employee perspectives. Employees can make their own benefits selections within the platform while having easy access to the information they need to pick the right plan. Employers can track open enrollment or special enrollments for new hires to ensure that all paperwork is complete by the set deadlines.
Simplify the Employee Experience
An outdated or hard-to-use employee portal can be a source of frustration. However, easy to-access self-service tools can positively impact employee engagement and retention. Team members need the ability to quickly clock in, request time off, view their paycheck, or update their information without the hassle of signing into different systems or navigating a clunky and outdated system. A user-friendly, all-in-one platform can simplify the employee experience and provide smoother workflows for your staff. It’s also a good idea to look for a platform offering mobile workforce solutions to accommodate employees engaged in hybrid or remote work.
Track Employee Retention Metrics
Organizations can make use of workforce analytics to better understand their staff turnover and employee retention rates. With ContinuumCloud’s HCM, leaders can view metrics on retention rates by department, job level, and other customizable factors to help identify problem areas.
You can view turnover rates for a specific period of time or review monthly turnover and annual turnover rates. Reviewing changes in turnover rates across different time periods can also help you narrow in on factors that affect employee retention, such as changes in working conditions, company culture, or management. It can also allow you to see when outside factors like the pandemic had a large impact.
Drilling down into these metrics and segmenting them by department, manager, or other key metrics can help you understand why employees are leaving. Workforce analytics can also be used to look at possible indicators for future turnover. For example, departments with higher absenteeism rates may be most at risk for turnover. Poor performance scores may also be an indication that employees are becoming disengaged and are likely to leave soon.
When paired with other employee retention strategies, such as stay or exit interviews and employee satisfaction surveys, workforce analytics can provide exceptional insights into the causes of employee turnover within your company.
Improve Employee Retention With ContinuumCloud
No company wants to lose good employees. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the risk. The key is to leverage the tools that will help your organization provide a better employee experience. Ensuring manageable workloads, providing recognition for hard work, setting clear goals for professional development, and sharing growth opportunities all improve the chances of retaining top talent in the long run.
ContinuumCloud’s unified HCM solution offers an easy-to-navigate, all-in-one solution that was created specifically for those in behavioral health and human services. Your employees don’t need to worry about logging into separate platforms for payroll, benefits, or performance management. They can easily view their pay, understand their benefits, and review their performance goals in an easy-to-use platform for a more positive experience overall.
Contact us to learn more about how ContinuumCloud can help you hang on to your best employees and help them thrive.