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  • Writer's pictureBruce Cummings

Yet Another Study Showing Key Factors in Burnout Reduction and Employee Retention Strategies

Updated: Oct 16, 2023

Ready not to be surprised? Huron Consulting’s proprietary year-over-year study of healthcare workplace trends and issues — garnered from a survey of 718 healthcare leaders and staff — was recently released.

The Huron research team found 5 new opportunities in its 2023 “top 10” issues/needs inventory as identified by healthcare workers compared to the 2022 list. Here are the 5 additions:

  • Paid time off

  • Workload

  • Work-life balance

  • Scheduling flexibility

  • Competitive annual bonus and financial incentives

I would categorize 4 out of the preceding 5 as being part of the same gestalt: the desire — no, the increasing expectation on the part of healthcare personnel — to achieve more control over one’s time and greater agency over one’s priorities. The implication: hospitals that still hew to using preset, largely immutable schedules; or that require mandatory overtime; or which strictly and narrowly define full-time versus part-time roles will increasingly find they cannot attract or retain healthcare personnel.

Here’s another non-surprise: burnout has increased year-over-year.

But check out the relative increases in what healthcare staff are saying are driving the increase: lack of worklife balance (10%), long hours (8%), emotional exhaustion or stress (5%), unmanageable workload and unreasonable time pressures (5%).

Bottom line: hospital and health system senior leader teams need to have a clear-eyed, organization-specific, contemporaneous understanding of what’s important to their staff as well as what’s working (and what’s not). Having or working toward having flexible scheduling practices is likely to be a common finding. However, it is not likely the only change in the work environment that will be needed in order to recruit and retain increasingly scarce healthcare personnel. But it’s a good place to start.

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Organizational Wellbeing Solutions was formed to enable senior leaders to identify the specific drivers of clinician burnout in their organization; and to support those leaders in designing and executing a comprehensive plan to stop clinician burnout, increase retention, and improve operating results. Let us help you help your organization and its clinicians.

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