Actively engaged healthcare employees play a pivotal role in delivering high-quality patient care. Implementing a strong employee recognition and appreciation strategy will not only bolster engagement levels, but it’ll also decrease turnover rates. 

In our current climate, healthcare employees are operating within incredibly stressful environments. Their workload has increased, accessibility to resources has decreased and they’re being asked to perform daily tasks in a more efficient manner. 

Now more than ever, hospitals and healthcare facilities must communicate their appreciation to staff members, highlighting the value and contributions individual workers have on the success of the organization. 

Showing Appreciation Directly Impacts Employee Satisfaction and Engagement

Appreciation stems beyond praising positive outcomes, encompassing a larger opportunity to support and forge deeper connections with your healthcare employees. During a Harvard commencement speech, Oprah Winfrey perfectly addresses the power of acknowledging a person’s inherent value, saying:

“The single most important lesson I learned in 25 years talking every single day to people was that there’s a common denominator in our human experience….The common denominator that I found in every single interview is we want to be validated. We want to be understood. 

I’ve done over 35,000 interviews in my career. And as soon as that camera shuts off, everyone always turns to me and inevitably, in their own way, asks this question: “Was that OK?” I heard it from President Bush. I heard it from President Obama. I’ve heard it from heroes and from housewives. I’ve heard it from victims and perpetrators of crimes. I even heard it from Beyoncé in all of her Beyoncé-ness….[We] all want to know one thing: “Was that OK?” “Did you hear me?” “Do you see me?” “Did what I say mean anything to you?””

The healthcare space has the second-highest employee turnover rate compared to other industries (second only to the hospitality field). Since 2014, hospitals in America have turned over a whopping 87.8% of their entire workforce, on average. 

This has proven to be an enormous challenge for both HR leaders, who are responsible for hiring and onboarding new staff, as well as healthcare business leaders, who are taking a massive hit to their bottom line. 

The cost of physician turnover can range from $500,000 to well over $1 million for a single physician. What’s more, physician burnout, which has become even more prevalent in the era of COVID-19, costs the healthcare industry approximately $2.6 to $6.3 billion annually due to factoring in turnover costs, decreased productivity and other burnout-related factors. 

Simple Ways to Show Healthcare Staff Your Appreciation

  • A handwritten note or email: Send a personalized message to your employees to convey how much their work is appreciated. From exemplary patient care to the extra tasks they’ve taken on to simply saying, ‘Thank You’ – communicating your gratitude will directly improve job satisfaction.
  • Give recognition publicly: Verbalizing appreciation and recognizing contributions made by staff members in front of their peers is a powerful way to remind employees that each person is a valued and integral part of the team.
  • Treat the team to lunch or a sweet treat: Healthcare workers are in the business of caring for others. So, when you surprise staff members with lunch or a special treat, it’ll convey that their hard work isn’t going unnoticed. Take it a step further and post a little note in the common area to highlight some of the ways your employees have gone above and beyond.
  • Outings and special events: Whether it’s a round of drinks, a sporting event or a team picnic, scheduling a group event allows staff to forge deeper connections with one another. 

By incorporating employee appreciation into your daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly initiatives, you’ll see a direct corresponding impact on morale, productivity, retention and patient satisfaction. 

To learn more about ways to decrease your recruiting and onboarding costs, contact the Polaris team today.