5. Track and measure criteria that to drive accountability.
Successful systems use metrics to drive retention. One system tracks data on turnover, engagement, and patient satisfaction on a unit level, and will intervene for units that do not meet the metrics. Another system measures key performance indicators that reflect retention, such as patient satisfaction. Managers select indicators each year, and attainment is tied to a bonus-sharing program.
Patel says accountability is a common theme for all hospitals with high retention rates. "There is a drive to be measurement oriented," she says. "Management owns this. They believe that their management is a huge contributing force toward retaining talent."
Obviously, different hospitals face different challenges, but Patel says good management has been shown to overcome outside pressures beyond the hospital walls. "I talked to organizations – and not just in healthcare – where there is high turnover versus those who have a low turnover and you can definitely tell there is a difference between the programs," she says. "The way they speak about their programs, the depth of their programs and how they manage the new hires, there is a difference."