Healing The Healers: Well-being And Retention Strategies For Your Mental Health Workers

Jul 31, 2023 | Blog

There is a turnover rate of more than 50% among mental health workers, according to a 2022 study on mental health staff retention.

The well-being of mental health staff is vital to successful patient outcomes and clinical efficiency. Otherwise, your clinic may slowly lose staff due to a lack of job satisfaction.

For your clinic to be more productive, you need to focus on ensuring that your mental health workers are well taken care of.

Here’s everything you need to know.

Causes Of Mental Health Worker Attrition

There are 3 primary reasons why mental health workers are leaving their jobs:

  1. Stress and burnout – Continuous strain from the work environment and poor work-life balance can result in staff dissatisfaction
  2. Limited growth opportunities – Mental health workers may consider transferring to other clinics or even industries due to a perceived lack of career growth
  3. Personal issues – Problems at home or with relationships may burden staff and affect their well-being and quality of work

Identifying the causes of turnover among staff is crucial to determining which solutions you should use to decrease them.

Ideally, however, you must employ every single strategy you can use to nourish and retain your staff. After all, successful mental health workers are the key to successful patient outcomes.

6 Strategies For Retaining Mental Health Workers

1. Re-evaluate Workload

Each staff member has a clear scope of responsibilities that they assume from the day they join your practice. Unfortunately, their tasks may increase over time due to the demands of the workplace, overwhelming your staff in the long run.

To ensure that each mental health worker has a manageable workload, evaluate their current tasks and identify if they:

  • Exceed their original responsibilities
  • Should be assigned to other staff instead
  • Are necessary at all to perform
  • Can be streamlined with better work methods

2. Encourage Mental Health Workers To Voice Their Concerns

Sometimes, mental health workers need an avenue to express their thoughts or grievances to feel better. As a practice manager or decision-maker, encouraging your staff to open up about any aspect of your business can be highly beneficial.

This can be challenging, however, as there is a strong stigma among healthcare workers with mental health concerns. Mental health workers may feel discouraged from sharing their thoughts as they fear what their peers may think of them.

Here is a sample of an actionable plan you can implement to work around this:

  • Create a regular practice-wide reminder about the importance of mental health among staff
  • Provide ways for staff to relay any concerns with work anonymously without repercussions (e.g., emails)
  • Train managers and administrators to accommodate mental health workers with concerns, and encourage the latter to come forward with any grievances

3. Conduct 1-on-1s With Staff

An effective, long-term approach is to conduct regular 1-on-1 meetings with staff. These meetings can provide each staff member a more personal discussion about their concerns.

Managers should facilitate the discussion with their associates, as it fosters rapport and trust. In addition, you should also guarantee confidentiality in each session to accommodate those who may feel that their situation is too sensitive to share with other staff.

4. Train Your Staff Regularly

Some of your seasoned staff may feel that their work has become stale or lacks progression. Administrative tasks, for instance, can feel repetitive and monotonous to employees who have been doing them for a long time.

On the other hand, some staff may be missing the mark in their performance due to lack of practice or experience.

Regular training for your mental health workers can solve both problems by providing an avenue to hone their skill sets and even learn from other, more experienced staff.

Some effective ways you can regularly train your staff include:

  • Role-playing activities for staff to have a glimpse of actual patient interactions
  • Regular crash courses (can be monthly or quarterly) to refresh them on workflow protocols
  • Team-building activities to build camaraderie and allow staff to share work tips and experiences

5. Provide Career Growth Opportunities

If your bottom line is sufficient or you have an ongoing expansion strategy, consider extending staff training into career growth opportunities for your staff.

It may either be horizontal or vertical growth, depending on your practice. For example, you may promote a physical therapist to a senior or managerial role.

If your resources are too limited to offer promotions, try assigning your staff more tasks that come with additional compensation.

This allows your mental health workers to expand their current skill set — provided that they agree with the additional work and receive sufficient training for the tasks.

6. Consider A Remote Work Setup

For some healthcare staff like receptionists, new technologies have become available that allow them to work remotely.

Allowing them to work from home not only encourages them to stay in your clinic — it increases their productivity and morale.

With the right software solution, mental health front desk staff, for example, can manage multiple clinics at once, increasing their ROI while minimizing their stress.

Retain Your Staff, Retain Your Patients

Happy, productive staff is the key to driving success in your mental health practice. When you’ve identified the most effective solution to ensuring high staff retention and satisfaction, you’re well on your way to achieving successful patient outcomes and a positive patient experience.

Discover how WelcomeWare can help alleviate staff burnout and increase job satisfaction among your mental health clinic receptionists.

Maintain your mental health worker’s well-being

Nurture your healthcare staff with WelcomeWare

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