Are you eager to improve employee engagement in the healthcare industry? Lauren Brittingham, Director of Organizational Development at Bayhealth Medical Center, has some words of advice. In our recent webinar covering employee recognition best practices, Brittingham reveals how she was able to successfully drive recognition across Bayhealth Medical Center, with 85 percent of all employees receiving at least one recognition each month. Before diving straight into the “how” behind Bayhealth Medical Center’s success, let’s take a look at some unsettling facts that are disrupting healthcare.
A closer look at employee engagement in the healthcare industry
Employee disengagement might be hard to spot, but there’s no doubt it exists. In a recent employee engagement survey by Achievers, we discovered:
- Just 21 percent of employees said they are “very engaged”
- Over one in five say their manager/company is “horrible” at soliciting feedback
- Nearly one in five say their manager/company is “horrible” at recognizing them
- 38 percent of employees have “never heard leadership talk about culture” or “they talk about it but there’s no action”
And the facts get even more unsettling as we take a closer look at the healthcare industry:
- The healthcare industry is ranked at the bottom when it comes to employee engagement
- Hospital turnover rates continue to increase, from 16.2 percent in 2016 to 19.1 percent in 2018
- 44 percent of nurses worry their patient care will suffer because they’re so tired
- The burnout rate amongst nurses is 70 percent
- One out of every three doctors will be older than 65 in the next 10 years
Gallup stated, “For most hospitals today, the engagement level of nurses has the strongest impact on complication and mortality rates.” It’s clear that the healthcare industry needs to make employee engagement a top priority in order to improve employee performance and retention.
The key to employee engagement: recognition
If you want to increase employee engagement, turn to employee recognition. According to a recent Aptitude Research Partners report, companies identified recognition as having the greatest impact on employee engagement. And Harvard Business Review shared:
“Recognizing employees is the simplest way to improve morale and employee engagement.”
If you’re still not convinced about the power behind recognition, Aon Hewitt revealed “rewards and recognition” as the top engagement opportunity globally in their 2018 Employee Engagement Report.
How can you start leveraging recognition to boost engagement levels across your organization? For starters, employee recognition needs to offered frequently and integrated into your employees’ everyday work life. Only one in three workers in the U.S. strongly agree that they received recognition or praise for doing good work in the past seven days. Employees crave recognition on a regular and daily basis and want more than just an annual years of service award. Start giving your employees the praise and appreciation they deserve; you’ll instantly see stronger results in employee morale and your bottom line.
Top 4 best practices for employee recognition
If you’re eager to build a culture of recognition across your organization, follow our top four best practices for employee recognition:
1. Keep it fresh
Keep recognition fresh and top of mind for employees with ongoing communication and campaigns. Consider a fun company-wide campaign during the holidays or Employee Appreciation Week. Never give up an opportunity to remind employees to recognize another, whether it’s through a newsletter, email, or recognition spotlight video.
2. Hold managers accountable
Frontline managers can have an immense impact on engagement, especially when, as stated before, nearly one in five employees say their manager/company is “horrible” at recognizing them. There’s no excuse for managers to be “too busy” to recognize their team. Manager recognition is now made easy with “Boost” - a one-click recognition feature allowing managers to view and add points to existing recognitions. Learn more about how ArcelorMittal Dofasco supports manager recognition through “Boost” by reading their case study. Also, check out CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System’s case study to discover how they achieved a 10 percent increase in associate engagement specific to leadership recognition, from 66 percent to 77 percent.
3. Involve employees from the start
Get employees involved from the start. Every new hire should be introduced to your recognition program and trained on how to recognize others on their first day. By building excitement for your recognition program, it encourages participation from employees of all levels. It’s important to have frontline employee involvement in order to build an authentic culture of recognition. Your employees can be the advocates you need to make recognition infectious and an everyday habit.
4. Recognize on the go
Make recognition easily accessible by providing employees the ability to recognize on the go through their mobile devices. It’s estimated that more than five billion people around the globe have mobile devices and you want to stay on top of this new modern way of working and communicating. By giving employees the ability to quickly recognize others (or stay updated on their own recognitions) anywhere at anytime, whether during their commute, work break, or at home, you’ll be able to drive additional adoption and participation.
Take a sneak peek into Bayhealth Medical Center’s case study
Discover how Bayhealth Medical Center successfully built a culture of recognition. Bayhealth Medical Center has 3,800 employees across two hospitals, multiple outpatient facilities, and a free-standing emergency department. The company’s mission is, “To strengthen the health of our community, one life at a time.”
Lauren Brittingham, Director of Organizational Development at Bayhealth Medical Center, wanted to drive a culture of recognition through social and peer-to-peer recognition. She also wanted to make sure, from an operational perspective, that Bayhealth Medical Center consolidated all their siloed recognition programs. The Bayhealth Medical Center team wanted a centralized location to manage all their recognition and rewards programs in order to effectively track how much the company was spending and drive participation. After implementing a new employee recognition and rewards program, powered by Achievers, Bayhealth Medical Center saw huge success, including:
- 98 percent program adoption
- 86 percent monthly active users
- 85 percent of all employees receive at least one recognition each month
- The average employee receives three recognitions per month
“We’ve seen a lot of great milestones. The metric I’m most proud of is the fact that our program adoption is 98 percent; so 98 percent of our employees have actually logged into the program. They actually activated their account and that means they’re more apt to go back into the program and use it.”
She also discusses her experience managing the program, stating:
"This isn’t a program I have to spend hours on every week and manage it and do a lot of manual manipulation; it’s a program that really manages itself. Employees are excited to use it. They're excited to have the opportunity to send recognitions, which they didn’t have that opportunity before with our old program. They like being able to have a bank of points that they can give to their peers for doing a great job. Our employees are the ones who run the program, not me. And that makes it so easy on my end to be able to carry the program forward instead of getting caught up in mundane day-to-day tasks.”
With the right recognition and rewards program by your side, building and maintaining a culture of recognition is easier than ever.
It’s time to make employee recognition a top priority for your organization. Social recognition has the power to improve business results across the board, including:
- 4X more likely to improve stock prices
- 2X more likely to improve NPS scores
- 2X more likely to improve individual performance
Don’t turn down the opportunity to increase employee engagement and your bottom line through recognition. Start achieving success with an award-winning employee recognition and rewards platform today. To learn more, watch our webinar recording, “Employee Recognition Best Practices: A Case Study from Bayhealth Medical Center .”
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