Do You Know Why Your Employees Stay?

Article by , September 5, 2023

As I talk with organizations from coast to coast, I see a common theme. It is the lack of being able to identify exactly why an employee chooses to stay with the organization. Fully understanding why an employee stays in their job is vital. Today, the most pressing issue companies face is workforce, workforce, and workforce.

Earlier in the year, I came across a Harvard Business Review article by Thomas H. Lee, MD, and Patrick T. Ryan. Their article Why Healthcare Workers Stay In Their Jobs[1] confirmed what I had been thinking for a long time. Lee and Ryan looked at employee surveys from 410,000 healthcare workers over the past three years. Assuming the organization is competitive on salary and benefits, the #1 reason why healthcare workers stay in their jobs is culture. Culture is essentially what your organization says it values and how it lives out those values. Culture matters more than ever to healthcare workers as well as workers in other industries. In my 30 years in healthcare, I have met onsite with organizations in 20 states. Those organizations with the best cultures clearly had the strongest organizations. Those organizations performed well on a variety of key metrics including patient care, financial, and employee satisfaction.

Currently, healthcare’s employee engagement and retention are at historic lows. Poor employee engagement and retention impacts the organization’s patient care, safety, compliance, financials, brand, along with a multitude of other issues. Healthcare organizations that make their culture a top priority are seeing a significant payoff with their employee recruiting, engagement, and retention.

Building a healthy and vibrant culture does not happen by accident. Leaders must be purposeful, have a solid plan, and methodically implement this plan. Leadership, at all levels, will be more important than ever. The Lee and Ryan article made it clear that leaders need to help healthcare workers get back to what they value about healthcare, and help them perform work that provides them with the most impact and satisfaction.

If you are interested in learning about how to build an award-winning culture that delivers employee recruiting, engagement, and retention success, please contact me at or 503.881.0746.

[1] Harvard Business Review March 2, 2023