top of page

Impact of increased flexibility, and ethically focussed work, on increased staff happiness and engagement and higher retention in primary health care environments

The Challenge

Employee turnover rate is a measure of how many employees leave a company in a given period, usually a year. According to the NAB Behavioural Insight Report, the health sector had the second highest rate of turnover in 2023 with 25% or a quarter of the workforce leaving their jobs.  According to the Report there are a number of primary reasons workers are contemplating leaving their jobs including a lack of personal fulfillment, purpose or meaning, lack of career growth, mental health, poor pay and benefits. By age, younger workers (18-29) are much more likely to have changed jobs in recent years, particularly within the last 12 months, compared to older employees (33% vs. 18% in the 30-49 age groups, 13% in the 50-64 groups and 5% among those over 65).  Around 16% of health workers are considering changin jobs in the next few months.  There is no doubt that healthcare has become a more challenging career as chronic shortages of doctors, nurses and health workers increases pressure on those remaining in the sector.  But there has also been a marked increase in concern about the working enviornment for health professionals, particularly in the public hospital system, where allegations of bullying, harassment, intimidation, cover-ups and a loss of focus on patient-centred care have become a persistent feature of the public inquiries and media reporting on the sector.   Turnover not only costs health care organisatons money, it also wastes valuable skills that are difficult to replace and on which many vulnerable Australian rely for their well-being.

Theory of Change

Greater flexibility in employment, including remote working and working from home, coupled with increased opportunities for staff to engage in passion projects, a focus on key priorities for younger people such as diversity and climate change, a lived comitment to patients over excessive profit, and zero tolerance of bullying and harassment, will improve employment satisfaction and increase retention of citicial health skills in the primary health workforce.

Anticipated Outcomes

Short-Intermediate Term

Percentage of staff working from home or remotely

Increase in happiness

Increase in productivity 

Long Term Outcomes

The Foundation is an employer of choice


Remote Workers

Percentage of staff working from home or remotely

Staff Happiness

Survey of Staff Satisfaction

Staff Productivity

Survey: staff and manager self-assessed productivity

15 April 2024


Policies commenced in mid-2023 and surveys will be undertaken in early 2024


Croydon Dowley, Manager Foundation Services and Programs (0434 989 658)
bottom of page