Four Factors Contributing to High Turnover in Healthcare

April 1, 2021
April 1, 2021

While seeking to address the issue of healthcare staff turnover, it is imperative to identify exactly the factors contributing to this phenomenon. Various qualitative studies worldwide have surveyed some reasons for staff turnover in hospitals.

Work Environment

In the present literature, the work environment is cited as a strong factor in nurse turnover. For instance, Hawa (2007) pioneered research on the relationship between employee turnover and employee satisfaction. He discovered that management issues, low morale, the amount of time spent on non-nursing tasks, and workload all play a role in turnover. Moreover, exhaustion and burnout mediate the occurrence of turnover. This survey further reveals that a key element of the work environment, which forms the basis for quality care, is a key indicator of turnover variance.

Income Disparity

Income disparity also causes turnover. Income refers to something given in exchange for a person’s services in a company. It assumes a vital part in retaining and rewarding high-quality employees though at the expense of the overall labor costs for the company. As such, workers must prove their worth to stay in an organization longer by offering top notch quality work. If they fail to do so, they risk termination. Income strongly determines job satisfaction (Hall, 2005). While seeking to obtain greater patient outcomes, the influence of job satisfaction and pay cannot be overemphasized.

Career Frustration

Career promotion also contributes to employee turnover in hospitals. Reward schemes are attached to the general concept of compensation approaches. Compensation strategies are defined as the deliberate use of pay structures as an integrating system via which the efforts of organizational people are targeted to the accomplishment of a company’s strategic goals. All hospitals use bonuses, pay, and promotions to reward or encourage high health outcomes. This means that mundane work tasks and lack of promotion contributes to employees’ intentions to exit an organization. By applying job enrichment schemes, many hospitals can retain staff and offer career advancement opportunities.

Job Fit

Job fit is another variable strongly contributing to the high rate of turnover in the healthcare sector (Clark, 2000). The employee selection process is all about the match between the applicant’s skills and the job. Job satisfaction levels will increase when there is a proper match between the job and the applicant’s personality. There must be a proper fit between what the organization wants and what the applicant wants. In a recent survey, nearly half of the workers cited a mismatch as the reason to quit. Hence, a mismatch between what workers can get and what they want can only be addressed via turnover or transfer, which seems to be costly following the staff training involved.

This post excerpts an article in our free eBook, Turning the Tide on Turnover Rates. Download it here.


Clark, T. N. (2000). The Relationship between Job Satisfaction and Turnover in Large Insurance Companies: A Survey Analysis. Minneapolis: Capella University.

Hawa, B. (2007). Employee Turnover and Employee Satisfaction at Baxter Healthcare Corporation Los Angeles Facility. Pomona [Calif.: California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.]

Hall, L. M. G. (2005). Quality Work Environments For Nurse And Patient Safety. Sudbury, Mass. ; Toronto: Jones And Bartlett Pub.