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Topic: Appreciation

Banner Health: Making Healthcare Easier Through a Culture of Recognition


Banner Health in Phoenix, Arizona is a highly integrated healthcare organisation with over 48,000 team members. They interact with thousands of customers and their families in a single day: in hospitals, over the phone, and at offsite facilities. As one of the top employers in the state of Arizona, they have a pristine reputation throughout the communities they serve.

Though healthcare is a tough industry no matter where you work—due to long and often thankless hours—Banner Health wanted to ensure that their team members felt cared for while also connecting to their purpose: Making health care easier, so life can be better.

“The more we can demonstrate that team members are important, the more that will reflect upon the people who come and use our facilities.” – Peter S. Fine, President and CEO, Banner Health

The challenge
Banner has always understood the importance of recognition in workplace culture; however, there was not a system wide, online recognition program that could be accessed by all team members. While there were home grown programs that were used around the 200 different Banner locations, recognition was never centralised or went beyond the four walls of a specific location. Naomi Cramer, Chief Human Resource Officer, says, “There wasn’t a consistency there, and really the recognition stayed in the four walls. We wanted it to transcend across [our organisation]. So, for someone from corporate to send recognition to a facility or vice versa, it wasn’t happening in a very formal way.”

There was also no way for their over 6,000 volunteers to be recognised for their contributions. “We get many comments every week from customers who really appreciate their caregivers,” says Cramer “and wonder if it’s going to get to the right person.” Banner Health needed a recognition program that would make it easy to recognise team members and volunteers all over the company, whether they were in the next room or in the next state.

Connecting to what matters most
By partnering with O.C. Tanner, Banner Health found a way to easily and effectively recognise team members and teams across every department and location. By implementing an online recognition program, Banner’s MVP (Most Valuable People) Program, everyone at Banner has the opportunity to recognise and appreciate one another and connect great work back to Banner’s core values: Customer-Obsessed, Relentless Improvement, Courageously Innovating, Disciplined Focus, Fostering Accountability, and Continuously Earning Trust.

“What I really like about our MVP program is that we directly link the e-cards to our key values,” says Julie Ann Alvarado-Dubek, Vice President of Total Rewards and HR Shared Services. “When somebody goes out to provide recognition, they actually choose from one of the values to say, this is a value that was demonstrated in this circumstance. And then they're able to share the details. And I think that provides our team members with a little bit more focus on what is it that I'm truly recognising and gives it more meaning.”

Banner Health also wanted to put that same power of appreciation into the hands of those they serve, our valued customers. MVP Appreciation Stations were set up inside several of our facilities for customers, family members and friends to recognise their caregivers directly by writing notes of thanks.

Banner Health is an organisation where customers and their families can feel a culture of appreciation the moment they walk in the doors. “Today, I think what is occurring, we are now seeing this becoming part of the fabric of the organisation, rather than some add-on project, some add-on tactic,” says Peter S. Fine, CEO and President of Banner Health. “It’s now starting to filter out into the organisation as an expectation of the culture [at Banner Health].”

Within the MVP Program, over 20,000 ecards are now sent each month throughout the organisation, to team members and volunteers who have been recognised for making a difference in the lives of their customers and community. “We know that it’s a war out there right now for talent, and we know that if we don't invest in things like this that will make people want to stay motivated and want to stay at a place, that we'll lose great talent,” says Cramer.

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