11 Benefits in Hospitals - Wish and Reality

Learn what's coming in the future and how to successfully master this transformation.

Hannes Sommer
Hannes Sommer
Founder & Managing Director Sinceritas Executive Search

Hospitals have been adorning themselves with benefits for several years now during the application process. The tables have turned in the job market – it's no longer the applicants who need to enhance their profiles, but rather the hospitals themselves who must compete for the favor of the candidates. Employer branding is also considered a buzzword in the healthcare sector. With benefits, a hospital can individually position itself and become more attractive. It thereby forms a brand (branding) that evokes positive feelings and stays in memory.

Benefits for employees promise, on one hand, to counteract the increasing shortage of skilled workers in recruitment. Their purpose is to motivate employees and, at the same time, bind them to a hospital for the long term. It is worth asking more specifically which benefits are successful in which professional groups in the hospital and which ones are increasingly desired in the future. A survey by Sinceritas provides answers to this. It also reveals which benefits have already been implemented.

Addressing Staff Shortages with Benefits

Because by the year 2030, there will be a shortage of 500,000 full-time nurses, according to a report by the Bertelsmann Foundation. This number results from both demographic factors, such as an increase in the number of people in need of care, and personnel factors due to a lack of applicants. The nursing shortage has been declared a crisis, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic.

This shortage doesn't only affect nursing staff – even chief physicians are in high demand. Women are extremely underrepresented in this role. Hospitals in general also complain about a lack of applicants for senior physician positions, and even in administration, there is a shortage of qualified applications.

With benefits for employees, additional offers, incentives, and because these benefits are not taxed, essentially tax advantages, hospitals successfully enhance their profiles.

According to a survey of employee ratings on Kununu, this strategy generally works. Salary satisfaction increases, not surprisingly, with the offered benefits. This comprehensive survey does not directly focus on hospitals and will only be briefly mentioned here.

Self-Assessment of Hospitals

Sinceritas surveyed a total of 48 hospitals and an additional 470 employees about the benefits they offered. The participants were 71% doctors, 21% nursing professionals, and 8% administrative staff. The hospitals had an average of 400 beds and were mainly acute care hospitals under public ownership. Based on this data, an interesting comparison can be drawn between what the hospitals offer and what the employees desire.

This will also reveal the difference between hard and soft factors. Hard factors are quantifiable and can be calculated from a business perspective. Soft factors, on the other hand, relate to the work atmosphere or the ethics of an organization. They are more subjective but crucial for employee satisfaction and the attractiveness of an organization as an employer. Looking at the self-assessment of hospitals, it is evident that soft factors like regular feedback are not necessarily fully implemented, even if their importance is recognized, as in the case of individual coaching.

Benefits Prioritized by Doctor

In this graphic, the responses of surveyed doctors are summarized. It confirms the assumption that doctors consider further education opportunities and coaching to be important. It's also noteworthy that soft factors such as team atmosphere and the hospital's reputation are considered very important. Open corporate management and flexibility in vacation planning are also highly valued, as are regular feedback sessions.

An above-average salary as a hard factor is deemed crucial in all professional groups. Profit sharing is particularly significant for doctors.

Open Corporate Management

Open corporate management is important for doctors as it promotes transparency within their medical facilities. This allows doctors to have a better understanding of decision-making processes and resource allocation, which can enhance their professional satisfaction and motivation. Moreover, an open corporate culture helps build trust between doctors, administration, and other staff, positively impacting collaboration and the quality of patient care. Finally, open communication channels enable doctors to voice concerns and improvement suggestions, ultimately leading to optimized working conditions and patient safety.

Further Education

Individual coaching and further education opportunities are increasingly desired by doctors. The desire to prioritize further education and coaching is present both among doctors and in the nursing sector. According to the representative Learning & Skills study 2023 by Xing, there is a significant interest in further education among German employees in general. An article in Ärzteblatt ("Searching for Senior Physicians for the Clinic – How to Find Applicants") highlights that senior physicians wish to allocate more time to the training of specialist physicians. Opportunities for further education make a hospital more attractive to doctors.

Regular Feedback

Regular feedback is of great importance to doctors as it helps them continuously improve their professional skills and patient care. Constructive feedback from colleagues, superiors, and patients allows them to identify strengths and work on weaknesses. Furthermore, feedback fosters an open communication culture in healthcare, enhancing patient safety and minimizing errors, ultimately ensuring the best possible care.


