Hospital Employee Recognition Programs | Hospital Service Awards | Healthcare Recognition | Healthcare Employee Recognition Programs | Award Concepts, Inc.

What is the Purpose of a Formal Service Award Program?

March 28, 2011 by  

The main point is that a formal service award program holds a company accountable to doing daily recognition. Think about that previous statement. Compare your company’s standards of how you handle daily recognition to others in your industry. Would yours be better or worse than most? Imagine a company that holds a beautiful annual event that includes a dinner at a banquet hall, where all people celebrating a years of service anniversary are accompanied by their spouse to be honored in front of their peers and recognized for their dedication to the company.

A company who makes the investment of money and time to go through the work of recognizing its most important assets, the people, is going to also be inclined to take care of daily recognition throughout the year aside from the formal event. A manager who has to prepare a two minute synopsis of the awarded employee is going to be paying closer attention to the tasks the employee works on. This manager will be inclined to give positive affirmations to the employee for a job well done leading up to the event.

In other words if your company does not have a formal event the managers will most likely not be motivated to give small forms of incentives and recognition to their employees. A company that doesn’t take the time to recognize an employees long term commitment is not going to retain their best employees.

Now if your company doesn’t have the budget for a big banquet there are other things you can do. A low cost alternative is to pull everyone together in a unit for a few minutes to take the time to formalize the service award recognition. You are accomplishing the praise portion in front of their peers.

Employees that decide to quit their jobs usually leave because of a bad relationship with their manager. They don’t quit on the company they quit on the manager, which usually means they find the need the leave the company. This problem stems from feeling un-appreciated. Managers need to find ways to show genuine interest in their employees and look for ways to give positive affirmations.

If your company is lacking a formal service award program and is also looking for guidance on what to do for daily recognition contact us today, we can help!

Managing Your Employee Recognition Program

March 25, 2011 by  

Employees expect to be recognized when they do good work. With healthcare organizations facing changes and priority shifts all the time, keeping employee morale high is critical for these organizations to keep up, grow and succeed in the long term. Award Concepts excels in creating effective recognition programs for hospitals and healthcare organizations around the United States. And we make managing your program very easy and intuitive. Think of it this way: Award Concepts is here to make your job easier.

Once your budget has been established, we work with you to develop a recognition program that works for you and your organization. Our experienced staff will collaborate with you and your recognition team to figure out what your goals are with the program. In terms of managing the program, it’s mostly a matter of approving several key elements of your program: pricing, literature, award selections and delivery timing.

You likely already have a master list of your company’s employees and their hire dates. When you’re ready to hand out award catalogs or certificates to your awardees, you’ll need to send us the employee’s information to process. At its most basic, this information would include the employees’ full names and years of service. For example, if you prefer to acknowledge your employees’ years of service every month, you would need to provide us the list of those employees a few weeks prior to the handing out of the award catalogs. Due to the customization and personalization of your hospital’s award selection catalogs, we will need at least 1-2 weeks prior to distribution to print them.

Every year, we recommend that hospitals review their formal (and informal) programs through employee and manager surveys. With those results, organizations must make improvements and eliminate ineffective parts of the program. We’ll also perform annual reviews of your program’s success. Your account representative will work with your schedule to find time for this review. In addition to annual reviews, we are also available to you throughout the year for any questions or feedback regarding your program.

Award Concepts keeps employee recognition simple and straightforward. Managing a recognition program shouldn’t feel overwhelming or frustrating. We’ll ensure that your program succeeds on all levels. Contact us today to get started.

What Drives Employee Productivity?

March 24, 2011 by  

There are many answers to this question. We are all given the same amount of minutes in each hour of work each day. Some people seem to accomplish more with less effort. How do I become one of these people that gets more done in what appears to be less time? How do you help others become those people? First of all, your employees are hopefully doing work that they look forward to doing on a daily basis. If they are not, they will be tired and un-motivated if their core skill set is not being challenged. The answer to driving employee productivity has nothing to do with time; it has to do with harnessing more energy at the goal.

