Employee recognition is celebrated around the globe on the 21st of September every year. Commonly known as World Gratitude Day, this unofficial celebration gives the opportunity to employers to recognize the hard work and contribution of their employees.

Recognizing an employee’s effort may be challenging, especially with the current COVID-19 pandemic forcing many industries to reduce their workforce. Over 40 million Americans filed for unemployment in the last three months, according to Pulse. This drastic increase in layoffs, coupled with the fact that healthcare employees are often frontliners working in high-stress situations, has resulted in weak employee engagement throughout the health sector.

5 Critical Stats about Employee Engagement in the Healthcare Industry

1. The average hospital turnover rate in 2017 was 20.6%, which is the highest recorded turnover in the industry for almost a decade.

2. The cost of physician turnover can reach as much as $1 million per physician, according to a study published by Recruiting Physicians Today.

3. Market analysts suggest the healthcare industry turnover rate is the second worst, after the hospitality sector.

4. Employee appreciation leads to improved employee engagement. Having an engaged workforce is known to significantly boost productivity which is seen in organizations with highly engaged employees that report up to 22% higher productivity.

5. Engaged employees heavily contribute to providing quality healthcare to patients. Reports suggest that companies with a high level of employee engagement face 41% fewer patient safety incidents.

4 Simple Ideas for an Employee Recognition Program in the Healthcare Industry

Looking at all of the statistics stated above, it is obvious that having an employee recognition program in place is a necessity for the healthcare industry. Below are 4 easy-to-implement ideas to create your own program.

1. Peer-to-peer Feedback.

Getting a pat on the back from a colleague gives a bump to one’s motivation and goes a long way in building a team. 28% of companies having implemented peer-to-peer feedback report improved employee retention. Setting this up is simple: prepare feedback forms, spread them around the staff, and reward those deserving it. You can use this feedback form from Morrill County Hospital as a starting point. Alternatively, you can also opt for a more robust and eco-friendly peer recognition platform that allows coworkers and managers to show their appreciation via a mobile app, at any time and from anywhere.

2. Attendance Recognition

Recognizing an employee’s effort to get to his workplace on time and stay a bit longer when necessary is often underrated. Reward the most diligent workers to encourage the same behavior in others. Using a timesheet app will make this process a breeze and can prove very handy for your payroll team. Additionally, you can enhance employee engagement by rewarding performance goals with redeemable points that can be exchanged for awards.

3. Massage Chairs (or anything else that can be used for relaxation)

Long hours of high-stress work may eventually take their toll off the healthcare staff. Providing employees with massage chairs in their workplace can help them escape the stress and improve their overall health, while potentially saving your organization a lot of money (quick fact: General Motors spends more on healthcare costs than on steel). If massage chairs are too out-of-the-box for you, just think of other ways/tools that can be used for relaxation.

4. Symbolic Rewards

When showing your appreciation of an employee’s hard work, try avoiding ‘classic’ rewards, such as gift cards. Most likely, they have been treated similarly in their previous workplace. Instead, go for a symbolic reward that shows you care and triggers an emotional response. One sure way of doing this is by rewarding them with something linked to their passion, such as tickets to their favorite sport’s team upcoming match. You can also go for rewards customized with your company emblem that your employees will be proud to win or achieve.

Employee Recognition Program Best Practices

Be Authentic About your Recognition Program

Being authentic and showing empathy contributes to employee retention, according to 96% of employees. Right from the beginning, get all your employees on board. Brainstorm ideas if needed, and always make your objectives clear. Listen to their concerns and be receptive to suggestions.

Get a Budget and a Recognition Calendar Ready

Getting an employee recognition program in place will require a budget. Calculate the resources you will need by setting up a recognition calendar and deciding on how often rewards will be distributed. In most cases, you can fork out this budget from your team building activities.

Hold Managers Accountable

Empower your managers and leadership to make decisions related to employee well-being. When employees feel supported by their managers, 91% claim they feel motivated to give their maximum at work. The more supportive and empathetic your managers are, the more productive your team will be.

Show Recognition On the Go

With the mobile industry booming, it is common sense to make use of mobile applications in your business process. An employee recognition software will definitely add value to the staff experience and contribute to employee loyalty. With a behavior-driven application at hand, you can set standards and rewards, while monitoring employee progress in real-time.

Off You Go

In the highly competitive healthcare industry, rooting employee recognition to your company culture can only make you stronger. When their efforts are recognized, 69% of employees say they would work harder. The earlier you start an employee recognition program, the earlier you reap the benefits that result from keeping your employees satisfied.


About the Author:

David Kelly

David is the General Manager for EMEA at Deputy,  a software company that provides cloud-based workforce management and scheduling platform to more than 200,000 workplaces globally. David is proud to lead an ambitious and enthusiastic team that supports a rising number of new customers across the EMEA region.