8 Ways to Get Creative With Healthcare Employee Recognition

8 Ways to Get Creative With Healthcare Employee Recognition
Senior Director of Marketing

Recognizing employees is an important part of showing them their efforts count and in building an effective team at your healthcare organization. Employee recognition can truly make a difference in motivating your staff to provide the best patient care. Here are eight ways to get creative with healthcare employee recognition.

Celebrate Publicly

Part of recognition is having others know about your achievements, so celebrate publicly, says Cheryl Kerrigan, Vice President of Employee Success at Achievers. “Host quarterly celebrations to recognize top performers, team collaboration or goals that have been met. Take the time to reflect on the successes of your team, and it will re-energize the group for the next quarter.”

Empower Peers

“Peer-to-peer recognition is critical for employee engagement and performance as it’s an unfiltered 360-degree view of what’s occurring within the organization,” Kerrigan says. Ensuring colleagues have a say in the recognition process can help get everyone on board. Recognition software Work.com, for example, allows employees to recognize others for their actions by awarding badges on an internal social network.

Use Existing Procedures as Your Guide

If you’re implementing a new recognition process, tie it to patient care by using existing procedures as a standard for success. Each department is going to have different roles and processes, so use them for a baseline on what is good care and what is excellent, says Carl Martens, National Sales Manager at Award Concepts. If you have a points-based system, for example, you could assign points to a post-op follow-up phone call checklist to develop a scoring system for what you already have in place.

Employ On-Site Assets

Healthcare organizations have an advantage over many employers, Martens says, because there are often award-ready outlets on-site, such as cafeterias, coffee shops and gift shops. Employees can earn rewards such as gift certificates for these outlets, for example.

Change With the Times

Martens says he worked with a client who typically gave out service award pins. When employees poked them through their electronic badges, they ruined the magnetic strip, which made the badges unusable. Award Concepts developed a device that slides onto the badge ID holder and is now selling thousands, Martens says.

Recognize Rapidly

Timely recognition is effective recognition and reinforces the behaviors you want to foster, Kerrigan says. “Recognize your employees for providing excellent patient care in the moment. Whether it’s for anticipating a need, ensuring understanding of treatment or great patient service, recognize them immediately to reinforce the behaviors that your organization values.”

Get Everyone on Board

Buy-in for recognition efforts has to come from the top of your organization. “According to Bersin by Deloitte, when senior leaders are actively involved in employee recognition, companies are nine times more likely to have strong business results,” Kerrigan says. “Present the ROI on engaged workplaces for financial leaders, customer satisfaction for sales leaders and engagement for HR. By showing the evidence of the outcomes that can be achieved from a recognition strategy, executives will see the value in engaging and aligning employees.”

Develop a Smart Strategy

Set expectations and ensure everyone is properly trained on any software you may be using for your recognition program. In addition, Martens recommends making it possible for people to earn recognition often. It can be discouraging to find out that it could take months to earn enough recognition points to receive a worthwhile award.

No matter what kind of program you use, putting it together properly will help ensure success. “Recognition makes for a better workplace,” Martens says. “Everyone’s happier. What manager wouldn’t want that?”

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