What drives a high energy level? Passion and a definitive purpose with a clear goal of what is to be achieved is what drives a person’s energy level. You, as a manager, must be certain that you have clearly set the guidelines of what is to be achieved so that your employees know what they are working toward. Take a look at the ways you engage the interest of your employees toward their goals on a daily basis. Small incentives and public recognition of the people who are doing the right activities will keep their energy level high while driving productivity.

I also suggest that you have personal consultations to engage your employees and help them understand their core skill sets. Employees who feel satisfied with their work is key to productivity and employee retention. If a skilled, outgoing nurse is limited to answering the phones for her department during the majority of her shift, it will not be long before she is looking to be transferred to a new department. Think of a purebred race horse that is given the task of working in a farmer’s field all day, pulling a plow, to till the ground. The horse will soon be unproductive as it is not doing what it is meant to do. Now, if this same race horse knew that the field that was being plowed is going to be turned into a race track the clear set goal will motivate the horse to finish the task.

If you are looking conversation topics you should enroll in the 1 Minute Manager. You will receive a thought-provoking email every day that will reinforce a positive mindset and give you some good ideas for managing your workforce.

Looking for Hospital Recognition Thank You Cards?

March 21, 2011 by  

If so, we’ve got them.  As one of our Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions we provide eCards to recognize and acknowledge various milestones and achievements…thank you cards are just one type.  These eCards are an excellent way to provide a no-cost recognition solution to your care givers.

Our SaaS solutions are part of our admin recognition portals for service award administrators and on our awardee recognition portals.  The eCards are available on both recognition portal websites.  We provide generic eCards for the following:  anniversaries, job well done, birthdays, welcome aboard, thank you, congratulations, and holidays.  We can even create custom eCards that are branded to your organization.  Custom cards can feature your logo, artwork, mission, vision and values…the possibilities are endless.  Contact us today to start a conversation with one of our Recognition Experts to get this free SaaS solution implemented as part of your organization’s recognition strategy.

If you are looking for hospital recognition ecard solutions, we’ve got them!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Employee Engagement

March 21, 2011 by  

The power of recognition is real. There are several reasons why employers have recognition programs. They wish to create a positive work environment, create a culture of recognition, motivate high performance and support the organization’s mission and values. It is how a recognition program is actually executed, however, that determines if these goals will be met.

Here are some do’s and don’ts of effective employee engagement:

Don’t speak negatively about your recognition programs. A CEO of a company was once quoted as saying, “Yeah, we have an employee-of-the-month program. It doesn’t work very well and everybody seems to hate it, but it’s there, so we’re keeping it.” Instead, try to find out why employees seem to hate your program. Ask for their opinions on how to improve it.

Don’t overlook the details. One sales manager purchased neckties for all his sales reps, forgetting that several of them were women. Another office manager bought each of his fifteen employees a ham with personal funds one holiday season – only to be reminded that two of the employees were Jewish and did not eat ham.

Don’t publicly single out low-performers. One insurance company singles out low-performing salespeople at its quarterly awards function and has them get up in front of the company’s seven-hundred other sales reps and explain why they didn’t do a better job. This practice makes morale suffer drastically. There’s a difference between constructive criticism and humiliation. Support your employees. Be positive. If you need to address under-performance, do it in private.  Here is a great article with tips for improving employee morale:  Ideas for Employee Appreciation and Recognition.

Don’t ever forget about employee recognition. When asked what he liked to do to recognize his employees when they do good work, a manager said, “I like to write a letter to the employee’s personnel file.” When asked when was the last time he did that, the manager thought for a few seconds before responding, “1987.” It’s important to acknowledge your employees’ impact on your company a regular basis. Set biweekly reminders for yourself in Outlook with things such as “Who should be recognized this week?” or “Write a ‘thank you’ note to 2 members of the team today. Everyone is busy nowadays, but as a manager, it is your responsibility to recognize the people who deserve it. Don’t get successes go unnoticed.

Effective recognition motivates employee performance and elevates company morale. However, thoughtless and ineffective recognition efforts can generate long-lasting skepticism and negativity. When employers recognize good performance by their employees, chances are they will see that good performance again.

