Overhaul Healthcare Compensation to Improve Retention and Operations: Article

April 1, 2021
April 1, 2021

This blog post is the first of four excerpting our article, It Pays to Overhaul Compensation: Boost Retention and Operational Efficiency.

Ask any healthcare executive about employee engagement, and you’ll hear a lot about employee and leader rounding, alongside a host of other communication tools that are trending in the industry right now. Ask that same person about compensation strategies, and the answer—if there is one—will likely be more subdued.

Start Thinking About Compensation as a Strategy

That’s largely because compensation is seldom seen as an overarching strategy to drive employee recruitment, retention, and satisfaction. Rather, it’s usually viewed as a stand-alone element of employee engagement, to be brought up during annual reviews. And unless an organization is sizeable, there’s unlikely to be a compensation director; these duties fall somewhere between HR and accounting. The result is at best a compensation manual that’s as outmoded as the ones for long-discontinued software, or a spreadsheet system that’s equally creaky and ineffective.

Transform Annual Reviews into a Planning Tool

“As an HR leader or compensation leader, you typically conduct a lot of compensation work via Excel spreadsheet.,” says Trisha Holbert, MA, SPHR, Associate Vice President, Talent Solutions, at HealthStream. “Someone spends a lot of time updating those—just to have the end product out of date due to hiring, turnover, or transfers. Several years ago, we began exploring how a compensation strategy could be more than just an annual review process, and instead be a tool for engagement and growth within a company. We realized that a planning tool would, if developed properly, affect the bottom line in many ways. If you’re improving retention, and paying for performance vs. just presence, you’re an employer who’s going to solve a lot of internal problems while also controlling costs.”

As a former vice president of human resources, Holbert knows how cumbersome the healthcare compensation management process often is at every employee level, from senior management to the hourly worker. She also understands why things remain the same even in the face of complications— evaluating new systems and implementing change can be incredibly difficult and time consuming.

The full article advises healthcare leaders to:

  • Create Frequent Rewards
  • Swap Spreadsheets for a Sound Strategy
  • Use Technology to Untangle a Complex Issue

Download the article here.