High Hospital Turnover May be Linked to Underfunded HR

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , October 31, 2011

Hospitals should not accept turnover as inevitable. "If you start to see this as part of the business cycle and expect that this is what it is, then that creates a problem because everyone just accepts it for what it is and nobody places attention on it," Patel says.

Patel says "a big missing component" for many people in hospital HR is their lack of experience with analytics and their discomfort with using data to help drive labor force decisions.

 "We have a lot of individuals who are not, um, how do you say this? The business acumen isn't necessarily as strong," she says. "So traditionally it has been about 'how do we have happy employees? We are the people pleasers!' and less about 'how do we manage labor costs so we are delivering the highest return on workforce development?'"

That needs to change as hospitals look to contain labor costs and recruit and retain the best employees in a fiercely competitive environment, all within a limited budget. "HR is evolving into 'we want to operate like a business. We are here to manage the human capital of the organization and that requires operations and being comfortable with finances," Patel says. "Traditionally it has been the place that hears complaints. I hate it when I hear, 'I work in HR because I like people.' That drives me nuts."|

"Leverage data that HR might collect on exit and on-boarding with those that are handling retention programs to make sure they are effective," she says. "Look at systems with the technology that supports HR to make sure they can develop a workforce analytics capability."


John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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