Staffing and recruitment challenges continue to weigh on the minds of healthcare leaders. In a recent MGMA Stat poll, 58% of medical practices said staffing was their top challenge going into 2023. In the midst of increased retirements, heightened turnover, and skyrocketing costs, attention is generally focused on recruiting — filling the gaps left behind when employees leave. But just as important, if not more so, is physician retention. How will you keep the employees you have engaged and satisfied with the work they are doing for your organization?
Modern Healthcare’s “Best Places to Work” List Recognizes Retention
Organizations that can effectively answer that question are the ones you’ll find on Modern Healthcare’s annual lists of the Best Places to Work in Healthcare. They have other things in common as well. The companies — which include providers, insurers, and suppliers — have leaders striving to create nurturing, supportive workplaces for their employees, who they see as their most valuable assets.
Modern Healthcare identifies the top companies through an extensive survey completed by the employees of every nominee. While the assessment process has evolved over the years, the mission of the program remains the same: recognizing workplaces that empower employees to provide patients and customers with the best possible care, products, and services.
Practicing What We Preach
As a national physician recruitment firm, Jackson Physician Search spends a lot of time with clients consulting on the ways they might leverage culture to attract and ultimately retain physicians. We highlight the need for communication, engagement, flexibility, and work-life balance. We stress the importance of creating a positive culture that embodies the organization’s mission and then hiring physicians who are a good cultural fit.
Of course, it’s not just physicians who value a positive workplace culture. Jackson Physician Search exemplifies the attributes of a positive workplace culture, and our associates in each of our offices across the country enjoy a nurturing and supportive atmosphere. So, when we advise clients in this area, we speak from firsthand experience.
Modern Healthcare recognizes our strong culture by consistently naming Jackson Physician Search to its list. Most recently, Jackson Physician Search earned the #3 spot on the supplier list (for the second year in a row). It is the seventh consecutive year Jackson Physician Search has held a spot on the list.
What Does it Take to Be a Best Place to Work?
There’s no shortage of advice on creating a positive workplace culture. In fact, Shane Jackson, the president of Jackson Physician Search’s parent company, Jackson Healthcare, wrote a book on the topic. However, a positive workplace culture is not built overnight, and rather, it begins with aligning the organization’s decisions, policies, and actions with its values. This will serve to attract and retain employees who share those same values.
Provide transparency and open communication.
Specifically for physicians and likely all types of staff, open communication and transparency are key values. A recent joint Jackson Physician Search and MGMA study found that today’s physicians prioritize open, two-way communication with management above all else, even compensation. Communication fuels engagement, which has an inverse correlation with burnout. Improve communication and engagement, and you will see other critical areas improve as well.
Implement policies that encourage work-life balance.
Beyond communication, physicians want autonomy and a fair workload that promotes a healthy work-life balance. The circumstances of 2020 caused professionals in every industry to reevaluate the role of work in their lives, and many physicians began to question the assumption that physicians must sacrifice a personal life in order to practice medicine. As a result, physicians of every specialty are seeking reduced administrative burdens, flexible hours, increased PTO, and a better work-life balance. Organizations must treat physicians, and all employees, as whole people with responsibilities outside of the workplace and provide them with the flexibility to give adequate attention to all aspects of their lives.
Commit to competitive compensation.
As important as culture is, fair compensation remains integral to becoming a Best Place to Work. Not only is an attractive compensation package critical to attract physicians, but a commitment to regularly reviewing and adjusting compensation when the market and performance demand is a key element of an effective physician retention plan. If you hope to build trust with physicians, they need to know that you value the work they do and are committed to compensating them fairly for it.
Becoming a Best Place to Work is not out of reach if healthcare leaders are driven to support their associates. Leaders must listen to what is most important to employees and commit to providing the nurturing and supportive environment required for them to serve their patients and the broader community best.
If your organization is seeking a recruitment partner to help attract and retain physicians who fit with your culture, the team at Jackson Physician Search is eager to learn more and help you reach your recruitment goals. Reach out today to learn more.