In this section:
We aim to hire and retain a high-performing workforce that best embodies Texas Health's Values. We learned that aligning these principles in our hiring process enables us to deliver consumer-differentiated care, improve satisfaction and retain institutional knowledge.
Health systems nationwide, including Texas Health, are grappling with multiple workforce challenges. The state has had a shortfall of physicians, nurses and other health professionals for years despite a growing population. The pandemic left caregivers fatigued and burned out. Threats and violence from patients and visitors have increased dramatically. High numbers of experienced workers are nearing retirement.
To address these challenges, Texas Health has implemented a multifaceted strategy to attract and retain exceptional healthcare workers – from further enhancing our award-winning culture, to advocating for government funding to increase the pipeline of qualified workers, to investing in extensive mental health support and security.
Finding the right employees for the right role in our dynamic labor market is more critical than ever. We assess candidates’ needs, priorities and employment expectations to identify the best fit. We also use behavioral-based interviewing techniques to determine how well an individual will fit into our culture and perform based on past work experiences.
To recruit qualified candidates, we:
- Engage a diverse slate of universities, colleges and military organizations to showcase the rewards of a career in healthcare to students and veterans at career fairs.
- Offer graduate medical education programs for physician residents to increase our pipeline of providers.
- Deploy programs to build and maintain a pipeline of healthcare professionals, from medical assistants to patient care technicians to pharmacy techs and nurses. These include apprenticeships, externships and residency programs to accelerate their development.
- Introduce individuals in underserved communities to vocational healthcare careers through apprenticeships and learn-while-you-earn training programs.
- Engage existing clinicians, including seasonal caregivers, to determine whether their career interests have changed so that we can identify development opportunities that will place them in permanent or more satisfying positions.
- Remove geographic employment barriers by enabling employees in select positions to work remotely.
- Enable existing employees to leverage the Employee Referral Program to refer colleagues to open positions that fit their skill set. If hired, the referring employee is eligible for a bonus.
Once hired, we connect new employees with onboarding navigators to welcome them warmly, set them up for success and transition them into our system easily.
- Promoted our organization as a potential employer in underserved communities and educational institutions through social media, advertising and recruitment literature. This led to the hiring of more than 300 certified medical assistants, patient care and pharmacy technicians, and perioperative professionals. Overall, we filled more than 2,000 positions through our pipeline programs.
- Launched a remote/hybrid work model to enable local candidates or those from other states to work for Texas Health. This entailed screening 37 states for tax, benefits and employment law barriers, and approving seven additional states where we could hire. We developed toolkits, communications, process documents and workflows to support leaders and employees with the transition.
- Expanded graduate medical education programs to grow our physician pipeline.
- Transitioned 146 seasonal clinicians to permanent roles and reinvigorated our transitional nurse program to put nurses in roles that they desired.
- Refreshed our behavioral-based interviewing program and gave hiring managers tools to guide their discussions with prospective candidates to drive cultural alignment.
- Created a program for new college graduates to build awareness of career trajectories within Texas Health and actions they can take to succeed.
- Ended the year with a workforce size of 26,844, up from 25,298 in 2021. We filled over 12,000 requisitions, including PRN (as needed) positions.
Retaining valuable employees is essential to preserving institutional knowledge, maintaining productivity and our high-performing culture, and reducing hiring and development costs.
To encourage long-term careers at Texas Health, we welcome employees of various cultures and backgrounds, give employees opportunities to achieve their potential, provide competitive compensation and benefits, and resources and support to improve their well-being. We also continually engage employees about available resources and solicit their feedback on how we can improve through surveys and stay and exit interviews.
We honor their contributions through our Applause recognition program, which issues systemwide and team-specific awards, monetary accolades and thank-you cards.
- Provided managers with a retention toolkit to help them engage their teams, identify potential concerns and proactively address them. It contains tips and resources to strengthen new employee relationships and set them up for success.
- Interviewed travel nurses and seasonal caregivers to identify improvement and employment extension opportunities, which allowed us to retain 20% as full-time employees.
- Retained high percentages of recent nursing graduates due to our strong onboarding and development processes.
- Adjusted our socially responsible minimum wage to accommodate higher inflation rates and introduced new benefits.
- Provided additional psychosocial support to reduce employees’ stress and improve their well-being.
- Recognized 78.56% of our workforce through Applause, exceeding our 75% goal. We issued $2,023,375 in spot recognition awards and distributed 35,718 thank-you cards.