Award Concepts delivers employee recognition programs that are guaranteed to inspire, motivate and engage your workforce. Contact a recognition professional today for more information.

Ideas for Employee Appreciation and Recognition

March 21, 2011 by  

When a new employee is hired they are given a job description and duties in which to perform.  They receive training and upon completion of that training they are expected to complete their daily tasks.  The desired productivity level is something that can not be forced onto an employee by an employer.  To increase productivity levels in employees they must feel appreciated and motivated.  When an employee is motivated, they take a personal investment into their work and often work harder and smarter, this not only benefits the company, but the employee as well through performance reviews, promotions, raises, etc.  When employee morale is low, it can be lifted through employee appreciation and recognition.

There are many cost-conscious solutions for an employee to be appreciated and given recognition.  Often, managers are so engrossed in their own work as well as managing staff members that they have little spare time or forget the value in showing appreciation to an employee.  Studies show that simple and inexpensive employee recognition ideas can be as effective as high-priced employee recognition initiatives.  Therefore, it is important as a manager to take into consideration this study and make it a priority to appreciate and recognize their employees…in doing so, they will reap the benefits from having staff members who are energized, passionate, and motivated about their work.

Think about it…you like to feel appreciated and receive recognition for your efforts whether it be in your personal or professional life.  How does it make you feel when you receive such?  Your employees are no different.  Below are some employee appreciation and recognition ideas that require very little cost to your healthcare organization.

Handwritten note. This is a simple way to show appreciation and can be left on at the employee’s office or work station.  Be sure to make the connection between the employee and his/her contributions to the organization…this will make the employee feel that their work is important.

A summons. Often when an employee is called to a manager’s office it is to be reprimanded for something.  Change this up.  Summon an employee to your office just to say, “thank you” for something that they’ve done.  This will do wonders and not only boost employee morale, but strengthen your relationship with him/her.

Treat them special. This doesn’t mean to play favorites.  Assign special assignments to those that take initiative.  This is a great way to keep these employees motivated and energized.  This is also a display of trust and it helps the employee to perform important tasks faithfully.

Edible treats. Distributing edible treats such as chocolates, donuts, bagels, etc. amongst team members when targets are achieved is a great way to express employee recognition.

Praise. Inform top management of an individual or team’s accomplishments.  Individual recognition in the presence of management helps generate a sense of pride in the employee or team towards their work.

Have a party. Everyone loves pizza!  Order some pizzas in for lunch to celebrate an achievement or accomplishment of an individual or team.  Another option (weather dependent) is to have a picnic on campus.  Extend the allotted time for lunch and transform it into a party of sorts.

Take a picture. This is an excellent way to engage employees in their work.  Simply take advantage of the various photograph opportunities that exist in any given work day.  Take pictures of your employees performing their roles as care givers and display these images on a board near reception or on the walls throughout the hallways for others to see.

How organizations approach appreciation and recognition will differ, but every organization should have some form of a recognition strategy in which their primary goal is to create a culture of recognition.  The above are just a few examples of inexpensive recognition which may lead to impressive results from an individual or team.  For more information on this topic, contact a Recognition Expert at Award Concepts today!

View also:  Employee Happiness Kit

Improving Employee Engagement at Your Hospital: 5 Tips for Hospital Managers

March 14, 2011 by  

Stop what you’re doing for a minute and focus right here. Give me a few minutes of your time. Does the following exchange sound familiar to you?

HR Person #1: “So, how have you been?”

HR Person #2: “Busy! How about you?”

HR Person #1: “Insanely busy! I don’t even know where to start!”

HR Person #2: “Same here! I can’t seem to get anything done around here!”

At Award Concepts, we understand that HR professionals are very busy people. Your list of responsibilities is growing every day. We get that. Take a deep breath. Everything is going to be okay. We’re here to give you some simple, helpful tips to improve employee engagement in your workplace. Read on for some great tips.

1) Encourage open communication. Many managers are becoming very open, even sharing the financials of their departments because this shared knowledge can be a powerful tool. Let your employees know that they can ask you questions. Let them know what direction the hospital may be moving in. They’ll appreciate it.

