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Strategies to Manage Manpower and Turnover in Healthcare Practice

15th December 2022

Strategies to manage manpower and reduce turnover in Healthcare Practice

In Singapore, manpower shortage and staff turnover can be especially challenging for healthcare practices due to the country's low unemployment rate and high demand for healthcare professionals. Here are some strategies that you can explore to manage these issues

1. Attract talent and tap on available government initiatives

Singapore has a highly educated workforce and attracts talent from around the world. According to the Ministry of Manpower, the unemployment rate in Singapore as of September 2021 is 2.1%, which is relatively low. Therefore, it's important to tap into the pool of international talent and utilize job fairs and recruitment agencies to find qualified candidates. Additionally, Singapore has a high proportion of Singaporeans returning from overseas, recruitment agencies and government initiatives such as the Career Support Program can assist in tapping into this group of candidates.

2. Review compensation and tap on available support schemes

Retention can be improved by offering competitive salaries and benefits, as well as opportunities for career advancement. The government also provides various incentives for companies to retain and upgrade their local workforce. The Workfare Training Support (WTS) scheme provides training and wage support for low-wage workers, while the Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) helps workers to upgrade their skills and switch to new industries.

3. Introduce flexibility working arrangements

With the rise of telemedicine and virtual consultations, offering flexible working arrangements such as telecommuting can be an attractive option for healthcare professionals. As of 2020, the government introduced "Work-Life Grant" which helps employers to implement flexible work arrangements, including telecommuting and part-time work. This would however require some careful planning, and might not be as applicable for the ground staff at the clinics.

4. Encourage open communication

Encourage open communication and regular feedback to ensure that staff members feel valued and heard. Address any issues or concerns that arise promptly, and take steps to resolve them. Employee engagement surveys and regular team meetings can be useful tools for fostering open communication.

5. Streamline processes and leverage on technology

Singapore is known for its advanced healthcare system and technology. Utilise technology to streamline operations, reduce workload and improve efficiency, such as Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and Telemedicine. The government also provides various initiatives to support the adoption of technology in healthcare, with the most recent Clinical Innovation and Adoption Initiative providing funding for technology solutions in the healthcare sector.

6. Invest in training, learning and development

Invest in training and development programs to upskill your staff and ensure they have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in their roles. The government also provide various training and development subsidies and schemes for employers, such as the Adapt and Grow initiative, which provides funding and support for training and re-skilling of employees.

By choosing to implement a variation of these strategies, healthcare practices in Singapore can certainly attract and retain qualified professionals, improve efficiency and reduce workload, ultimately able to tide through periods of manpower crunch and still continue to provide high-quality care to patients.

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