In healthcare, burnout doesn't afflict physicians alone. Other healthcare workers also are feeling a strain of heavy, unsatisfying workloads--so much so that more than a third of them plan to look for a new job this year, according to a new survey from CareerBuilder.com.
The percentage of healthcare workers looking to leave their jobs in 2013--34 percent--is up significantly from the 24 percent reporting the same last year, potentially due to a domino effect posed by remaining employees having to work harder to make up for staffing shortages, according to the survey.
"Nearly half--46 percent--of healthcare organizations said they have seen a negative impact on their organizations due to extended job vacancies," Jason Lovelace, president of CareerBuilder Healthcare, remarked in a statement. "Long hours and juggling multiple patient needs are taking their toll on morale and retention. The survey shows healthcare workers are seeking a more manageable work experience."
Key factors that employees said contributed to their dissatisfaction included the following:
Poor work-life balance. Eighteen percent of workers said they are dissatisfied with their work-life balance, most frequently citing a workload that is too heavy (44 percent), followed by their employer's unwillingness to provide flexible work schedules (21 percent) as causing the problem.
Indeed, employer flexibility is a big driver of employee satisfaction, Bob Levoy, a human resources and practice management expert, recently told Physicians Practice, adding that small, unexpected gestures, such as an extra vacation day or increased flexibility around the holidays, can go a long way. "Employees will be grateful all year long," he said.
Lack of advancement opportunity. Twenty-four percent of those surveyed were not happy with their career progress, causing many to look for opportunities with greater upward mobility.
To help support your employees' long-term development, provide them with training and educational opportunities through organization memberships, sending them to seminars or giving them educational materials such as books or magazine subscriptions, consultant Charlene Mooney of the Halley Consulting Group, told Physicians Practice.
Flat or inadequate pay. Seventeen percent of those surveyed said they haven't received a merit raise since before 2008, while 29 percent said they do not earn anywhere near their desired salary. While it is important to pay your employees fairly and competitively, recognition for going above and beyond may be more effective if rewards are non-monetary.