2) Be supportive. Managers should assume employees are doing the right thing until proven otherwise. For example, when a patient complains about an employee, assume that person is “innocent until proven guilty,” but look into the situation. Talk to the employee about it. Listen to their side before making a judgement call.

3) Be accommodating. If there is an unique or unconventional way to meet employees’ pressing concerns, use it. Try to be flexible with any request for shift times or even something as simple as their lunch breaks.

4) Still keep a professional distance. Even as managers reach out to employees and try to be transparent, they need to keep their professional distance. Some information should not be shared, such as the manager’s dealings with other employees or with his or her own boss.

5) Support employee development. A manager should help employees be everything they want to be. Doing what they love to do will make them more productive.

Looking for more information? Contact a Healthcare Recognition Expert today. We have plenty of more tips for you.

Those who are interested in hospital management might consider USP online, which offers a masters in public health.

It’s the Thought That Counts

March 14, 2011 by  

Managers are quick to admonish an employee when under-performing and when mistakes are made.  When an employee does wrong it rarely ever goes unnoticed.  Employees are expected to do the job they are hired to do and expected to do it well.  Employees are human though and mistakes are made.  Mistakes however are often few and far between yet they are noticed, however when all deadlines are met, targets achieved, projects completed, the recognition for the same is missing in many organizations.  As a manager, it is important to realize that taking time to recognize employees’ contributions, whether big or small, go a long way in bringing out the best in them…as well as in your organization.  Being noticed helps with employee engagement and morale.  Everyone likes to feel valued and appreciated.  Simple acknowledgments of recognition are a great way to motivate your employees to perform better and appreciating their work.  Below are a few suggestions to incorporate into your total recognition strategy to help promote a culture of recognition within your organization:

A Hand-Written Note of Appreciation

This is number one on my list because it is personal as well as lasting and are often saved and read later and serve as a remembrance of the action being recognized.  A simple thanks or pat on the shoulder and “job well done” is good, but putting it on paper has long lasting value.

eCards and eCertificates

Quick and easy to create and share, these make a great solution for on-the-spot recognition.  These Software as a Service solutions are free and provided by Award Concepts.

A Stress Reliever Kit

Your employees go through a lot of stress daily in order to complete projects and achieve important deadlines.  As such, a stress reliever kit can go a long way.  This kit could include things like:  CD with relaxing music or of their favorite artists, some chocolates, fruit, and a journal (used to vent by writing in it to release stress).  These will allow them to take a break from the built up stress of their job.  This will signify to them that you recognize and understand the difficulties of their job and will also demonstrate that you value their contributions and they will be motivated to perform better and complete the projects on their to-do list.

A Day Of(f) Fun

To recognize the efforts after achieving an important deadline, give your employee the day off and do not disturb them with calls about work so that they have a free day to unwind and relax and forget about work for at least a day.  You can even do this for a particular team that worked together by giving each team member their day off at different times throughout the month.  You may think that you can’t afford to give a day off, but their efforts will double once they are rejuvenated and refreshed.

Recognition Wall

Setup a wall in  common area such as a hallway, break-room, lunch-room, etc. to dedicate a space on the wall to recognize and showcase those who have made a significant contribution to the organization.  This could include photos and descriptions each employee’s contributions.  These could be submitted by fellow employees and in doing so a strong rapport is built amongst colleagues which is the foundation of any great organization.

Remember..."it's the thought that counts" ;)

As the saying goes, “it’s the thought that counts”.  Nothing is more valuable to an employee than knowing that their contributions to the organization do not go unnoticed.  No employee wants to go to work and leave without knowing/feeling like they’ve made an positive impact on the organization.  As managers, it is up to you to let them know how important they are and how much you value their efforts.


If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It: Reviewing Your Employee Recognition Options

March 8, 2011 by  

In our lives we have routines…ways of doing things…and setups…

Have you ever heard the expression, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” Most people have. Many Human Resources managers take this stance when it comes to their organization’s employee recognition program. Essentially, they believe that if there is no evidence of a real problem, and fixing the “problem” wouldn’t improve their years of service program, then there is no logical reason to waste energy and time (theirs or anybody else’s) trying to fix it.

