Category Archives: Dealing with Bosses

Medical Crisis: Registered Nurse Turnover

A little-known fact that lies in our medical communities is that registered nurse turnover is surprisingly high. In fact, according to the Survey of Newly-Licensed Registered Nurses, one in five newly registered nurses (RNs) leaves their first job within a year and one in three within the first two years.

The overall turnover for hospitals is lower than at other health care settings, but the overall cost of RNs leaving affects the quality of care and is expensive for hospitals. For example, organizational costs alone can be as high as $6.4 million for large acute care hospitals that offer emergency trauma services. In fact, turnover among healthcare providers directly associates with an increase in patient falls, pressure ulcers and the use of physical restraints.

Voluntary termination accounts for approximately 91-percent of turnover. Participants in the 2016 National Healthcare Retention & RN Staffing Report, identified why RNs left their employment. While relocation, personal reasons, salary, retirement and career advancement are dominating factors, additional reasons for departure include immediate management issues, education, commute, scheduling and workload to staffing ratios. According to The University of New Mexico, the following are the six top reasons why nurses leave their jobs:

  1. Moving
  2. Personal Matters
  3. Promotion
  4. Salary
  5. Retirement
  6. Burnout

For a couple of years, it seemed as though the RN vacancy rate was decreasing, but this latest report shows that the rate is increasing. The report also shows that a third of hospitals have a 10-percent or higher vacancy rate for RNs. This is an increase of 4.8-percent from 2012.

When the number of RNs in a hospital declines, the traditional approach has been to spend more money on overtime, travel nurses or agency staff to fill vacancies. These are costly strategies that can affect overall patient care.

The RN Recruitment Difficult Index (RDI-RN) estimates that it takes 54 to 109 days to recruit an experienced RN (not counting RN specialties, such as ICU, labor and delivery, etc.). Specialty positions can take as long as 80 to 109 days to fill.

The report also shows that the average turnover for RNs costs from $37,700 to $58,400. This means that hospitals can lose $5.2 million to $8.1 million annually from turnover alone.

The costs associated with filling these vacancies can include:

  • Job postings
  • Employing in-house recruiters
  • Hiring third-party staffing firms
  • Applicant tracking systems

The number one preventable reason for nurses leaving is burnout. In this century, the number of nurses that cite burnout has substantially increased. The addition of documentation, new technology and electronic medical records has added even more stress to this pressure-induced occupation. Some of the reasons nurses experience burnout can include:

  • Chaotic job atmosphere
  • Lack of social support
  • Inability to control assignments or schedules
  • Imbalanced work and job life

Healthcare organizations can combat burnout by implementing:


  • Self-scheduling
  • Reducing overtime
  • Mentorship programs


Nurses that work 12 hours or more in a single shift and more than 40 hours per week are more likely to leave the workforce within a year. Medical organizations should note that overtime should not be commonplace and nurses should not be pushed to work extra hours.


Creating programs and incentives for nurses will help alleviate turnover. This can include scholarships, tuition reimbursement, competitive salaries and benefits and even monetary incentives.


Ninja Gig can help hospitals find qualified, registered nurses. Our online job applications allow hospitals to customize questions, which helps identify the most qualified candidates.  Sign up now and take advantage of our 30-day free trial.

Insight into Cashier Turnover

Cashiers are responsible for ringing up purchases in convenience stores, grocery stores and other establishments using cash registers and electronic scanners. In 2014, there were approximately 3.5 million cashiers in the U.S., making this the second largest occupation behind retail salespeople.

This entry-level position does not require any formal education or work experience, and the employer provides most training on the job. The pay for cashiers is low as it is generally minimum wage. Due to the volume of cash transactions, applicants may be required to pass drug screens and background checks. Cashier jobs may be full-time, part-time and seasonal or offer flexible hours.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that cashier employment will increase two-percent from 2014 to 2024, which equates to approximately 67,000 new jobs. Because the job description requires good customer service but offers low pay, the turnover rate is high.

More reports show that companies are desperate to keep their minimum-wage workers. Within the last couple of years, companies such as Walmart, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, IKEA, Starbucks and Gap have committed to increasing the wages of low-paid workers. While this has sparked concern among investors, there are reasons why companies are willing to fork out more money for long-term retention in these jobs.

