Thomas Millay

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light many challenges for long-term care providers, but staffing retention continues to remain a top challenge for most organizations. With turnover rates nearing 50%, providers are having to become onboarding experts, but is that where the expertise should be? 

Providers should become experts in retaining employees, as the cost to recruit and train staff can range from $3,000 to $13,000 based on role type. Understanding why staff members are leaving is critical to creating expertise for retention. According to a recent industry report, 63% of employees identified that they have lower motivation and satisfaction in their role, which impacts their performance at work. Additionally, in the same report, 33% of employees identified that having less engagement with coworkers drives down performance and satisfaction. 

During the pandemic, many providers moved towards a distributed workforce which limited staff interactions and helped to feed dissatisfaction. That distribution, blended with staffing shortages, contributed to staff burnout. So how do providers in the COVID era help to fight these challenges? 

Enhancing staff satisfaction

Forward-thinking providers are leveraging employee intranets to empower staff, create a sense of community and activate their culture. Through a centralized portal, providers enable employees to engage with each other to share positive feedback, recognition and awards. In fact, 51% of providers are already providing rewards and recognition programs. But how do you ensure your staff is participating in these programs? 

Creating engagement & collaboration

In addition to helping drive satisfaction, employee intranets also allow your staff to stay connected and collaborate with communication tools and forums. With a distributed workforce, especially staff that were once office-based, isolation can be a big demotivating factor (19% of remote employees say isolation is an issue for them). To break down the isolation of employees, providers can encourage collaboration of staff members to accomplish things like asking questions, give input or even brag a little about going that extra mile for a resident. 

Knowing where to go

Another driver of dissatisfaction among staff is knowing where to find key information or who is the appropriate expert to reach out to. A recent Harvard Business Review study found that employees tend to hide information from peers when they feel that person is reliant on them, a phenomenon known as knowledge hoarding or hiding. To help overcome this challenge, providers can centralize knowledge in an employee intranet, which allows employees to self-serve, identify subject matter experts, and shift the dynamic from dependence on tenured staff to only needing them for occasional questions. 

While there is no easy button for solving staffing shortages, there are ways to help slow turnover. Providers should listen to their staff members, understand areas that are helping to drive dissatisfaction and look for ways to minimize burnout. After all, your staff is focused on the little things that add up, and you should be too! 

If your organization is facing high turnover, think about how an employee intranet can help drive: 

  • Better alignment with your organization’s mission and goals
  • Enhanced organization-wide communications
  • Improved access to must-see information 
  • Increased employee engagement 
  • Collaboration across teams and staff members 

Thomas Millay leads the OnSemble Business Unit as General Manager. He comes to Passageways with over 25 years of management experience in B2B software including senior executive roles at venture capital, private equity and public software companies including Healthx, WebLink, Consona, Sterling Software and Texas Instruments Software.