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Recognition Zeroes: How NOT to “Recognize” Your Employees

April 16, 2014 by  

In the following article, I’d like to highlight some common mistakes that managers make when attempting to engage, motivate and recognize their employees. Some of these errors in judgment may be more obvious than others, but I hope that all of the examples below will enlighten managers on what they should avoid and what they should focus upon when recognizing employees.

Don’t wait until your employees’ annual performance review to give them feedback. The more feedback you give your employees, and the more often you give it, the better able they are to respond to the needs of your organization.

Don’t leave your employees in the dark. Help them to help you, and your organization, by setting goals and then by working with them to achieve those goals.

Don’t be a stick in the mud. Have some fun. Joke with your employees. Be playful.

Don’t wait until the last second to prepare a speech (or toast) for an employee. Set aside some time in your day, even if it’s only 10 minutes, to give some careful thought to the individual.

Don’t be vague about your recognition speech. In your speech, pinpoint some specific reasons this employee should be recognized.

Don’t leave your cell phone on when you’re about to give a presentation or speak to an employee one-on-one. This may seem like a no-brainer, but I’ve seen it happen time and time again.

Don’t be cheap. Make your years of service anniversary program meaningful, useful and good. If you’re providing your 5-year employees with an award that is valued at $10, what does that say about how much your organization appreciates its employees?

Don’t be so busy that you can’t take a minute or two to recognize your employees’ achievements. The most effective reward, which is personal and written recognition from one’s manager, doesn’t cost anything and doesn’t take much time either. Your employees’ morale, performance, and loyalty will surely improve as a result.

Don’t be a “Recognition Zero.” When employers recognize good performance by their employees, chances are they will see that good performance again. Do the right things and your employees will continue to perform, and your organization will continue to thrive.

Employee Retention: How to Keep Your Best Employees

April 14, 2014 by  

Recruiting the right employees and keeping the right employees matters a lot, especially in today’s economy.  Employee turnover is expensive. Employee retention is critical to the long-term health and success of your healthcare organization. This article will explore employee retention, detail its importance in today’s work environment and provide some helpful tips for managers to consider.

According to the Human Resource Management Association, 20.4 percent of healthcare employees (one in five) quit their jobs every year. This number easily exceeds the 12 to 15 percent turnover rate experienced in most other industries. In order to retain employees and reduce turnover, hospital managers must learn to align their goals with the end goals of employees. By aligning the rewards and needs of employees, managers can determine the best system to effectively increase the job satisfaction of their employees.

Here are a few ways you can keep your employees happy and improve your hospital’s retention rate:

Hire and train the right people. Hospitals should regularly review their recruitment practices and review their applicant data to ensure that they are attracting and considering the widest and most diverse possible pool of applicants. It is also important for organizations to recognize the value of knowledgeable management in place for properly their training employees.

Mix it up. Provide a variety of assignments. Identify your employees’ talents and then encourage them to stretch their abilities into new areas. A variety of challenging assignments will help to keep the workplace stimulating.

Have some fun. Celebrate successes and recognize when special milestones are reached. Coffee and donuts for breakfast, potluck lunches, birthday parties, employee picnics and creative contests will help remind people why your hospital is a great place to work.  (see also:  Creating a Fun Place to Work)

Show your appreciation. Recognize outstanding achievements promptly and publicly, but also take time to comment on the small contributions your staff makes every day. Don’t forget these are the people who make you look good!

Employee retention matters. Do not overlook who your hospital’s key performers are. And be sure that your organization is properly engaging those key employees to ensure that they will stay with you for years to come.

Creating a Fun Place to Work

April 11, 2014 by  

“Fun is good.”

Dr. Seuss once said that. We’ve all likely had the opportunity to read one of Dr. Seuss’ books throughout our lives. His works have sparked the imaginations of countless children, and adults, over the last 50 years.

I think we can all take a hint from Dr. Seuss when he says that “fun is good.” Work isn’t always fun, but if it is “fun” every once and a while, it is a “good” thing. People react positively to things they perceive as being fun. And, in effect, those positive people can equate to motivated, excited and happy employees.

Fun at work is taking the ordinary and making it (or trying to make it) enjoyable. It is our reward for our hard work and commitment. Fun makes difficult situations a lot less stressful. The common ground of fun helps us bond with others. Physiologically, our brain thrives on fun. By tapping into some childlike play, you can introduce some fun into your workplace and discover a multitude of benefits for your organization’s employees.

Work isn’t always meant be a happy and exciting time, but here are several ways for managers to help their employees have fun at work while still being productive:

Have a Positive Attitude – A positive attitude is contagious. If you are happy and positive, chances are that others will follow.

Be Social – Interact with your colleagues in a non-working way. Join a company team or group. Cultivate working friendships.

Have a “Casual Tuesday” in addition to “Casual Friday” – Employees like wearing their casual clothes. Many of them would likely appreciate a 2nd day during the week to wear  “non-office attire.”

Celebrate birthdays and anniversaries – This is an easy way to get everyone away from their desks and together with each other for a few minutes.  Send an eCard.

Organize a competitive sporting event – In warm weather, get a group of employees to play basketball or softball together. Make a friendly work-related wager for the winning team, if you please.

Budget for Work Fun – Fun isn’t always free. Try to budget some fun for your employees in the form of an outdoor picnic or trip to a ballgame.

There is no limit to the ways in which you can inject some fun into the workplace. In the end, don’t take yourself too seriously. Life is too short to be serious all the time. And always remember, “fun is good.”