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

How to Give a Great Recognition Speech

September 18, 2014 by  

Have you seen the 2010 film (and Best Picture winner at the 83rd Academy Awards) The King’s Speech? Here’s a quick rundown: Colin Firth plays King George VI who, to overcome his speech impediment, visits an Australian speech therapist played by Geoffrey Rush. With some assistance, King George was able to dramatically improve his speech techniques, and in return, brought together a country on the brink of war. The King’s Speech is a moving story about a man whose speech-giving abilities were, to put it lightly, less than stellar at first.

Many HR managers often find themselves in a position to give speeches to recognize their employees. These managers may not be the most gifted, or talented, public speakers. If you are one of these managers, do not despair. I’ve written this article for you and the rest of those HR managers need a little help when it comes to giving employee recognition speeches. Remember: a good speech can motivate, engage and inspire an employee even more than an engraved clock or expensive MP3 player.

Here’s the typical scenario: you’re invited to make a speech recognizing a great employee. You’d like to show that employee how much the organization appreciates his or her hard work and you want your other employees to recognize your appreciation. This means a lot to employees, so take some time to prepare a personalized speech.

First off, thank everyone involved with setting up the ceremony (if there is one) and making the event possible. Thank the employee, tell him or her how important they have been to the company and how much you appreciate them for their hard work. Explain to the rest of the staff how the employee achieved this award, whether it was performance-based or a more traditional years of service award.

Tell a specific story about the employee that highlights his or her performance, as an example. List the employee’s accomplishments and describe how each accomplishment affected the company. You want other employees to understand the depth of your appreciation and to also realize that they can achieve similar successes someday.

Make your employees laugh and feel relaxed while you explain the importance of good work. Use a tasteful joke in your speech, where appropriate. Employees will appreciate your light attitude and may view you as more relatable than they did before. People will do their best work for employers they like. End your speech by thanking the employee again for all the hard work done and reminding the rest of your employees of these accomplishments. Leave everyone feeling good at the end.

Some other tips include the need to practice saying your speech prior to giving it. Also, time the speech as you say it out loud so you know how much time you need.

So there you have it. Just like King George VI, you have a voice! Now use it to show your employees how much they mean to you and your organization. They will certainly appreciate it.

Employee Recognition in the Digital Age

May 18, 2014 by  

Now more than ever, technology’s impact on employee recognition is a noteworthy one. That’s because not only can technology help make rewards more current and relevant, but it also enables managers to more effectively hand out rewards for boosting morale and motivating employees. Award Concepts is at the forefront of employee recognition in the digital age. This article will describe a few ways we help our customers recognize employees using simple, and in some cases, free web-based applications.

Everyone wants to be recognized and appreciated for doing a good job. One of the easiest and most effective ways to reward your employees for no cost is to recognize them publicly for their efforts. Recognition programs with Award Concepts include the setup and maintenance of customized Recognition Portal websites. These websites are built specifically for your organization, and include great features such as bulletin boards, peer-to-peer recognition links and e-cards. Award Concepts will work with you to develop websites that fit your company’s branding requirements, and fit your company’s goals for recognition.

It’s important for organizations to realize that using the internet for recognition will help unify and build community amongst employees. As a part of these Recognition Portal websites, designated supervisors will have access to creating posts or news articles that are relevant to other managers and employees. These articles can be as simple as listing each month’s employees with anniversaries, or as detailed as an in-depth analysis of how a certain department’s productivity has been increased by a new measure at the company.

We strongly recommend the use of company e-mails and newsletters to drive employees to the community bulletin boards on your Recognition Portal websites. Here, employees and managers will engage in conversation using a familiar comment system.

The Recognition Portal websites can also be tied into any other websites your organization may currently have in place. Have a password-protected benefits website? You can link to it from the Recognition Portal websites. Do you have a company facebook or twitter account? You can also link to it from your Portal website. The internet is a vast web of pages and sites; your Recognition Portal websites can act as a central hub for all of your company’s various pre-existing websites.

