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Topic: Appreciation

Four Ways to Thank Healthcare Workers

Easy, meaningful ways to show appreciation and connect your people

Diverse group of employees in a meeting together
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“Healthcare is a very rewarding business, but fundamentally it’s a tough business. We can see tremendous amounts of burnout. One of the things that we know will really combat that is when people feel appreciated.”

Dr. Laura Forese, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President
New York-Presbyterian

Spring is an important season in healthcare. With National Nurses Week and Hospital Week in May, it’s a good time to think about how you can thank all your employees for their amazing work over the past year (and a second year of pandemic).

From being on the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic to constantly adapting your processes so you can meet the latest healthcare requirements, to keeping your facilities clean, patients fed, supplies stocked, and billing accurate, every single one of your employees deserves to be recognised in a big way.

Recognition connects people to their organisation because it helps them feel appreciated, valued, and more inclined to stay. Unfortunately, one-third of healthcare workers don’t feel connected to others at their place of work. And 42% of healthcare workers say their situation at work is hurting their ability to be happy in other aspects of their lives. Between pandemic burnout and worker shortages from the Great Resignation, healthcare organisations must rebuild connection and show appreciation in order to keep their people.

Consistent recognition increases the odds of strong connections by 15x
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“When we recognize the greatness of our people, we are reducing the risk of them being stolen or hired away.” — Dana Ullom-Vucelich, Chief Human Resources & Ethics Officer at Ohio Living
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This year, in addition to catered meals, treats or a week of fun activities, remember to show your employees genuine, heartfelt appreciation for all the work they do to take care of patients and keep your organisation going. Here are 4 meaningful ways to recognise your employees during Hospital Week and Nurses week (and beyond):

1. Leverage your existing employee recognition platform.


Giving points through your corporate program is an easy and quick way to say thank you with a tool your people are already using.

45% of healthcare workers say the recognition they receive feels like an empty gesture. So recognise them in a meaningful way that lets them choose gifts that are personal to them. Employee recognition software like Culture Cloud have a built-in Group Points Deposit feature that allows you to give every employee a certain amount of points that they can use to choose a personal gift they’ll love.

One healthcare organisation gave recognition points to their staff when they were working from home and couldn’t attend in-person Hospital Week events. They continued the appreciation after Hospital Week was over by doing point deposits weekly for those who practiced safety and shared ideas that resulted in better patient care, fewer errors, and an enhanced workplace.

Examples of recognition given to healthcare employees via Culture Cloud
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2. Give out a company-wide symbolic award or special gift.


The award makes up over 40% of the impact of the entire employee recognition experience, so be thoughtful in what you give. Consider a special symbolic gift to thank them for helping you through a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic.

Another large healthcare organisation gave beautiful custom “frontline hero” pins to their employees to wear on their badges during the hardest times of the pandemic. Other hospitals have given awards that are both practical and memorable: things like power banks for phones, nice bags to carry lunch in every day, custom tumblers for morning coffee, and gifts employees can share at home with their family. Employees will feel your appreciation whenever they use them.

Have leaders present these gifts in a thoughtful recognition moment to build connection with each employee—don’t just have employees come down to HR to pick up their gifts.

Beautiful “Frontline hero” pins given by a large healthcare organization to employees to wear on their badges during the hardest times of the pandemic
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3. Let employees hear directly from leaders.


Only 66% of healthcare workers say their leader appreciates the work they do. While many healthcare organisations send out messages from their CEO and other senior leaders for Nurses week and Hospital week, employees want to hear appreciation from their direct leaders.

Personal messages from leaders show they see and care about the impact employees are making on the organisation. eCards are an easy, quick, and fun way to communicate appreciation. Or make it even more heartfelt with handwritten notes, like NewYork-Presbyterian uses to help build a culture of respect and reduce attrition at their hospitals.

4. Encourage peer-to-peer recognition.


Recognition shouldn’t just be limited to leaders during Nurses and Hospital week. 48% of healthcare workers say they rarely receive recognition from others when they do great work. But recognition from peers can strengthen connection, belonging, and inclusion. It also reduces burnout and improves teamwork.

Make recognition social by showcasing employee accomplishments and contributions across your organisation and invite peers, patients, family, and community members to join in the appreciation. Social walls like the Wall of Fame in Culture Cloud help amplify the impact of recognition.

The healthiest workplace cultures recognize daily efforts, above and beyond accomplishments, career anniversaries, and team successes.

Remember, employee recognition and appreciation aren’t just for one week in May. 61% of healthcare workers say their organisation only recognises large accomplishments, not the smaller everyday efforts of their people. Show appreciation throughout the year because your employees do great work every day.

The healthiest workplace cultures recognise the daily efforts, above and beyond accomplishments, career anniversaries, and team successes. For example, Banner Health uses Culture Cloud to give recognition for patient compliments. Norton Healthcare recognises patient satisfaction, and University of Kentucky Healthcare celebrates career milestones in a special way. Other healthcare clients recognise throughout the year with Group Point Deposits when employees complete volunteer efforts, ongoing certifications, or early employee onboarding milestones.

However you choose to recognise, you’ll be building a company culture where your people feel connected, valued, and want to stay.

“People come into health care wanting fulfillment through meaningful work. It’s part of who we are. In fact‚ many times‚ our employees would say ‘It’s just what we do’. But that’s why it’s so imperative that we show our appreciation.”

Jacinta Nelson, System Associate Vice President, Human Resources Operations,
Norton Healthcare

Need a flexible, easy recognition solution to show appreciation to your people? Check out Culture Cloud and talk to us.

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