High staff turnover in skilled nursing facilities increases workloads, recruitment, hiring, and training as well as negatively impacts morale, social relationships, and quality of care. Examining the overall work context of nursing homes—including their physical design features and social climate—could help to better understand and improve employee retention.
This study evaluates the relationship between staff turnover and staff characteristics, resident resources, physical design, and social climate in community nursing homes and long-term care facilities for veterans.
Researchers used the Multiphasic Environmental Assessment Procedure (MEAP) to measure physical features, policies and services, resident and staff characteristics, and social climate.
The researchers reported that in the Community Facilities Sample, turnover was unrelated to the physical design features, but related to the social climate dimensions (more conflict, less cohesion, less organization, and less resident influence). In the Veterans Facilities Sample, the researchers found that turnover was unrelated to social climate, but greater where there were fewer physical amenities, social-recreational aids, and prosthetic aids and less environmental diversity.
The authors note that one limitation of the study is that it did not address all the areas that can influence staff turnover, such as the labor market conditions, employees’ personal circumstances, or facility benefits. They also note that the case-study design limits the degree of generalizability of the results to other settings.