We believe that everyone in an organization deserves a chance to be a hero—to make a difference; thus we recommend tiers of recognition and awards. Your award system can be similar or take a different form. Use your own judgment about the culture you want to create. And remember it may take time to make it happen. Your reward system will probably evolve gradually, and you will implement new ideas and recognition systems as you gain insight. The important thing to keep in mind is that a reward system keeps employees invested in your culture.
Here are some suggestions for recognizing, both publicly and privately, the people who make your organization successful.
Public recognition is that which is shared with peers, most often through formal recognition
programs. The Leadership Institute has helped client organizations implement many of the
following structured initiatives; your organization may already be taking advantage of many of these opportunities to recognize your workforce.
Recognition Days: Celebrate recognition days from the health and wellness calendar, such as Nurses’ Week, Doctor’s Day, Christian Emphasis Week, Physical Therapy Month, etc. Typical
observances may include a meal and a small gift or certificate of thanks. In addition, celebrate achievement of patient satisfaction goals with a special event or meal.
Multi-Year Service Awards: Service award ceremonies recognize and honor employees who have reached five years and up milestones. There are many options for recognizing these individuals. Consider opening the monthly or quarterly session to the entire organization so that leaders and co-workers can express their appreciation for the employee’s years of service. For major milestones such as the 25 year mark, organizations usually will want to provide extra recognition whether in the form of a letter from the president of the organization, a pin with a precious stone, or other token of appreciation. Annually your organization will likely host a service award reception or dinner to thank your employees for their years of service; offer
to the longest term employees additional honors in the form of a plaque and/or cash award.
Annual Birthday Gifts and Cards: Employees’ individual birthdays are special days that deserve recognition. Recognition does not have to be expensive; a simple Happy Birthday
card from the organization is nice or it may be combined with a small gift. Your Human Resources department can be in charge of making the cards and gifts available to leaders to pick up on a monthly basis. This recognition takes little effort but will have a heart-felt impact
on employees, such as a new staff member of Baptist Health Care who recently commented that she had “never before had the privilege to work for a company that took the time to honor
each individual employee’s birthday.”
Employee of the Month: This award is presented to exemplary employees who have been recognized by their peers as role models. In many organizations, only department leaders are able to nominate employees, while in others anyone can submit a nomination. A great way to announce the monthly winner is for the president of the hospital to surprise the employee in his or her department. The president would then present an award at a small reception attended by the honoree’s co- workers. Public recognition is achieved by posting the employee’s photo in a prominent hospital location. Annually, all twelve honorees would become eligible for the Employee of the Year award.
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.
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