  • The average cashier earns a full-time salary of between $20,026 and $25,400.
  • The cost of replacing an employee that earns a lower income is approximately 16% of their annual wage according to the Center for American Progress.
  • This equates to $3,204.16 to $4,064. Every time a cashier quits, it costs a company this amount to train a new hire, which adds up – especially for larger retail companies.

If you equate this 16-percent number with Walmart’s 500,000 low-wage employees, the total cost is approximately $1 billion. While boosting cashier’s wages will not solve the turnover dilemma, it can help reduce the overall costs associated with training and recruiting new employees.

Costco implemented a long-term strategy to retain good employees. The average hourly worker starts at $11.50 per hour and those employees that stay more than five years can easily earn upwards of $20 per hour. “This is not altruistic,” Costco co-founder Jim Sinegal said of his company’s pay practices. “This is good business.”

Some retailers, such as Target, have made it clear they will not conform to higher wages. If these employers want to decrease their turnover rates without increasing hourly pay, their profitability may lie in predictable scheduling, such as giving cashiers their hours several weeks in advance.

If your company is looking to reduce cashier turnover, the first step is hiring employees that want to work long-term. You can accomplish this by including specific questions in Ninja Gig’s online job applications, which makes it easier to identify good applicants. Second, your organization will need to consider polling employees or looking at the general city and area to see if higher wages or more flexible schedules appeal to applicants.  Sign up today to start accepting employment applications online immediately!

Cleaning Industry Turnover: A Guide to Prevention and Retention

Reducing employee turnover in the cleaning industry can be challenging. Due to the nature of the work, cleaning requires odd hours and generally does not earn societal respect by clients and other employees. It is important to create a work atmosphere that is positive and values good employees. This will help maintain personnel and not have them view their jobs as trivial tasks but as a potentially rewarding and long-term career. Consider practicing the following:

  • Hire employees that want to clean. It’s that simple. Do not interview for cleaning jobs as temporary positions, but look for employees that want to learn and grow within your organization. The cleaning industry may not be glamorous, but make sure potential employees know it’s steady work that can offer future advancement.
  • Provide training to new employees. Employees that understand and are comfortable with their job tasks perform more efficiently and effectively. They also have more pride in their work. Create hands-on training sessions, a training manual and provide cross-training opportunities so employees can learn new skills and continue to grow.
  • Reward employees and create a sense of family. Sometimes employee retention can be as simple as employees feeling appreciated. Create a sense of comradery so appreciated employees know you value their hard work. This can be as simple as having a day out at a baseball game, a staff party or even a family bowling night.
  • Conduct yearly reviews and offer praise. Employees need to feel valued. Encourage employees to go above and beyond their routine job tasks. Recognize employees in annual reviews and praise their performance if they volunteer for overtime, respond to emergency jobs, volunteer to work overnight shifts or tackle tough cleaning jobs. It is important that any criticism is constructive, so employees do not feel discouraged. Offer additional counseling or training to help employees learn from their mistakes, as this will help avoid future repeat mishaps.
  • Implement a workplace survey. To help your cleaning company improve, you need to gain insightful feedback. Ask employees to provide anonymous feedback about training opportunities, shifts, cleaning assignments, management and paid benefits. You can use this information to make changes in your workplace, including adding more rotating shifts, offering a wellness program or including more opportunities for advancement.

Ninja Gig can help reduce your employee turnover by offering detailed job applications. These online employment applications are easy to customize so companies can target long-term employees.  Start accepting job applications online today with our 30-day free trial.  Sign up now!

Combat Restaurant Turnover Now Part 2 of 2

Our last article highlighted the first three ways you can combat restaurant turnover: implement a solid hiring process, provide employees with adequate training and reward and recognition for standout employees.

This article will explore an additional two ways that restaurants can help boost their employee retention rates.

  • Advancement Opportunities – If you want employees to stay with you long-term, it’s vital to make sure that top performers have the opportunity to advance within the company. Employees need to visualize a future with a restaurant to want to stay working there. Identify top performers and consider giving them the following responsibilities:
    • Training – If an employee stands out as a born leader, let him/her train new employees.
    • Filling In – Top performers can easily fill in if the manager is absent. They could also be promoted to shift manager or head trainer.
    • Second Locations – Stand out employees can help start and manage new locations. Consider rewarding an employee that is a strong team player and has a positive attitude.

Don’t just show employees that hard work pays off, show them that their efforts do not go unnoticed.

