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Best Practices for Hospital Recognition Programs & Rewards

Reward and Recognition Team

A HealthStream customer established a Reward and Recognition Team that meets regularly to plan and implement ongoing events and initiatives, with a goal of keeping the program’s momentum alive and well. The following are a few of their highly successful celebratory efforts in honor of employees.

  • Birthday with the Boss: each month, employees are invited to attend their choice of breakfast or lunch with the CEO in one of the hospital’s conference rooms to celebrate their birthday; nice meal is served and each employee is given a special gift
  • Employee Service Awards banquet
  • Chair massages on Thursdays
  • Free Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday buffets
  • Perfect attendance recognition (special reception, certificate presented and drawings for special prizes including a trip to a resort area)
  • Valentine’s Day Ice Cream Social/Late Night Sweetheart Breakfast for 3rd Shift employees (administrative team cooks and serves employees)
  • Holiday trips for employees/families that feature discounted tickets and rides on chartered buses at no charge
  • Free tickets to sporting events including baseball, arena football, and hockey games
  • Employee bowling league and basketball team (jerseys/fees paid by hospital)
  • Wall of Fame recognition
  • Hospital Connection – daily briefings with staff for improvement of communication and recognition of employees’ special achievements
Prize Patrol

The Measurement Team at another healthcare facility in the Southeast formed a “Prize Patrol” who publicly acknowledges departments for excelling in patient satisfaction survey scores. The team, which monitors the scores on a weekly basis, recognizes two areas each month: the department with the highest score and the most improved. Together with a representative from administration, the hard-hat-outfitted Prize Patrol members burst in on the two unsuspecting and honored departments with goodies, banners that are hung on the spot, and great fanfare.

Because the team keeps a close watch on patient satisfaction scores across the organization, the department/unit recognitions are immediate which makes them even more powerful. It has proved to be an exciting way to keep employees engaged about cultural improvements, and promote friendly competition among departments.

Caught You Caring

A client hospital in Pennsylvania mounted a “Caught You Caring” initiative to reinforce  extraordinary customer service behaviors through peer recognition. They found that asking employees to recognize and document acts of extraordinary customer service had a twofold effect: increased attention to the contributions of co-workers, along with enhanced collaboration and teamwork.

Without prior announcement, Caught You Caring ballot boxes and nomination forms appear in every hospital department and unit. Employees who observe co-workers providing extraordinary “customer service efforts or random acts of kindness” simply document the behavior and place the form in the ballot box.

Again without prior announcement, the Caught You Caring boxes are removed and the forms
are collected. The following day, the campaign is celebrated in the employee dining room by a random drawing of several ballots, with small prizes subsequently awarded to those recognized. All submitted forms are posted in the dining area, and the president’s message in the monthly employee newsletter highlights several examples of extraordinary service.

In order to keep Caught You Caring fresh and fun, each campaign is somewhat different and is never announced. Caught You Caring boxes appear and disappear at the discretion of the President/CEO. Prizes, which change with each campaign, have included t-shirts, gift cards to local restaurants, and gas gift cards.

Finally, while the employee whose ballot form is randomly selected always receives an award, other prizes are bestowed which vary from campaign to campaign. For example, cookie trays may be delivered to the selected employee’s department. Or an award might be offered to the individual who took the time to document the outstanding service of his/her co-worker.

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