Workplace Culture Critical to Retaining Staff

Doctor and staff in meeting
Showing employees appreciation for their efforts is particularly important to engender their loyalty.

Workplace culture can make or break medical practices. Those with good workplace cultures can attract and retain talent, mobilize innovation, and cultivate strong leaders, according to O.C. Tanner, a company based in Salt Lake City, Utah, that specializes in research and education on corporate culture and employee experience.

The company uses academic-grade research published in its annual Global Culture Report to track, analyze, and forecast worldwide culture trends. “We found that cultural factors are critically important to employee retention, regardless of generation,” said Alexander Lovell, PhD, Director of Research & Data Science at O.C. Tanner. “Employees want to work for an organization, whether it be large or small, that fulfills purpose, provides opportunity, makes them feel successful, shows that they are valued, encourages all dimensions of wellbeing, and contains great leaders.”

Current data suggest that individuals more than ever want to work for, and do business with, organizations with strongly defined cultures. An area often not emphasized enough is the culture of the medical practice and whether the leadership matches it, Dr Lovell said. “Aside from compensation and core benefits, workplace culture and employee experience are 2 factors determining employee satisfaction,” he said. “When each of these elements are dialed in, employees are 438% less likely to report that they are willing to leave their organization.”

Workplace culture and employee experience can determine whether an employee plans to leave a medical practice. A medical practice can have an extraordinary culture, but if employees are struggling to meet their day-to-day needs, it will be difficult to retain staff. Additionally, paying employees at top market can be helpful, but it still may be difficult to retain employees in the current market if they are struggling to meet daily demands. “Authentic, purposeful, and meaningful recognition can help uplift each aspect of culture,” Dr Lovell said. “Recognition is different from incentives, in that it is less about getting the work done, but instead recognizing how an employee went about doing the work.”

The Important Role of Appreciation

Calling out the uniqueness each staff member contributes can create a better outcome. Recognition from a leader or peer signals that the employee has been seen, is valued, and appreciated. “This is powerful, particularly in regards to retention,” Lovell said. The current health care landscape is offering a new opportunity for leaders and employees to leverage a sense of urgency and make meaningful improvements to their cultures. In its latest global culture report, O.C. Tanner examined how outdated and disconnected technologies, programs, strategies, and leadership philosophies can obstruct individual and organizational performance.

The report points out how haphazard implementation of technology can lead to a tangle of tools and processes detrimental to effectiveness and employee satisfaction. Also, stale and impersonal recognition programs fail to achieve their desired effect on experience and culture. A synthesis of multiple research studies involving more than 38,000 employees and leaders from 20 countries around the world were the basis of the report. The analysis demonstrated that working can no longer be a tolerable grind and instead needs to provide inspiring, challenging, and rewarding experiences for all employees.

This article originally appeared on Renal and Urology News