Elevating Healthcare Through Employee Recognition: A Prescription for Success


February 7, 2024

Taryn Hart

Clock icon

X min

6 min

What is the current state of the employee experience in healthcare?

Healthcare worker, employee recognition, experience, culture, patient care

Table of Contents

The healthcare industry has high stakes. The difference between life and death can hinge on a split-second decision, and the wellbeing of those who care for us often takes a backseat. Yet, as any seasoned HR professional in the healthcare sector knows, the key to exceptional patient care lies in the hands of satisfied, recognized, and engaged employees.

Employee turnover and burnout are at an all-time high in the healthcare sector. The link between how employees feel, and the experience of patients is undeniable. When healthcare organizations concentrate on enhancing employee engagement, building trust with senior leaders, and promoting a culture of recognition, they establish a beneficial cycle. This not only improves patient results but also gives healthcare workers the motivational lift they require to combat burnout.

The Pulse of Healthcare: A Look at the Employee Experience

Frontline workers face daily challenges - long hours, emotional tolls, and high-stress situations. Amidst this backdrop, the employee experience becomes not just a matter of job satisfaction, but one of providing quality patient care.

However, the current state of employee experience in healthcare reveals a gap. Burnout is rampant, and engagement levels often waver under the strain of relentless pressure. This is where employee recognition platforms, like Kudos, play a crucial role.

Diagnosing HR challenges in healthcare

Staffing shortages, regulatory compliance, diversity management and crisis response are just a few of the many hurdles HR leaders in healthcare face. For example, staff shortages not only fuels employee burnout and turnover but also impedes healthcare providers' efforts to enhance patient satisfaction, comply with regulations, and ensure the safety of both patients and employees.  

These challenges are compounded by the need to maintain a workforce that is not only skilled but also emotionally and mentally resilient. HR teams need to address employee needs, which range from compensation and benefits to flexible scheduling and access to cutting-edge technologies, all while managing the pressure to contain escalating labor costs. This balancing act is crucial for maintaining a robust healthcare workforce capable of meeting the evolving demands of patient care.

Employee recognition in healthcare

Employee recognition in healthcare isn't just about saying "thank you" – it's about acknowledging the extraordinary efforts of individuals who work in extraordinary circumstances. Recognizing healthcare workers can take various forms - from formal award programs to everyday expressions of gratitude.

The impact of recognition in healthcare is profound:

  • Boosts morale: in an environment often clouded by emotional and physical fatigue, recognition acts as a positive motivator, boosting morale.
  • Reduces burnout: recognition reminds employees that their efforts are seen and valued, mitigating feelings of burnout.
  • Improves retention: recognized employees are more likely to stay, reducing turnover in a sector where continuity is key.
  • Enhances patient care: happy and valued employees are more engaged, directly impacting the quality of patient care.

From Recognition to Retention: Crafting a Healthier Work Environment

The journey from employee recognition to a thriving work environment in healthcare is intricate but achievable. This transformation involves several steps:

  1. Tailored recognition programs: one-size-fits-all doesn't work in healthcare. Recognition programs need to be as diverse as the workforce.
  1. Frequent and timely acknowledgment: in a high-pressure environment, real-time recognition can be a powerful motivator.
  1. Leadership involvement: when recognition comes from the top, it carries more weight and fosters a culture of appreciation.
  1. Peer recognition: encouraging employees to recognize their colleagues creates a supportive community.
  1. Continuous employee feedback: collecting frequent feedback from employees is crucial to better understanding their needs and making meaningful changes.  

Better employee experience equals better patient care

The correlation between employee experience and patient care in healthcare is undeniable. Satisfied, engaged, and recognized employees are more empathetic, attentive, and committed - qualities that directly influence patient satisfaction and outcomes. Moreover, a positive work environment leads to lower error rates, enhanced team collaboration, and a more humane approach to patient care.

Case Study: Recognition in Action

Several healthcare organizations have reaped the benefits of prioritizing employee recognition. Since partnering with Kudos in 2012, LMC Healthcare has demonstrated that embedding employee recognition within their healthcare culture enhances patient care. LMC, with Kudos' assistance, has developed a culture centered around their core values, where every team member is dedicated to excellence and providing top-notch patient experiences.

Spanning clinics throughout Canada, LMC's staff and physicians utilize Kudos' desktop and mobile applications to acknowledge and celebrate each other's contributions. This accessibility makes fostering a positive and recognition-rich workplace culture effortless.

“A great culture is the foundation for a successful business. A strong culture encourages staff to be actively engaged, do their best, and come to work every day to support the company’s mission. With a focus on culture, employee performance can then translate into business success – hitting whatever key performance indicators that have been set, including revenue and positive patient outcomes.” Leah Topic Director of Human Resources at LMC Healthcare.

Prescription for a Healthier Healthcare Environment

The healthcare industry's future hinges not just on technological advancements or policy reforms, but fundamentally on how it nurtures its most valuable asset - its people. Employee recognition isn't just a nice-to-have; it's a must-have in the quest for quality healthcare. HR leaders who understand and act on this connection will not only elevate the employee experience but also set the stage for a revolution in patient care.

Checking vitals on employee experience

Prioritizing employee feedback through pulse surveys is not just about ensuring a positive work environment; it's a strategic approach that intertwines staff wellbeing with the overarching mission of delivering exceptional patient care and achieving superior business performance.

Pulse surveys are invaluable tools for driving improvement in patient care and business outcomes. Kudos Pulse Surveys provide a platform for healthcare professionals to voice their insights, concerns, and suggestions, fostering a culture of open communication and continuous improvement. Regular pulse surveys can quickly gauge employee sentiment, identify areas of stress or dissatisfaction, and highlight opportunities for enhancing workplace conditions.

By actively responding to this feedback, healthcare organizations can address issues proactively.  Engaged and satisfied employees are more likely to be attentive, empathetic, and efficient in their roles - all of which are crucial for maintaining high-quality patient care. By leveraging these insights, healthcare facilities can streamline their operations, enhance team dynamics, and make informed decisions that align with both staff wellbeing and organizational goals.

Kudos is here to help

An investment in employee recognition is an investment in the very heart of healthcare. It's time to give our healthcare heroes the recognition they deserve and, in doing so, pave the way for a future where the diagnoses for employee and patient wellbeing is happy and healthy.

Stay on top of HR news & trends

Stay on top of HR news & trends

Get the latest HR news and expert insights on how to create a great culture straight to your inbox.

Subscribe Today!Subscribe Today!

About Kudos

Kudos is an employee engagement, culture, and analytics platform, that harnesses the power of peer-to-peer recognition, values reinforcement, and open communication to help organizations boost employee engagement, reduce turnover, improve culture, and drive productivity and performance. Kudos uses unique proprietary methodologies to deliver essential people analytics on culture, performance, equity, and inclusion, providing organizations with deep insights and a clear understanding of their workforce.

Talk to Sales

The Impact of Employee Recognition Across Industries

Employee recognition differs by industry. Knowing how to use it strategically can have an undeniable impact on your business’ success.

Get Your Guide