Five Essential Attributes of Reward and Recognition in Healthcare

April 1, 2021
April 1, 2021

Reward and recognition are critical to an employee’s success and work performance. They generate extraordinary commitment, ownership and loyalty from staff. Over the years at the BLG, we have learned to “sharpen the saw” when it comes to employee acknowledgment. We recommend five, very basic tenets that to which everyone in an organization should adhere to: the practice of SMART reward and recognition.

SMART = Sincere, Meaningful, Adaptable, Relevant, Timely


A reward should reflect a genuine expression of appreciation. Insincerity is easily perceived when the words and body language are inadequate. Moreover, because the recognition comes across as shallow, it’s ineffective. The process of reward and recognition should never be viewed as a chore.  


Meaningful recognition is tied intrinsically to the organization’s mission, vision and values. When employees see that their actions have impacted one of these driving principles, they are motivated to repeat the behavior again and again. But it is also important to research how people wish to be rewarded, what is meaningful to them.


One of the most recognizable influences in today’s workplace environment is diversity. A recognition program therefore should embrace creative options to reward all involved and to keep the initiative from going stale.


Match the reward to the person! Utilizing a method of recognition that ignores a person’s preferences, or even worse, that s disliked is self-defeating to the program’s goals.


It is important that a reward addresses the behavior romptly that it is intended to reinforce. Otherwise, if too much time passes, the recognition may be devalued. 

Reward and Recognition Training

BLG teaches key skills, approaches, techniques, and best practices to help leaders effectively reward and recognize high performers. Elements of this training include how to harvest reward and recognition opportunities, thank you notes as a key engagement tool, formal recognition programs that support a patient focused culture, and informal methods that create a custom, individualized approach to thanking team members in your employee family.