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The Power of Tracking Turnover
What does your medical practice stand to gain by tracking employee turnover rates? Typically, turnover rates are associated with a negative connotation. However, by tracking and understanding your organization’s employee turnover rate, important information can be collected and leveraged to retain employees.
The first step to leveraging your practice’s turnover rate is to find the percentage of employees separated from your practice within a given time period; typically a 6 to 12 month timeframe is utilized. This can be calculated by utilizing the following formula:
Employee Turnover Rate = Total Number of Separations
Total Number of Employees
So what does this percentage mean? Although comparing your turnover rate to other medical practices may seem beneficial, it is important to understand your company is unique. As a standard metric, your company should aim for a turnover rate less than 15% in a 6 to 12-month period. In addition, in order to avoid overlooking underlying problems your organization may be facing, it is important to look at the following three questions according to Built-In:
When are team members leaving?
Timing in association with turnover is an incredibly vital piece of information to understand why turnover is occurring. In order to understand when your employees are leaving, it is optimal to pinpoint when turnover is occurring – was there a significant recent change that was rolled out and perhaps it was not well received by staff, or communication or training regarding the change was not done effectively. Was there a shuffling of staff or implementation of a new EMR that caused significant stress on the staff? How change is handled may affect the culture within your practice and push employees to seek employment elsewhere.
In addition, it is important to look at the tenure of departing employees. Are employees leaving after committing several years with the practice? Or were they with you just a short-time and have committed less than a year? More tenured employees may leave due to lack of advancement, underutilization of their strengths, or more so, lack of passion for their current role. On the contrary, short-term employees may show ineffective recruitment strategies implemented by the practice.
Who is leaving?
Understanding who is leaving your company is another vital component to understanding turnover. If your top performers are the largest contributors to your turnover rate, this may be a sign of a culture problem, poor leadership, or lack of developmental opportunities for employees. In addition, you should also be looking at the position related to the employee. Do you find yourself constantly backfilling the same position or positions within the same department? This may insinuate a more localized issue that must be addressed.
Why are employees leaving?
The last, and arguably the most important, question to ask regarding turnover is why are your employees seeking employment elsewhere? An employee that has put in their notice gives you an opportunity to learn and collect feedback regarding their voluntary turnover. It is essential to implement the practice of conducting exit interviews. The only way to prevent future turnover is to ask the question of “why” and to act on the information provided. What pushes one employee to leave may push another in the future.
In addition to performing exit interviews, it is vital to your organization to conduct stay interviews with your current employees. Exit interviews are meant to identify problems, whereas stay interviews should be used as a means to encourage employees to disclose how their employment in your company can improve and any actions your leadership team can implement to reduce or eliminate any current frustrations they may have.
Turnover is a vital component to any organization. If tracked and properly understood, you have the power to leverage this information to your advantage to help retain employees and address any underlying issues identified in the process. Having a high turnover can be costly to your organization, therefore is important to dig deeper than just the percentage.