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‘Work/life balance’ and ‘career development’ raised in Beaumont exit survey

By Catherine Reilly - 07th Jan 2024

Work/life balance

‘Work/life balance’, ‘promotion/career development’, and ‘improved commute’ were among the main reasons provided by staff leaving their roles at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, according to an exit survey.

The need for a better work/life balance was the main reason provided by 13 per cent of respondents, followed by ‘promotion/career development’ and ‘improved commute’ (both 12 per cent), ‘cost of living’ (11 per cent), and ‘excessive workload’ (10 per cent). Other principal considerations were ‘onerous rosters/shifts’ (9 per cent) ‘lack of senior support’, ‘travel abroad’, ‘relocation abroad’ (all 8 per cent), and ‘administrative burden’ (6 per cent).

There were 140 responses to the survey (response rate of 31 per cent) with half of respondents in the nursing category (70), followed by health and social care (33), and management and administration (20).

Some 59 of the respondents reported they were leaving to work for ‘another HSE hospital/agency’, 13 were joining a private hospital, and 19 staff were retiring.

In terms of what could have been done to retain them, the feedback included the offer of a permanent contract, increased roster flexibility, enhanced facilitation of requests to work elsewhere within the organisation, clear progression for career development, and more clearly defined roles, with less ambiguity surrounding the responsibilities of each staff member.

In regard to stress management supports, almost 60 per cent of respondents categorised this area as ‘poor’ or ‘fair’ (as opposed to ‘good’ or ‘excellent’) while 57 per cent gave the same appraisal of flexible working arrangements.

Some 44 per cent of respondents felt their views and suggestions were not considered by managers. Ideas and suggestions were “often dismissed under the guise of ‘no staff’ or ‘not enough money’”, according to some of the feedback. Others reported that management were “supportive and seemed to listen”, but very little was implemented.

Recommendations to enhance the experience for staff included more efficient IT systems, cheaper food, increased mental health supports, and more transparent management.

A large majority believed their experience at Beaumont had equipped them for future success.

The HR directorate exit survey, dated 2022, was obtained under Freedom of Information law. No comment was received from Beaumont at press time.

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