In addition to our Recognition Portal websites, we also offer great services such as online surveys and customized e-cards. And one of our best tools is our 1 Minute Manager e-mail system. Sign up here and you’ll receive useful, helpful employee recognition tips in your inbox every day of the week.

Contact Award Concepts today to request a web-based demo on our online services from one of our recognition specialists.

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.”

What It Means to Have an Engaged Hospital Staff

March 25, 2014 by  

Employee engagement is a phrase that gets mentioned quite a bit nowadays. Books are published about it. Seminars are held about it. Articles, like this one, are written. But what does it really mean? And why should you care?

Employee engagement, also called work engagement or worker engagement, is a business management concept. An engaged employee is one who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about, his or her work, and will therefore act in a way that furthers their organization’s interests.

Now that you know what employee engagement means, why should you and your healthcare organization care? Here are some of the results of effective employee engagement:

Employees understand their role in success – Employees need to understand how their job fits into the big picture. They need to know what they must do more of and do differently to help the business succeed. Hospital managers can help their employees by helping employees upgrade their skills to match the needs of the hospital.

Career development – Engagement levels rise when there is a formal career development system that includes components such as formal career tracks and annual career evaluations. People that are actively engaged help move the organization forward.

Maintaining credibility – Creating a bond with employees should be viewed as an investment. Sometimes you just need to get out of the way and let them do their work. When you go ahead and trust people, you have created a culture of trust. They will be engaged.

Commitment to your hospital and its patients – Studies have statistically shown that engaged employees are more productive, more profitable, more customer-focused, safer and less likely to leave their employer.

As you can see, employee engagement leads to success. Our recognition programs will generate engagement in your organization. Fill out our Easy Recognition Quote (ERQ) request form today. An Award Concepts recognition professional will contact you soon thereafter to discuss a customized employee recognition strategy with you. Plus, we’ll send you a free Starbucks giftcard!

Gift Suggestions for Nurses Week

January 29, 2014 by  

Nurses do a lot for us. They are highly-trained, skilled professionals who care for our sick and disabled. A nurse helps to educate patients about healthy living as well as any current or chronic disease treatments. He or she also performs procedures as prescribed by physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners. These responsibilities are just a sliver of what nurses do on a daily basis. Plus, they do it all with a smile on their faces!

My mother has been a Registered Nurse for a well-respected hospital organization in Chicago for over 30 years. She loves her job. She loves her patients and her coworkers. When I’ve visited her at work in the past, it has been evident to me that most of the hospital’s nurses are quite similar to my mother. They all genuinely care about the people they are treating or caring for. The passion that nurses bring to their places of work, whether it’s a large hospital organization or a small, independent care facility, is rare in this day and age. The fact that they remain so kind, helpful and sincere over decades of employment is a testament to them. It is truly inspiring.

The least we can do is say thank you to these nurses for what they do for us, their patients, their coworkers and the organizations who employ them. In 1965, the International Council of Nurses selected a full week in May to celebrate the efforts of nurses around the work. Every year since, Nurses Week has been celebrated from May 6 to May 12. The week culminates in “Nurses Day” on May 12th, which is the birthday of Florence Nightingale, who is considered to be the founder of modern nursing.

So what can you do to celebrate Nurses Week?

The theme for Nurse’s Week 2011 has been recently announced by the American Nurses Association as ‘Nurses Trusted to Care’. Simply put, we trust these men and women to take care of us. Award Concepts provides a customized approach to recognizing your staff during this special week in May. Our in-house manufacturing capabilities enable us to create unique emblems and pins specifically made for your hospital or organization. Contact us today for more information.

You can also honor a nurse by making a tax-deductible donation to the American Nurses Foundation. Your honored nurse’s photo, along with your name and message, will be displayed on the ANF website for all to see. For more information, visit the ANF website here:

The simplest way you can show your appreciation for the wonderful women and men that serve as nurses: thank them. Thank any nurses you might know for their services or even reach out to nurses or nurses’ aides at your local doctor’s office.

Contact Award Concepts today for more insight into healthcare-specific employee recognition.

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.

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.

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.

Next Page »