WHA advises health care workforce strain, solutions for attraction and retention

In a legislative briefing this week, members of the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) discussed current issues of attracting and retaining a sufficient workforce in the health care field, WisBusiness reports.

Members cited several factors that are contributing to this growing concern. For one, certain demographic trends are adding to the strain on the state’s labor market. Wisconsin’s over-65 population is projected to double by the year 2030, which would increase health care demand by 30%. Workers within that age group may also consider retirement, decreasing workforce numbers further.

An additional factor health care employers must consider is the fact that the largest share of the health care labor pool is currently comprised of millennials. WHA has conducted surveys and gathered information that it hopes will help with retention of employees of this generation; for instance, millennials tend to prioritize “meaningful work,” having caring and trusting colleagues, a positive and safe work environment, and good health. Employers aiming to appeal to and retain millennial health care employees, then, will need to prioritize these elements of the workplace as well.

The briefing enumerated other recommendations as well, including removing barriers to “top-of-skill” practice for professionals, streamlining licensing, leveraging technology to offset workforce shrinkage, and promoting health care as a profession that is “achievable and meaningful.”