The Crucial Role of Retention in Healthcare A/E/C Leadership

Navigating the sea of employee turnover has always been a critical task for leaders across all industries. However, as we move forward in an increasingly unpredictable world, the waves of change are becoming ever more turbulent, pushing retention to the forefront of strategic leadership discussions.

According to Gartner, the pace of employee turnover is forecast to be 50-75% higher than companies have experienced previously. The issue is compounded by it taking 18% longer to fill roles than pre-pandemic. Leaders may be asking, should we stand by and let the inevitable happen, or should we take the helm and steer our organizations towards more stable waters?

Embracing Evolution or Fighting Exodus

Workforce turnover is indeed a natural evolution; employees come and go, and this cycle brings about fresh perspectives and opportunities for growth. However, when a leader, you should aim to be the driving force behind these decisions. Striving to create an environment from which no one wants to depart may be impossible, but aiming for this goal yields valuable insights into what makes an organization thrive.

Imagine cultivating a team of high-performing individuals so satisfied and stimulated by their work that they become your strongest recruitment tool. Envision a future where top talent doesn’t leak to competitors but instead pours in from them. Such a scenario would undoubtedly enable your organization to achieve, and possibly enjoy, more.

Why Retention Matters Now More Than Ever

A recent study by EY revealed that a staggering 52% of employees plan to leave their jobs this year. The research identified the primary reasons for this mass exodus: increased disengagement, a sense of disconnection since the onset of the pandemic, and an unmet desire for work-life balance.

So, how can we reverse these trends and retain our best talent? What kind of culture will keep employees engaged, connected, and fulfilled? How can we strike the perfect balance between virtual and in-person interactions? The first step towards answering these questions lies not in theorizing but in listening to our most important clients: our employees.

Servant Leadership: Putting Your People First

In a service-based industry like healthcare A/E/C, our clients are at the heart of our work. However, the success of our external relationships is a reflection of our internal ones. Our employees are our most crucial clients, and a paradigm shift towards servant leadership is needed to retain top talent.

Servant leadership puts the needs of the team members first, helping them perform as highly as possible. This approach to leadership empowers and uplifts those who work with us and for us. It’s about authenticity and a genuine desire to serve those around us, not for our benefit, but for theirs. This shift away from self-serving intentions towards serving those we lead is the first step towards building a culture of trust and authenticity.

Take Action: Ask and Listen

Start by asking purposeful questions. Encourage open and honest dialogue about your employees’ needs, hopes, and concerns. Perfect your active listening skills, demonstrating that their voices are heard, valued, and actioned. Show them that you care about their wellbeing, their career development, and their work-life balance.

Retention isn’t just about keeping employees. It’s about understanding them, appreciating them, and creating an environment where they can thrive.

Facing the imminent mass exodus of employees, we need not brace ourselves for impact but instead reimagine the path ahead. Steering our organizations through these choppy waters, we must place a renewed emphasis on retention, reevaluate our roles as leaders, and redefine our relationships with those who make our success possible: our employees.

Learn more about retention here.