Incentra Insights

How to Put the CARES Concept to Work in Your Healthcare Organization

Posted by Vicki Hiney on May 20, 2022 9:02:00 AM

healthcare recognition CARES concept

This post is part three in a series of blog posts discussing The Healthcare Employee Recognition Playbook. In case you missed the second post, you can read it here and the first post here.

Incentra’s technology partner, WorkStride, has studied some of the country’s leading healthcare systems and learned how they manage recognition, engagement, retention, and attraction within their organizations. As you review the following initiatives that are common in leading recognition programs, you’ll notice CARES factors are woven in.

Milestones & Achievements

The cornerstone of a successful healthcare recognition program is the acknowledgment and reward of organizational achievements. While traditional milestones recognized in most organizations align with tenure (commonly referred to as Service Awards), great engagement programs go further; they incorporate more opportunities to recognize behaviors that occur on a daily basis throughout the organization.

Service Awards programs are a long-standing part of recognition programs at leading hospitals. Years of service within healthcare is a great value to the organization, as replacement costs and burdens for employees can be extreme. While not all employees stick around for the long haul, large hospital systems do see some highly tenured staff — WorkStride programs have recognized people with more than 50 years on the job.

So it’s important that great tenure is recognized and even showcased if appropriate. The design for Service Awards should go beyond tiers; it should be exciting and engaging. Sometimes there are creative names, themes, or specific award titles for each level. Rewards relevancy is also an important factor to consider in Service Awards.

For example, a 50-year employee will expect a bit more than a certificate or virtual recognition compared with a five-year employee. A mix of both values and reward types can be considered (e.g., plaques, trophies, pins) and/or monetary value in the form of payroll, gift cards, or Visas.

Rewardable Challenges

With a formal recognition program, any behavior the organization wants to recognize can be supported. From the use of non-monetary thank you awards to monetized awards spotlighting specific behaviors, the WorkStride platform is flexible and supportive.

Most of our healthcare clients have created a balanced award structure. This enables peers to show gratitude toward each other on a daily basis and also incorporates a blend of awards that offer small monetary incentives for achievements such as above-and-beyond efforts, an increase in patient satisfaction, and positive patient feedback, among others.

Challenges can be simple or rather complex. Consider getting advanced with custom rule structures, audience segmentation and personalization, and dashboards/leaderboards to stream results in a fun and interactive manner.

Holidays & Special Occasions

It’s important to employees that organizations acknowledge and celebrate special occasions. These celebratory activities offer hospitals an opportunity to thank the staff for all their hard work and can create a stronger sense of community within your organization. Within WorkStride client recognition programs, many hospitals leverage holidays as well as employee birthdays as opportunities to show appreciation to employees.

Recognizing employees for a holiday or birthday is a common practice within our healthcare programs. The platform allows a seamless, efficient solution in support of these special and meaningful gifts. Additional gifting opportunities that are common in our healthcare recognition programs involve important industry designations, such as Nurses Week, Healthcare Employee Appreciation Week, and others.

Spot Recognition

It’s also important to highlight regular occurrences in an organization. Although this often happens behind the scenes, it is critical to the development of a recognition culture. Normal recognition for great activities helps foster a highly engaged culture and creates the likelihood that the recognized employees will repeat the positive behavior.

During the pandemic, some of our clients used the WorkStride platform to send Uber Eats and Starbucks to facilitate remote team lunches and coffee breaks.

Incentra has helped many leading healthcare organizations create and implement employee recognition programs. Click here to read one of our case studies to see how we helped Orlando Health revitalize its recognition program. Contact us to see how we can help you in this highly competitive market.

 (This blog post is an excerpt from our technology partner WorkStride’s publication The Healthcare Employee Recognition Playbook.)


Categories: Employee Recognition