Senior living organizations may be able to reduce overall turnover by recognizing their employees’ hard work, creating a trusting and open environment, and encouraging positive workplace relationships, according to newly released research from consulting firm Holleran and Life Care Services.

Holleran worked with LCS to track engagement and the rate of turnover among 753 employees across 39 senior living campuses over an 18-month period.

They found that employee engagement significantly predicted turnover. In fact, the most engaged employees were twice as likely to remain with the company compared with those who were less engaged, whereas the least engaged employees were 73% more likely to leave in that same time period when compared with others.

“Through this study, we were able to pinpoint attributes and behaviors that may mean someone is at risk of leaving,” Holleran President Nikki Rineer said. “These findings are being used throughout LCS to improve retention at every level.”

Three keys, according to the research:

  1. Employees were more likely to stay when they believed they personally were making a difference through their work and received positive recognition for their efforts.
  2. Workers were more likely to stay if they trusted their supervisors and believed that their opinions were valued.
  3. Employees with good relationships with others at the workplace and who believed the organization cared about them were more likely to stay.

“For years, we’ve known that highly engaged employees turn over less. …As we suspected, relationships and self-esteem are the key drivers that determine if an employee is retained or looks elsewhere for employment,” said Jennifer Leo, a senior research analyst with Holleran.