A nurse holding the hand of the patient

How are you recognizing and rewarding your nurses?

In Recognition and Engagement by Lori McKnight

How are you rewarding and recognizing your nurses?

3 ways to beat high turnover

It seems like everyone is searching for the cure to turnover. Retention has become a chronic problem, especially in the healthcare industry which ranks third in turnover behind the financial and hospitality industries, according to Compensation Force.

Retaining nurses is a particular focus for many hospitals and long-term care facilities. With nearly half of U.S. RNs expected to reach traditional retirement age by the end of the decade, an influx of new patients covered by the Affordable Care Act and an aging population there is more competition than ever for nursing professionals.

How can organizations prevent their nurses from leaving?

By recognizing and rewarding their contributions.

There’s a widespread perception that recognizing and rewarding employees is expensive. We’ve found great rewards don’t have to be expensive. It’s more about choice and perception of quality.

Also, when the cost to replace a nurse is $58,400 not including the impact on productivity, morale and patient care, recognizing and rewarding your employees is a steal.

Strategies designed to ensure nurse satisfaction and retention must be part of any hospital's aim to improve care quality, increase patient satisfaction, and manage costs. These objectives can no longer be considered competing priorities and cannot be managed as silos. NurseGrid

Rick Sharp, a recognition expert with over 25 years of experience in the healthcare sector shares 3 ways his healthcare clients are by beating turnover by recognizing and rewarding their employees.

1. Show Pride in Work

Symbolic recognition is especially meaningful to nurses

Nurses comprise the largest single component of hospital staff, are the primary providers of hospital patient care, and deliver most of the nation’s long-term care. Nurses are acutely aware of their role and incredibly proud of the work they perform. Providing ways to showcase their efforts and its importance to the health of patients and the organization speaks volumes.

Rick has found nurses really appreciate symbolic items. Providing badges and pins that show others know they were nominated for an action, received an award or have multiple years of service (i.e. experience) are meaningful and well-received.

While nurses are on the move they share work spaces and take pride in displaying their accomplishments. Providing personalized presentation packages, certificates and public recognition builds teamwork by showcasing the important work done every day.

2. Feel Like Part of a Family

The traditional awards banquet is alive and well in healthcare

In Rick’s experience 80% of hospitals still host an evening to publicly acknowledge employees who demonstrated excellence in patient care over the year. This ceremony is often held in May during Hospital Week.

The annual awards celebration is the foundation of many CSI STARS healthcare clients’ programs. Weinburg Campus is a great example. This award-winning long-term care campus hosts a banquet that has become a core tenet of their people-first culture. Each year on average 75 employees receive service awards and are publicly recognized at their Service Award Banquet. CSI STARS sends recipients a “Save the Date” invitation, prepares posters and a personalized program guide with employees’ pictures, bios and how important their role is to the Weinberg Campus family. It’s an emotional and heartfelt evening of meaningful and memorable speeches that truly make staff feel they are part of something bigger than their job. Employees look forward to this event and appreciate choosing from a wide assortment of popular gifts.

3. Provide Choice

Did you know 80% of hospital staff are women?

Since nursing is still predominantly female, offering brand-name products appealing to women such as make-up, wheeled duffle bags, jewelry and Fitbits – is very well-received.

Quite often the most motivating reward isn’t a material item at all. It’s a day off with pay, a catered lunch for staff, a 15-minute massage from the onsite massage therapist or professional development opportunities.

Being able to offer employees a choice of popular lower-priced gifts and social recognition has really given CSI STARS a competitive advantage according to Rick.

Offering rewards and frequent recognition may not be your silver bullet, but these actions show strong leadership and cultivate workplaces employees want to be a part of. The result? Positive patient and employee experiences that protect your bottom line.

See how CSI STARS programs can improve the health of your organization. Request your demo today.

How to Use Recognition to Retain Your Nurses whitepaper
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Author: Lori McKnight

Lori McKnight
Lori is the VP of Recognition for CSI International Inc. She has a MBA with a minor in Human Resources, is a Certified Recognition Professional and member of the SHRM blog squad. Prior to joining CSI STARS, she worked at Mercer Human Resource Consulting and Youthography, a youth market research agency. Connect with CSI STARS on LinkedIn to learn how we cultivate a workforce that loves coming to work.