5 Ways to Show Appreciation for Healthcare Employees

5 Ways to Show Appreciation for Healthcare Employees
Senior Director of Marketing

As the days grow shorter and we get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving, one of my favorite holidays, I thought I would discuss a few ways healthcare employers can show appreciation for employees (no turkey necessary). According to a 2014 CareerBuilder survey, healthcare workers had the highest rates of stress levels across industries. With everyone under so much pressure in a fast-paced healthcare environment, showing a little appreciation for your employees can go a long way and help ease some of the stress.

The following are a few ideas to help you thank your employees and make them feel appreciated.

A Simple “Thank You”

At this year’s American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA) conference, keynote speaker Jon Gordon shared how the most important characteristic of a leader is their optimism. Positivity goes a long way in the workplace, and it can be as simple as saying “thank you” to your team at the end of each day. While it may seem like a small gesture, it can truly make a difference if it’s truly sincere. It’s not secret that Millennials want constant feedback, so what better way than to tell them what a great job they’re performing after a day with a sincere “thank you?” Consider speaking with your managers and supervisors to start implementing this practice with their teams.

A Culture of Appreciation

One way to ensure employees feel appreciated year round is to make appreciation part of your organization’s culture. While writing appreciation in your culture statement and values is a great start, it’s important to make sure that your organization actually embraces appreciation in the day-to-day interactions. Otherwise, you may find that your organization’s actual culture does not reflect what your culture statement says. One way to cultivate a culture of appreciation is to make it very easy for employees to show appreciation for each other. There are feedback tools available to help you achieve these goals. Some organizations are using cloud-based software like Work.com to empower their employees to recognize and show appreciation for each other. Whatever strategy you implement at your organization, the key is to ensure your employees understand your values and that you actually ‘walk the walk’ when it comes to your culture statement.

Handwritten Notes

In the digital world that we live in where emails, tweets, and Facebook comments are the new norm, a handwritten note is much more impactful. Giving your employees a handwritten note with your thanks after they’ve completed a project or assignment will truly make them feel special. Not many people write notes these days, so taking a few minutes to handwrite notes for your employees can truly make them feel appreciated.

Employee Appreciation Events

Another way to help instill a culture of appreciation is to host employee appreciation events at your healthcare organization. If you don’t already, make it a point to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day at your organization, which is observed on the first Friday in March in the U.S. Its creator, Bob Nelson, however, says showing thankfulness shouldn’t be limited to a one-day observance. “This should be a daily thing,” he said in an interview. “Not every person every day, but every day a manager should do something for somebody to show appreciation.”

Public Recognition

Another well-known fact is that Millennials crave recognition. A recent study by Blackhawk Engagement Solutions found that 39 percent of Millennials say their employer doesn’t offer any rewards or recognition at all. Today, when Millennials now make the largest part of the workforce, it’s important that healthcare organizations have a formal employee recognition program. There are many ways of giving recognition. It can be as simple as recognizing a team member during a staff meeting and commending them for their work. You can also have a very formal recognition program with a nomination and selection process. At PreCheck, for example, we created the Annual Hollie Frye Service Award in 2012 to recognize our employees for outstanding job excellence, teamwork, and customer service.

Whatever you decide makes sense for you organization, it’s important to have programs in place to ensure you are giving your employees what they crave the most. Unfortunately, not enough recognition takes place, but it’s something than can go a long way when it comes to employee engagement.

How are you showing appreciation for your employees? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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