“Being a nurse means to hold all your own tears and start drawing smiles on people’s faces” – Dana Basem.
With healthcare being one of the fastest growing industries, organizations face challenges in more ways than before in employee engagement. That’s why more than ever, healthcare organization must consider employee recognition as part of their overall strategy. While healthcare employees work in extremely high-stress situations, and are not rewarded accordingly, the employers deal with serious challenges due to a high turnover rate and labor shortage.
Healthcare’s High Turnover and Low Satisfaction
According to a 2016 Nursing Solutions report, the average turnover in the nursing industry has reached 16.5% with an average turnover cost of $50k. SHRO’s are realizing this and that’s why behavior optimization and people analytics are on the rise in healthcare.
The report shows the current situation in the healthcare industry is driven by the inherently stressful responsibilities of the employees, the high turnover rate is also caused by a reason that can be actually controlled – employee recognition and satisfaction. Underappreciated and overworked employees will never be able to perform to their best. In fact, the lack of appreciation from the management is one of the top drivers of low job satisfaction, and consequently the main reason behind the high turnover rate.
The Healthcare Solution
Employee engagement strategies move the needle for employee satisfaction and retention. Healthcare managers need to make use of these programs and to combine them with the proper tools, education and empowerment methods in order to ensure that their employees are engaged with their work. A successful program decreases turnover, improve efficiency and promotes the core values of hospitals.
How to Make Recognition Programs Work
The execution is paramount for new initiatives to take hold. Recognition programs in the healthcare industry should be balanced between value-based initiatives and performance-based. Studies shows people want to feel appreciated for their work, and they want to be rewarded for their creativity and their unique contribution to the organization.
However, for the recognition program to work as designed, all personnel involved from managers and supervisors to doctors and nurses, need to be properly trained. That’s why at Recognize we built it to be so straightforward that staff are guided through the program intuitively. We believe all tools should be easy to use.
Regardless of technology ease-of-use, the linchpin for an engagement strategy is buy-in from all levels of the organization. The following are a few suggestions:
- Give staff a reason to send recognition with non-monetary or monetary rewards
- Make it easy for managers to run reports, receive notifications, and recognize staff in their workflow
- Help leaders see the benefits of discovering qualitative people analytics through continuous positive feedback
It is important to communicate that a job well done deserves appraisal. As an organization in the healthcare system, you need to transform your company by implementing a strong culture of recognition. Once your employees know that their efforts are appreciated and their work rewarded, you will build a connection and reap the benefits, including an increased productivity, a lower turnover and an improved brand image.
Start Small Think Big
Recognition to your employees must be constant, unbiased, and meaningful. In the healthcare industry, it is important to be open to new, innovative rewarding ideas. While you can always use the existing goals and procedures for rewarding employees, innovation is what will make you benefit of a serious, appreciated recognition program.
Use Case: Making Workplace Safety a Priority
Healthcare workers are exposed to a wide variety of safety hazards. Several issues arose in 2015 that shed new light on patient safety threats. As part of a complete employee recognition program, you need to recognize and reward those employees that have been affected by an accident. At the same time, you can make workplace safety a priority by integrating this aspect into your reward & recognition program. Gallup’s employee engagement database shows 70% fewer safety incidents compared to companies with disengaged staff.
Incorporate Recognize Into Existing Processes
Integrate your NSC Employee Perception Surveys, or other safety procedures that you’ve adopted in your workplace, with continuous positive feedback through Recognize. Habits are easily adopted when attached to existing habits.
The Result: Giving Rewards
Receiving awesome perks at work as a result from employee recognition will lead to long term success of an employee engagement program. Gamification shows we can use a variety of resources. SAPS stands for Status, Access, Power, and Stuff. These are the four elements you can provide as rewards to staff.
Status – Create a special video about someone in the company and present it company-wide. Give people a special job title based on their qualities.
Access – Give staff access to conferences or even a parking spot.
Power – The power to make a decision based on the qualities they have shown.
Stuff – Gift cards, days off, massages, lunch delivered, or cash are all popular examples.
The least expensive most effective gift to an employee is status.
More Staff Reward Ideas for Healthcare
- Lower back massages each Wednesday
- Employee awards banquet once every six months
- Monthly meeting with the boss: each month, employees are invited by their superior to attend a lunch meeting
- Free tickets to sporting events for overtime hours
- Wall of fame recognition
- 20% bonus for Holidays
- Pizza party event
- Various other bonuses for performance and for positive customer feedback
How to Do Employee Recognition for Healthcare
As a rule of thumb, you need to base your program on four unique elements:
Due to decentralization, a unified platform available in the cloud is vital for your recognition program’s success. The platform should be accessible from any device and should integrate seamlessly with third-party apps. Showcasing employee recognition and creating a team environment increases productivity by 12.5%.
While it is vital to make sure your employees understand the importance of being recognized and rewarded, you should also ensure that they are be allowed to recognize their peers. Your employees should have multiple recognition options in order to become part of the larger organizational culture.
Mix of informal and formal strategies
While formal, branded awards are imperative for building up the organizational culture, informal awards are necessary to add a human touch and make the experience complete.
The last element of a successful rewarding program in the healthcare industry is a flexible program. You need to be open to change and base your rewards on the changing trends.
Once you put together all of these elements, you have a solid base for your employee recognition program. To get it rolling, here is what you need to do:
Create a project team
For starters, it is important to establish ownership of the program. The team within the institution should be cross-functional, incorporating multiple units in the hospital, the HR and IT departments. Or just someone well liked in the organization that people know and respect.
Allocate a budget:
Next convince the members of the board, the directors, and the stakeholders that putting money in an employee rewarding program is an investment that pays off by itself. HR professionals with budget of at least 1% of payroll are more likely to perceive positive effects on the organization than less than 1%. Healthcare is ranked third highest in turnover rates with 13%, improving this is accomplishable with tried and true employee engagement methods.
The cost of employee turnover not only means financial repercussions, it can result in lowering the knowledge base in your company and decrease performance and workplace morale. – Streamline Verify
Promote the launch and help your employees understand the recognition and rewards process.
Promote the launch:
Create a big event and promote it across all departments. Everyone should attend and it should be fun for everyone. Who doesn’t love a great party that celebrates everyone’s accomplishments?
People Want to Make a Difference in Their Workplace
They want to know that their work matters, especially in the healthcare industry. However, you need to go the extra mile and create a rewarding & recognition program if you want to have happy employees. Put together a recognition platform and you will be able to reap the benefits that result from keeping your employees satisfied.