The shift from a volume-based, fee-for-services model to a value-based, fee-for-performance model is the current financial reality in healthcare. Ensuring a favorable patient experience and positive outcomes is paramount and healthcare employees have the capacity to make or break the economic engine through their day-to-day interactions with patients, their compliance with clinical standards, and their delivery of the components that fuel the overall patient experience.
To foster a culture of engagement where compassionate, accountable care is always top of mind, investing in systematic employee recognition programs that are more prescriptive is an emerging best practice. While healthcare organizations have traditionally offered employee recognition based on years of service milestones, the new recognition formula extends beyond employee loyalty to include the defined actions and behaviors that occur during the workday and throughout the employee lifecycle.
Because healthcare administrators are embroiled in so many challenges and changes, the call to action is not to fully repeal or replace current recognition programs. Rather, the recommendation is to make room to expand current employee recognition programs in stages. For example, healthcare organizations who currently reward years of service might also implement team-based recognition based on achievement of HCAHPS score targets. Then, add recognition components for members of the workforce who complete advanced training and continuing education. Or, offer non-cash recognition to clinical staff who agree to fill unplanned open shifts.
Employee recognition is no longer a “soft” business strategy. It is a quantifiable driver of employee engagement. The healthcare sector, in particular, has an opportunity to leverage workforce recognition in new and different ways that extend beyond traditional years of service milestones.