Retaining Your Key Employees
By Christie Finnegan
The key to success for every healthcare business, whether it is a hospital, multi-practice clinic or single practitioner is having a well-trained and professional staff. Training costs, employee engagement, burn out, retention strategies and limited talent pool are the top concerns that health care professionals consistently raise regarding retaining their key employees.
There are many models and ways to arrange your benefits plans that take into consideration structure, tax impact and cash flow needs when creating your total rewards program. But there is sometimes an alternative, less expensive benefit that helps retain key employees and drive lifestyle behavioral changes.
Help manage your employees’ stress
The latest research shows employee health directly influences employee work behavior, work attendance and on-the-job performance. Stress is the identified risk factor for 43% of the annual medical costs in low risk adults. So what is causing your employees stress?
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) 2015 Employee Financial Wellness Survey and the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) 2011 Promoting Well Being Report, one key aspect is their finances:
● Nearly one-third of employees earning $100,000 or more consistently carry balances on their credit cards
● 51% of employees worry about not having enough savings for an emergency expense
● 33% of the nation’s full-time employees have difficulty meeting their monthly expenses
● 20% of employees are using credit cards for monthly necessities they otherwise could not afford
● Only 43% of the workforce feels they will be able to retire when they want
● Only 37% of employees have a Will. The percentage of those who have a Will increases with age, but even by age 55 to 64, only 56% have a Will
● Nearly half of employees find dealing with their financial situation stressful. 35% report that their stress level related to financial issues increased over the last 12 months
● 37% say that at work each week, they spend 3 hours or more dealing with issues related to their personal finances.
Simply providing your employees with a higher salary is not realistic. What you can give your key employees is access to knowledge to help educate them and empower them to overcome the personal stresses that could be impacting their productivity in your business or healthcare organization.
Educate and empower your team on-site
One low-cost solution to address this financial stress is to provide personalized information to help your employees make more educated decisions. Most organizations share a benefit overview annually. But just as you look at your employee population’s most-pressing health issues, look at which of your benefits are being left on the table. When you know what your key employees are not taking advantage of within the options they have, proactively educate them on how to maximize the value of their compensation and benefit program.
Just like you, your key employees are busy and while they have a long list of “know I need to’s,” in most cases those items lose the time battle over more day-to-day responsibilities. Provide educational opportunities for your key employees by making it convenient for them. Bring presentations on-site to them from the appropriate licensed professionals that will allow them to learn strategies that will benefit them personally:
● Have a CPA discuss ways to maximize the income they bring home.
● Invite a financial advisor to talk about managing finances and planning for retirement.
● Have an attorney present on essential estate planning documents, how they can protect their assets and how to ensure their family is provided for.
● There would be many licensed professionals willing to help you educate your key employees at no-to-little cost, but ask them to take it one step further and offer complimentary consultations following the presentations.
Be proactive in providing peace of mind and gain loyalty
In the long run, helping your key employees become educated and empowered to handle what causes them the most stress outside of work will improve their health, and thus improve their performance and your bottom line. But at its core, helping to provide your key employees peace of mind in their personal lives will be an intangible that helps increase their loyalty to your company because as the commercial says, “peace of mind… priceless.”
Christie Finnegan is the Executive Director of Estate Planning for Goosmann Trust Law Counsel, a boutique estate and business succession planning department within the full-service Goosmann Law Firm with offices in Sioux Falls and Dakota Dunes, South Dakota and Spencer and Sioux City, Iowa. Prior to joining the law firm, Christie was a healthcare professional for 15 years.