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Engage Healthcare Staff with Private, Group, and Corporate Recognition

Private Recognition

While public recognition is important, often it is private recognition that is most meaningful to employees. The most fundamental form of private recognition is a leader’s words of praise and appreciation delivered with a smile to the employee. Hardly anything comes across as more sincere than a few well-chosen and timely phrases that describe the valued behavior, personally conveyed.

A second, highly effective means is a handwritten, thank you note sent directly to the employee’s home. When appreciation is expressed in such a caring manner, there can be no doubt of the leader’s sincerity. Another way is the personal presentation of a recognition
certificate. While many people express the opinion that these are “corny” and too standardized to be meaningful, nevertheless certificates usually end up being posted in the recipient’s work space.

Group Recognition

Group recognition is intended to build team loyalty, and can be celebrated at the department, team, or committee level. Some of the reasons for group celebrations include: anniversaries, patient satisfaction scores, meeting a goal, finishing a big project, or for support in general. For example, the Employee Loyalty Team of a hospital hosts an annual celebration to thank each person who volunteers to serve on a team.

Consider incorporating one of the themes and activities below into a recognition event for a team.

  • Coffee Break – Starbucks coffee and coffee cake
  • The Stars Come Out/Shine Movie theme with lemonade and popcorn
  • HOT! HOT! HOT! – Team members can bring in their “famous” salsa recipe; the leader can provide different kinds of chips.
  • Death by Chocolate Party – Cookies, bars, cakes, pies, fudge
  • Build Your Own Sundae
  • You Put Your Heart into It! – Buy heart shaped cookies or decorated cake from bakery
  • Bubble Gum – Chewing/blowing bubble gum party and/or contest
  • Picnic or Meeting on the Grounds – Go outside for your meeting or celebration
  • Treat Your Team to a Chair Massage – Contact local school of massage and get reduced rate or free massages; students have to have so many hours to graduate; or, if you have an on-site massage therapist,  negotiate a deal
  • Bring a Basket of Goodies – Team shares crackers, cheese, nuts, etc.
  • Cello Goody Bags – Stuffed with candy/treats
  • Emergency Kit – Band aids, safety pin, always a piece of chocolate, etc. (in case you have to call an emergency meeting)
  • Take Pictures – Random pictures of individuals and team members; blow them up, have CEO or senior leaders and team leader sign
  • Overboard Party – Hawaiian punch with umbrellas, cookies
  • Card Party – Deal a deck of cards; being dealt the Joker (or a certain card) earns a prize
  • Flower Seed Packets –“Thanks for making our patient satisfaction (organization) grow”
  • It’s Electric – High-functioning team celebration (do the electric slide)
  • Achy Breaky Heart – Team discusses what’s missing or not going well; use this theme also when a team member leaves. Feature heart decoration and a line dance
Corporate Celebrations

Corporate reward and recognition events are held in celebration of the organization’s entire employee base. Department leaders participate in the planning and implementation of such events. Corporate celebrations are scheduled around specific achievements involving all staff
members, such as patient satisfaction scores that meet or exceed quarterly goals. Other events
might focus on professional recognition such as National Hospital Week or Nurses’ Day. Another celebration might signify an industry milestone, such as receiving a national award or celebrating a significant anniversary.

The level of enthusiasm conveyed by leaders when communicating celebratory information to employees is critical to its success. An enormous amount of time, energy and expense is devoted to celebrating employees’ successes through these events. Leaders are expected to publicize and personally invite their staff members to participate in “being celebrated.” 

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.

About BLG, a HealthStream Company 

BLG provides Patient-Centered Excellence Consulting, where the patient is at the center of
everything we do. Our tools, tactics, and best practices are evidence-based and outcomes driven.  We provide custom, individualized coaching that produces measurable, sustainable increases in patient satisfaction, employee engagement, quality outcomes, and profitability.

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