Employee Recognition: The Importance of Reward Programs
Recognizing and rewarding hard work is not a new idea for employers, and healthcare is no exception. Actually, many senior hospital executives consider motivational initiatives a critical portion of the organization’s success by aligning with the mission and values to meet strategic goals. Most U.S. hospitals have implemented some variation of a formal recognition or reward program to make sure the activities are organized and not neglected.
Hospitals can choose to implement a formal or informal recognition program. Formal programs tend to be hospital-wide events that compliment the organization’s business goals and values—for example, employee of the month. Informal programs are usually department-run and encourage spontaneous appreciation and not usually measured or tracked. The biggest differences between hospitals are at the department level where programs are usually built to fit their unique needs.
Ultimately, what’s the point of these programs other than providing a nice pat on the back? It’s amazing what a little recognition can do to impact the greater good of a healthcare setting. Specifically, these programs improve retention and recruitment, improve the quality of care, and encourage specific behaviors.
If you are new to this concept, how do you ensure the program you plan on implementing will be successful? If you already have a program, how do you know if it is successful? What are the best practices? Some obstacles you may be familiar with include confusion as to which types of recognition to use at which time, uneven participation among departments, and difficulty tracking program results and inability to link those results to other organizational performance indicators.
The truth is, success varies depending on the circumstances: cost, technologies available, number of staff members, time, etc, but today we’re going to cover four ways to improve or create a strong recognition and reward program regardless of the situation.
1. Design it correctly from the start
3. Know your audience
4. Consult a partner
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