Histology and pathology labs struggled with talent retention long before the pandemic. Employee turnover is inevitable in every industry, but it tends to be worse in the healthcare industry than in many others. When your lab staff quits, you face costs for paying out unused vacation hours, training, and recruitment outside of losing a valuable employee. It is no secret that employee turnover negatively affects your bottom line.
Of course, high turnover is expected in the healthcare industry. It can often be attributed to outside forces like decreased patient needs and unsteady job markets, making employee loss unavoidable. But there are also internal elements that contribute to your facility’s loss of lab personnel. Recognizing these elements can help you identify and solve potential problems before you have laboratory staffing issues. If you discover that your medical lab struggles with exceptionally high employee turnover rates, these tips may help you solve the problem:
The lab environment is fast-paced and ever-changing. As a lab manager, it is essential to take advantage of any opportunities to connect with your team of histotechs and pathologists’ assistants. Find out what your current histotechs and pathologists’ assistants desire from their jobs and how they feel about their work. Ask them how your lab equipment compares to other environments they have worked in. Ask them for feedback on the effectiveness and efficiency of procedures and processes in the lab. Everyone wants a paycheck, but you may find some leverage by understanding your team’s long-term goals. Running routine pulse checks with your histotechs and pathologists’ assistants is one of the best ways to retain your lab professionals. Brief group meetings and one-on-one visits with your staff can make them feel heard and appreciated.
While salary is not everything, adequate compensation matters to pathologists’ assistants and histotechs at every phase of their careers. Being informed on industry-standard wages during the hiring process can help your lab stay competitive and retain long-term employees. In addition, working with a recruiting team can ensure that your lab has the industry-level information required to offer competitive pay and benefits. They also have extensive training to recruit talent and assist with negotiations to help your lab make competitive offers to potential lab professionals.
There are various forms of recognition. Outside of clear strategies like pay raises or promotions, employees value increased responsibilities, public acknowledgment or recognition (think certificates and awards), and private positive feedback from customers or coworkers. In addition, employees tend to respond more favorably to recognition from their manager, CEO, or other high-level leaders.
Though recognition is an excellent step toward thriving workplace cultures, it is not enough. Studies show that labs that develop and communicate clear career paths to their staff and fund outside continuing education activities have significantly lower turnover rates than labs that don’t. Employees desire to feel like they are an integral part of something bigger. Build upon your established foundation to create a thriving, positive work culture that keeps your lab professionals connected. Use some creativity and surpass the occasional pizza party to invest in further staff development that provides your lab personnel a clear path to advancing their careers.
Use these tips to retain quality lab professionals. And when you need additional support with laboratory staffing, contact Hankins Consulting for a solution. We are here to keep your lab productive and profitable.