  • Investigate Turnover – Instead of assuming a restaurant’s turnover is for one specific reason, it is better to investigate and find out more detailed information.
    • Exit Interview – For example, interview departing employees in an exit interview and ask them about their working experience and also where the restaurant has room for improvement. This information can prove very insightful.
    • POS Reports – Analyze Employee Shift Reports to determine if employees receive too few or too many hours. Too few means you can probably consider decreasing the size of your staff. Too many and you need to hire additional employees to avoid burnout.

By implementing the five points discussed in articles one and two, you can help turn your restaurant around and avoid costly high turnover rates.

Ninja Gig works with the restaurant industry and provides online job applications. Restaurants can easily manage employment application questions and data.  Take advantage of our 30-day free trial to start accepting job applications online, which is one way to make handling turnover even easier!  Sign up now!

Combat Restaurant Turnover Now Part 1 of 2

We understand that high restaurant turnover rates are stressful. Estimates show that in 2015, restaurant staff turnover rates were at 72-percent. Restaurants face an evolving door, losing money every time an employee leaves. Time and training new hires can be expensive, which is why we have five helpful tips to combat restaurant turnover.

  • Solid Hiring Process – Restaurant employees can make or break customers’ experiences, making people return or causing them never to come back. It is vital that restaurants implement a solid hiring process to help find the right candidates to create a good team. Start practicing these HR tips when hiring:
    • Job Postings – Create specific, informative job postings to attract the best, most well-qualified candidates.
    • Interview Questions – Create a set of open-ended interview questions, so candidates’ personalities and answers shine.
    • Body Language – Note candidates’ body language, as this is something customers pick up on.
    • References – Always check references.
    • Interview System – Create a buddy interview system where another senior employee participates in interviews.
  • Adequate Training – Many restaurants often overlook this simple hiring practice – have a good, solid training program in place to help eliminate miscommunications, staff errors, etc. Because the restaurant industry is fast-paced, it’s important to have a quick, yet effective training program. Consider educating new staff about the following:
    • POS – The POS system can be overwhelming, which is why it’s important to have staff training. Ask your POS company if they can provide in-depth training.
    • Menu Knowledge – New employees should be able to answer menu questions for customers.
    • Customer Service Standards – While this may seem like a no-brainer, it’s important for employees to understand their customer service expectations.
  • Reward and Recognize – Studies show that there are direct correlations between turnover rates and staff dissatisfaction. Low morale can create a negative atmosphere. To help turn this around, add the following:
    • Employee of the Month – Consider having a regular Employee of the Month contest to honor your best, hardworking and most committed employees. This will also help motivate low performers.
    • Team Building – Add a team-building contest to get staff working together, which can boost efficiency.

Just adding these programs with small rewards, such as a gift certificate, free meal, parking space, etc., can make a big difference in employee morale.  Stay tuned, and in our next article, we’ll feature the remaining two tips to help combat high turnover.

Ninja Gig specializes in providing online job applications for the restaurant industry. We help simplify your employment application and record-keeping process.  While we can’t solve your turnover issues, we can help you with your hiring needs by providing you with the software and job board integrations to make your life much easier!  Sign up today for a 30-day free trial.

Why Employees Love Perks

Employees love job perks. I’m not talking about the traditional perks, such bonuses, vacation time, flex-time, etc. Of course, employees want those types of benefits. They’re pretty standard in today’s society. What I’m exploring are the fun, exciting and edgy perks that draw employees to companies.

When I was a Human Resources Manager in Seattle, I worked for a company that had season tickets to the Seahawks, Sonics (ouch … I’m showing my age) and the Mariners. We would rotate these tickets and give them out as “employee of the month” and birthday benefits. It was a fun way to boost employee morale and let them have a day or evening with friends or loved ones.

One company I worked for even held special events for Valentine’s Day and would purchase group tickets to hockey games. It was a great way for people at work to let loose, get to know one another and have fun.

Companies can even tap into other types of events for employees that are not interested in sports. Consider purchasing group tickets to Broadway plays, concerts, comedy shows or other touring talents that come to town.

