Crisis in the Healthcare Industry
We’re all aware that the US healthcare industry is still in an acute crisis. Severe healthcare worker shortages are continuing due to COVID-related staff burnout, accelerated employee turnover, and an aging healthcare worker population. For healthcare organizations, this has become a matter of life and death.
High rates of burnout and turnover can lead to medical errors and reduced quality of care, negatively affecting patient safety and outcomes. Maybe it’s time to reflect again on the critical value of the recognition and reward of healthcare workers. Healthcare organizations that lack formal employee recognition programs could be at greater risk than ever before.
The Value of a Culture of Recognition
Recently Precheck, a healthcare background screening company, addressed this issue by focusing on the importance of employee recognition in the healthcare industry. They contend that creating a culture of recognition is one of the best ways that hospitals and other healthcare organizations can improve employee engagement and retention.
Employee recognition is simply the timely acknowledgment of an individual or team who has gone above and beyond expectations. Recognition affirms the value of that employee’s action and sets an example for other team members. Receiving recognition can improve job satisfaction, reduce turnover, and positively impact patient care.
How to Build an Employee Recognition Culture
But how do you create a culture of recognition in healthcare? An organization may understand the value of recognition while still being unsure about how to implement it. Each healthcare organization should develop its own unique strategy while following a few general principles:
- Learn how your employees want to be recognized. How a healthcare organization recognizes and rewards employees depends on the individual employee. The organization needs to learn more about their team members, and whether they would like to be rewarded monetarily, with praise, or with another type of gesture.
- Understand your organization’s mission and how employees contribute. Organizations need to know exactly what they want to recognize. Employers shouldn’t only reward specific employee behavior, but also understand how it fits into the organization’s “big picture.” This is especially important for millennial workers who are attracted to meaningful work with an organization that supports their values.
- Engage all employees, from the top down. A successful recognition culture requires buy-in at all levels. While a culture of recognition should be a top-down effort, employees also should be involved from the start. This helps build interest and enthusiasm for the recognition program and makes employees more authentic advocates of the culture of recognition.
- Start small and stay consistent. Any goal is easier to achieve in small steps, and building a culture of recognition is no different. Healthcare organizations can begin by simply keeping an eye out for opportunities to praise employees. This creates a foundation of recognition and appreciation that becomes easier to build on. Creating a culture of recognition can help establish a productive, engaged workforce that helps healthcare organizations reduce costs, improve patient outcomes, and stay competitive.
Implementing Your Recognition Culture
If your organization is in the beginning process of building your recognition culture, you’re going to need a healthcare technology partner. We can help you create an integrated recognition solution that will excite employees, engage managers, and positively impact patients and their families. Give us a call.
Here are a couple more healthcare-related blog posts.