When Poor Management is the Reason a Healthcare Employee Leaves

April 1, 2021
April 1, 2021

To have an impact on healthcare turnover, organizations should ensure that their managers are doing a good job and treating their direct reports fairly. In many cases, it’s true that people don’t leave companies as often as they leave managers.

The HealthStream article, 7 Common Reasons People Leave Healthcare Jobs and What to Do about It, looks at the labor market, examines trends involving hiring, job previews, and orientation, and connects these key areas to the retention problem in healthcare. Here is an excerpt from the article:

Retention Suffers When Poor Management Behavior Is a Problem

Since 2010, as the economy has rebounded from the recession, identifying poor manager behavior as a “reason for leaving has increased, indicating that good manager-employee relationships are important to employee retention, and employees are not accepting of managers who do not meet their expectations” (Work Institute, 2017). Recommended retention-focused strategies for healthcare managers include giving staff regular performance feedback, encouraging career discussions, practicing effective communication, making employees feel valued and supported, and giving them input in decision-making processes. Further, “Managers at healthcare organizations should understand the needs of their employees to prevent voluntary turnover. Conducting regular performance recognition and feedback discussions in addition to annual performance evaluations are key” (Lapointe, 2017).

Pinpointing the Issue of Manager Conduct, Not Competency

The Work Institute shares that “manager conduct, not competency” was the most common reason for a departure. Even when “employees likely thought the overall business and strategic approaches of managers were acceptable, how they conducted themselves was not acceptable” (Work Institute, 2018).

Use Communication as an Important Management Tool

One recommendation is for senior leaders to “achieve transparency and employee confidence by supporting front-line managers as they handle staff concerns and questions. Town hall meetings, webinars, roundtable discussions, and emails sent directly to staff allow senior leaders to engage with employees while addressing concerns. Managers can also influence how employees perceive senior leadership by communicating information quickly and accurately from senior leaders to staff. Senior leaders should also receive invitations to staff meetings to discuss employee concerns and feedback” (Lapointe, 2017).



LaPointe, J., “Management, Job Perception Drive Healthcare Employee Turnover,” RevCycleIntelligence, December 20, 2017, Retrieved at https://revcycleintelligence.com/news/management-job-perception-drive-healthcare-employee-turnover.

Work Institute, “2018 Retention Report: Truth & Trends in Turnover,” available at http://info.workinstitute.com/retentionreport2018.