Here are some other awesome perks that attract employees:

  • Free Food – Employees love anything that is free, but they especially love food because it curbs those annoying hangry pains. Businesses may want to consider having lunch catered every Friday. It can be simple, nothing more than sandwiches and platters of brownies, but consider how much fun it is for employees not to have to battle lunch crowds once a week. Did you know that employees that have access to free snacks and food report a higher rate of job satisfaction? It’s true! Job contentment rates increase by 11% when employers offer complimentary food.
  • Massages – Employers can combat stress on the job by hiring a massage therapist to come in bi-monthly. What benefits does massage have? It decreases absenteeism, boosts productivity, decreases health insurance claims and is proven to increase workplace morale.
  • Educational Events – Consider hosting a “Lunch and Learn” session that explores issues that are important to employees, such as their health, financial savings plans and fitness goals.
  • Childcare – If you’re a large employer, take a cue from Starbucks, Google and AOL and offer onsite discount daycare programs for employees only. Parents worry less about their children when they know they’re closer to them so help put their minds at ease. Another option is to consider hosting a quarterly “Parents Night Out,” where employees can drop off their kids, go out, enjoy themselves and pick them up after a few hours.
  • Pet Walking – Seattle is known for people bringing their pets to work, but how do employees accomplish their tasks with their pets by their side? It’s easy. Some companies hire a complimentary pet-walking service that takes pets to a local park twice daily. In fact, employers that are pet-friendly attract and retain more employees.

Ninja Gig makes it easy for companies to accept job applications online. These applications are customizable, which helps to simplify the hiring process.  Sign up now for your 30-day free trial today!

The High Cost of Sales Team Turnover

Even when the economy is down, top salespeople are in demand. Sales people have the ability to transition their skills from one sales job to another easily. This also means that companies are at a high risk of losing salespeople to more lucrative job opportunities.

Remarkably, the cost of hiring a new employee is approximately 200-percent of their annual salary. This includes paying off a former employee’s vacation accrual and severance pay, as well as wrapping in costs associated with job advertising, recruiting fees and staff time to spend on reviewing resumes, interviews, paperwork, recruiting, new hire orientation and training. This cost does not even account for poor employee morale during job-transition periods.

Let’s assume the average salary for your company is $75,000. If the turnover cost is approximately 200-percent, this would mean that the company pays $150,000 for every employee that leaves. If your company has 100 employees and the average employee turnover is 10-percent per year, the total annual cost of turnover is $1,500,000. That’s a staggering amount.

Now that we have your attention, there are four questions your company needs to consider:

  1. What is your average year-over-year turnover rate?
  2. Is your turnover rate similar to the competition?
  3. Can you correlate specific changes to the turnover rate to anything that occurred in the workplace?
  4. Are there specific times of the year when you experience higher turnover?

When human resources personnel conduct exit interviews, it is important for them to gain as much insight as they can into why employees leave. Instead of asking open-ended questions, consider having employees rate factors on a scale of 1 to 10. Ask the right questions so you can determine if your environment allows salespeople to thrive.

During the hiring process, managers have insight into employees’ preferences, weaknesses and strengths. However, most fail to act on this information, which is a valuable resource tool. Managers could use this information to develop and retain employees, making the job a good fit for each person’s skills.

Ninja Gig specializes in developing online job applications. This helps to simplify human resources’ tasks, as they can easily search and save resumes on their computers.  Sign up today for your 30-day free trial!

Is President Trump good for business?

Whether you’re bleeding red or crying blue, President Trump holds the highest office in our nation for the next four years. Accepting this tangible fact is the first step in coming together as a nation.

The bottom line is that small businesses are suffering. The average small business owner spends approximately $12,000 per year addressing government regulations. Many cannot afford to navigate around these precarious rules. Nearly 14-percent of small business owners spend more than 20 hours a month addressing these time-consuming regulations. This translates into nearly half of all small business owners spending $83,000 or more to handle regulatory costs in their first year of operation.

As an added blow, once small businesses grow to 50 employees, they are required to abide by the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate. This states that businesses that have 50 or more full-time employees are responsible for providing health insurance to at least 95-percent of their full-time workforce and their dependents, up to age 26. This mandate alone stunted many small employers, striking growing-pain fears into their bottom line profits.

President Trump issued an executive order on January 30 aimed to help reduce small business regulations. Trump stated, “There will be regulation, there will be control, but it will be a normalized control.”

Amid a flurry of controversy, Trump’s presidency is first-page news. He’s checking off his campaign list with an ardent fervor of a businessman. He knows what he wants to accomplish and he’s aiming high. Trump’s promise to loosen regulations, repeal the Affordable Care Act and simplify the tax code is just a few of the subjects he’s tackling.