Sustainability plays a crucial role for hospital doctors as it directly affects patient health and the environment. By implementing sustainable practices, doctors can help conserve resources and reduce waste, offering not only ecological benefits but also cost savings for the healthcare facility. Additionally, integrating sustainable healthcare practices can promote the long-term health of patients by minimizing environmental impacts that can harm health. A sustainable approach in healthcare is thus of great importance both for patient care and the environment.


In general, respondents do not consider perks such as a company bike or childcare as very important. However, family-friendliness is often a decisive factor for women in accepting a job offer. The range of family-friendly benefits is extensive, from subsidies for the birth of a child to the ability to request special leave for special occasions (e.g., the birth of a sibling), and even on-site daycare facilities. To attract women to leadership positions, this aspect should not be overlooked.

Perspective of the Nursing Sector

Continuing education and training are also highly valued in the nursing sector. Conferences and events can contribute to increasing employee satisfaction. The following graphic depicts the perspective of the nursing sector on offered benefits.

Fixed Working Hours

Fixed working hours are crucial for the work-life balance of nursing staff, as they allow for better work schedule planning and promote mental health. They provide employees with reliability and predictability, which increases satisfaction and makes it easier to concentrate on job tasks. Additionally, fixed hours strengthen team cohesion by reducing irregular shifts and absences, leading to a more efficient work environment and improved patient care.

Flexibility in Vacation Planning

Flexibility in vacation planning is particularly important for nursing staff with children, as they want to spend time with their families during holiday seasons. To facilitate this, hospital-wide vacation replacements could be introduced, ensuring smooth operations during vacation times without jeopardizing patient care. This can help nursing staff achieve a better work-life balance and enhance the overall quality of care.

Above-Average Salary

An above-average salary for nursing staff is crucial to properly acknowledge their important work and attract and retain qualified professionals. Nursing staff work hard and often face emotional stress, making fair compensation a sign of appreciation. An attractive salary can also provide incentives to combat the healthcare workforce shortage by motivating potential employees to enter and stay in the nursing profession. Furthermore, an above-average salary improves the financial stability of nursing staff, leading to increased job satisfaction and enhanced patient care quality.

What Administrative Staff Desire

The needs of administrative staff differ significantly from those of medical and nursing professionals due to their different work environment and working hours.

Flexible Working Hours and Home Office

While fixed working hours and vacation flexibility are desirable for doctors and nursing staff, administrative staff prefer a more flexible work schedule with flextime and the option to switch to home office. The option to work from home has been on employees' wish lists for some time, not just since the COVID-19 pandemic. In hospitals, this initially affects administrative staff. However, it can also pose communication challenges with other departments in the hospital.

According to the Sinceritas survey, home office work is still desirable for administrative staff despite these challenges.

Sports Offerings

Sports offerings are of great importance to administrative staff as they contribute to employee health and well-being. Regular physical activities can help reduce stress and improve physical fitness, positively impacting job performance. Additionally, sports offerings can strengthen team cohesion and foster communication among employees. A healthy and active lifestyle can also reduce illness rates, ultimately lowering personnel costs. Therefore, providing sports opportunities is an essential component of holistic personnel development, enhancing employee motivation and retention.

Open Corporate Culture / Transparent Communication

An open corporate culture and transparent communication are fundamental for administrative staff as they promote trust and efficiency within the organization. A culture emphasizing openness and transparency creates an environment where employees feel heard and respected, increasing job satisfaction. Clear communication regarding corporate goals, strategies, and decisions allows employees to better understand how their work contributes to the overall success of the organization. This can strengthen employee motivation and retention as they can identify more closely with the organization's mission and values. Finally, an open culture facilitates collaboration and knowledge exchange between teams, promoting productivity and innovation.


As demonstrated in the Sinceritas study, soft factors such as team atmosphere, leadership behavior, open corporate management, and sustainability are of great interest to employees. However, the level of salary still plays a decisive role.

In summary, benefits are beneficial for employer branding and recruiting success. Furthermore, they offer a high potential for employee retention.

As benefits become more established, individual hospitals must first fulfill them. Second, they must be communicated prominently in job postings and to employees. Third, benefits must align with what employees desire, which also corresponds to the desire for more communication. Conducting an internal survey would be a first step in this direction.

Every hospital should prepare for this and seek advice. This way, the right employees can be recruited and retained in the future.