Why do people leave healthcare jobs?

April 1, 2021
April 1, 2021

Employee retention is an enormous challenge across the continuum of healthcare in the U.S. Every time an employee leaves, there is a potential impact on care quality, patient experience, and organizational operations.

The HealthStream article, 7 Common Reasons People Leave Healthcare Jobs and What to Do about It, begins with an examination of the numbers behind this issue. Here is an excerpt of the article.

Experts expect employee turnover “to hit record highs and cost U.S. companies more than $600 billion in 2018” (Work Institute, 2018). What’s difficult for organizations to understand is that many of the reasons that staff members leave their jobs are preventable. According to the Work Institute, “more than three in four employees, 77 percent, who quit could have been retained by employers” (Work Institute, 2018).

As many as “42 million employees will voluntarily quit their jobs in 2018. This means that 28.6%, or more than one in four employees, will leave their jobs this year to go to work somewhere else. If this trend continues, by 2020 over 48 million employees, or one in three workers, will quit their jobs” (Work Institute, 2018). The Work Institute quotes the U.S. Bureau of Labor’s 2018 finding that “In 2017, the voluntarily quits rate increased 5% from the prior year, as nearly 38 million employees left their jobs. Since 2009, the number of quits, which excludes retirement and relocation, increased by over 80%, surpassing pre-recession levels” (The Work Institute, 2018).

Healthcare is no exception to this trend; the industry has been characterized by high turnover for many years. Becker’s Hospital Review cites a “study by Compdata Surveys of 11,000 healthcare employers with more than 11 million employees that found the average turnover in healthcare jobs in 2017 was 20.6%, up from 15.6% in 2010, putting healthcare’s turnover second only to hospitality’s” (Rosenbaum, 2018).

Download the full article here.