Trump’s team hopes that by helping small businesses, the U.S. economy will flourish and grow. However, only time will tell if a Trump presidency is a success or bust. I say we give the man a chance to change America. After all, he’s our president for four long years so we may as well make the best of it.

“Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.” – Dennis P. Kimbro

Ninja Gig offers the convenience of online job applications, which helps companies stay streamlined and paperless.  Sign up today for a free 30-day trial!

A Guide to Rewarding Employees

Cash is a short-time employee motivator. Don’t get us wrong; it’s still important to show your employees you value their performance by paying them a competitive salary and offering benefits, but there are other ways to appreciate your employees throughout the year.

We have compiled a list of our favorite ways to reward employees and best of all, they’re not expensive.

  • Flexible Hours – More employees report that working flexible hours is worth more to them than extra money. This is because many people can save their valuable time and money by not commuting during peak traffic hours, arranging alternative child care services, etc.
  • Day Off Pass – Let each employee select his or her special holiday every year. You simply give them a day off with pay.
  • Thank You Notes – In an electronic era, the value of handwritten thank you notes is underestimated. Bosses can write a thank you card to employees. Managers can be selective, yet authentic when writing these notes, which will let employees know they are valued.
  • Parking – Consider offering top employees excellent parking. Not only is this motivation for other employees, but also it makes good employees shine at work.
  • Cake and Pizza Parties – Offer office parties to reward employees. Whether it’s for birthdays, milestones or achievements, small and short gatherings help increase employee morale.
  • Gourmet Coffee – Instead of the run of the mill burnt coffee, consider upgrading the coffee station with a gourmet makeover. Small attention to details can make a significant difference at work.
  • Tours – If your business works with many vendors or suppliers, consider asking those companies if you can schedule a tour for your employees. This can help employees become better acquainted with products and services, while also giving them a fun field trip out of the office.
  • Adult Education – Consider paying for one adult education class per quarter or year. Let employees choose the class that interests them, whether it’s crafting, cooking, woodworking or even yoga.
  • New Chairs – Employees sit at their desk for an average of eight hours a day. Consider allowing them to pick out a new, comfortable and ergonomic chair to help make their days a little easier.
  • Pets – More businesses are recognizing the importance of pets in the workplace. Consider allowing your employees to bring their pets to work with them, provided they also bring a crate or cage, so pets don’t disturb others.
  • Employee of the Month – Reward an employee of the month with a special parking space, longer lunch or flexible hours.
  • Special Causes – Have a designated area where employees can post cards, forms, flyers or photos about special causes or groups they support.

Ninja Gig allows employers to accept job applications online. This helps keep HR departments organized, giving them the ability to archive applications for future reference.  Ready to make your life easier?  Sign up now for your 30-day free trial!

The Telltale Warning Signs of Violent Employee Behavior

Workplace violence rarely occurs without warning. People rarely wake up one day and suddenly have the desire to become violent. Experts agree that people display warning signs before acting out. The key to avoiding workplace violence is to recognize the signs of “pre-violence” and assist employees.

The following may be early warning signs and indicators of violent behavior.

  • Weapons – If an employee has a distinct fascination with weapons, this may be a sign of potentially violent behavior. Please note that weapon ownership is very different from someone being obsessed by weapons.
  • Violent History – Once people have explored crossing the ethical or moral barrier of violence, they are more apt to reoffend.
  • Substance Abuse – Studies show there is a significant correlation between substance abuse and violence.
  • Decreased Productivity – Employees that demonstrate or have a higher tendency towards violence display a harder time maintaining consistent productivity.
  • Severe Stress – People that display signs of violence use severe stress as an excuse for their behavior.
  • Poor Hygiene – Poor personal hygiene may be a sign that an employee doesn’t care anymore, which can be a trigger for workplace violence.
  • Poor Relationships – Experts agree that loners or people that have poor peer relationships are more likely to display signs of violence. This is largely in part because they do not have the social resources to talk to people and work out their problems.
  • Personality Changes – If someone drastically changes from being super outgoing to very shy, this can be a sign of a personality disorder, manic depression or someone who has a tendency to display violent behavior.

Ninja Gig allows employers the convenience of accepting job applications online. As an added benefit, you can request information for a background check, which may help decrease the chances of hiring an applicant with a violent history.  Sign up today for your 30-day free trial!