I understand where they are coming from. The process of reviewing vendor options isn’t normally at the top of any HR professional’s to-do list. But at the same time, I feel like it is the responsibility of these people to periodically review their options when it comes to their organization’s recognition program vendor. Your employees depend on you to look out for their best interests. This applies to their insurance benefits, payroll timeliness, retirement packages AND employee recognition program.

Change is okay. Do not be afraid of change. The constant evaluation of the effectiveness of an organization results in the need for HR professionals to frequently research and advocate change.

If you feel like the concept of reviewing your current vendor against the dozens of other recognition companies out there is a little overwhelming, do not worry. Award Concepts will make it easy for you. We can administer fully-customized, anonymous surveys to see what your employees think about your current program. These surveys are at no cost to you. We guarantee that you’ll discover something new when surveying your employees. They are unique, hard-working and opinionated individuals; they will let you know what they really think about their recognition program.

Some other things to think about:

– Don’t minimize the value of an effective recognition program or the damage of an ineffective one. Research shows that the more satisfied employees are with the organization’s recognition practices the more productive they are. They’re also less likely to leave your company.

– Don’t treat everyone the same. One size does not fit all when it comes to employee recognition. Take the time to get to know your employees. Find out what motivates them. Respect people’s differences.

– Don’t rely on a traditional award like a logo’d t-shirt or coffee mug as the gift of choice for your employees. Think creatively. We offer our clients a wide variety of fun, modern awards that are useful for your employees.

Looking for a quote? Give Award Concepts a call today (1-800-659-7801). We’ll respond quickly with a competitive recognition program quote that will motivate, engage and inspire your employees.

And remember – just because you don’t think something is broken doesn’t necessarily mean that it cannot be improved upon.

The Relevance of Service Awards: Why a Service Award Program is Essential

March 8, 2011 by  

People want to be recognized. People need to be recognized.

The questions you need to be asking yourself: Are you recognizing them? If not, why aren’t you? And if you are recognizing them, how effective are your methods of employee recognition?

These are important questions. Coincidentally, they’re also the questions that you don’t normally ask yourself on a day to day basis. Recognizing an employee’s hard work and dedication to your organization is what a Service Award Program is all about.

So how does a service award benefit the company as a whole? In simple terms, a happy worker is a good worker. Your employees’ level of motivation has an impact on the quality or quantity of their work. Increased employee productivity and retention in turn benefits the corporate bottom line.

Historically, service awards have been synonymous with employee recognition. Service awards are a way of recognizing employees for predetermined years of service with the company. On milestone anniversaries businesses will offer gifts to commemorate the occasion, usually giving the employee a selection of gifts to choose from. The traditional method of recognition was for an organization to offer gifts to their employees by means of selection out of a printed award catalog. This is still very common, but today more and more companies are offering gifts to their employees via company branded websites, which happens to be one of Award Concepts’ specialties.

Over the past two years, we have invested into the development of “Software as a Service (SaaS)” employee recognition solutions to help fuel your organization’s recognition program. We’ve developed Recognition Portal™ websites that are customized to your company. We have established an Admin Recognition Portal, which is geared towards program administrators, and we also have an Awardee Recognition Portal which focuses on the award recipients. Each portal provides useful tools for day-to-day recognition that will help create a culture of recognition and fit in with your total recognition strategy.

In addition to the recent change in technology within the employee recognition industry, the awards themselves have also changed over the years. An effective mix of award types helps all types of employee recognition, from everyday contributions to major achievements and milestones. Award Concepts offers a wide and varied selection of awards that range from lifestyle gifts to customized emblematic awards. We literally have hundreds of gift selections ranging from binoculars to high-definition televisions, iPods to grandfather clocks, and digital cameras to crystal bowls. Try to think of any award you’d like to provide your employees; we have it.

A service award program is an essential part of every organization. If you don’t have one right now, you should. Contact Award Concepts for more information regarding Service Award Programs.