Healthcare is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the U.S. financial system, employing over 18 million workers. However, healthcare facilities nationwide are struggling to hire and retain talent. While a staff shortage in hospitals has been an issue for several years, it gained traction in late 2021 and peaked early last year following many resignations due to burnout.
Today, staffing shortages in healthcare persist: almost a third of the nurses in the U.S. are considering leaving their profession due to feeling “overwhelmed and fatigued.” Besides burnout, many healthcare professionals are nearing retirement age, which will intensify the sector’s staffing crisis.
What are the unique stressors faced by healthcare workers, and what can employers do to retain the skills they still have and build a more resilient workforce?
While a healthcare career can be rewarding to an individual, it’s not always an easy occupation. Long hours and shift work are standard components of healthcare jobs. Many professionals also face other stressors, such as exposure to infectious diseases, physical or verbal abuse from patients or families, physical workloads, and tiring shifts.
Many healthcare workers also have a difficult time juggling their professional and personal lives. Money worries are also a major source of stress for employees in this sector. A new poll paints a troubling picture of the financial well-being of America’s healthcare workers:
The first step in addressing the stressors burdening your healthcare workers is establishing precisely what they’re looking for from you. Many healthcare professionals prioritize financial wellness support: nearly three-quarters (73%) say it’s important that their employer provides tools and resources to help them manage financial stress, yet 46% don’t feel that their employer provides adequate resources or benefits in this area. Other key findings point to the appeal of on-demand pay as part of an employee benefits package:
Apart from allowing your employees to access pay in real-time that they’ve already earned, the best on-demand pay solutions, like that offered by Payactiv, give healthcare employees more tools to build financial resilience such as access to 1:1 financial counseling services, budgeting and saving tools, marketplace discounts and more.
Your financial wellness program should equip your employees with tools and resources that guide them through budgeting, paying down debt, starting a family, buying a home, saving for retirement, and more.
It’s also important that your financial wellness program is unbiased and accounts for diverse workforces. After all, your healthcare workers probably span a wide range of ages, incomes, asset levels, and cultural backgrounds. The best financial wellness programs offer a valuable benefits experience across the board. Equally, you should ensure your program benefits employees across all incomes and asset levels. For example:
A well designed financial wellness program can provide relevant and valuable benefits to everyone.
Financial stress is widespread among U.S. healthcare professionals. And as the cost-of-living crisis continues, it’s more important than ever to support the financial well-being of your employees. Helping your employees maximize the power of their paychecks and feel more educated and in control of their financial situation can increase job satisfaction and retention rates, saving you recruiting, onboarding, and training costs and minimizing business disruption.
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