Recognition done right: Examining best practices

March 11, 2016  //  FOUND IN: Announcements,

As March is national recognition month, today were going to take a look at three departments that regularly receive high marks in engagement on the employee survey, and their own processes for recognizing their people.  From implementing a recognition component right into the departmental on-boarding process to launching an on-the-spot recognition program for team members, are there some ideas you can integrate into your operations? Find out!


Ophthalmology team

Best Practice: Recognition platform engaging both employees and patients

How it works: The best feedback is feedback received directly from patients and the people we work alongside every day and the Ophthalmology department’s JOY program allows them to do exactly that!

The goal of the Just Outdo Yourself (JOY) program is to help the department be as outstanding in customer service and employee satisfaction as they already are in patient care, education, and research. JOY also helps employees realize the department’s purpose and vision through a basic set of guiding principles, which are Teamwork, Caring, Innovation, and Integrity.

Faculty, staff and patients are encouraged to recognize outstanding performance by completing a JOY disc – a short form to write down messages of gratitude while it’s top of mind.  The commendations are transcribed and shared during regular team meetings, recognition events and ceremonies.  Even constructive criticism is reviewed during team meetings and used as a coaching opportunity to improve operations.

For more than 15 years, the Ophthalmology department has been bringing “JOY” to its team members through their employee engagement and recognition program, which has been woven into the fabric of the department’s culture.  Ophthalmology leaders believe that happy and engaged employees result in happy, engaged, and loyal patients, thereby creating value.  They regularly reinforce that no matter what role employees play in the department, each one impacts the patient experience.

Great job, Ophthalmology team and thanks for continuing to spread “JOY” to your patients and each other!

Health Information Management

Health Information Management team

Best Practice: Building recognition into the on-boarding process

How it works: The Health Information Management department’s leadership team demonstrates employee appreciation in a variety of ways, and it all begins on day one.

New employees during department orientation are asked to complete a recognition preference questionnaire during their on-boarding process so that Managers can recognize them with rewards that are meaningful to them.  Team members provide information about their favorite food and drinks, if they enjoy attending movies, sporting events, art shows, if they’re bookworms, and more.  The forms also collect birthdays and work anniversaries for follow-ups.

Gathering such information at the outset not only sends a message to new team members that their leaders cares about making recognition a priority, but also helps managers create a more personal connection with staff.  Managers know who on their team like a simple “’atta boy” and which employees have a bit of a sweet tooth for dark chocolate. Who likes donuts in the morning and who likes a bagel?

With more than 130 people, the department is large, but the recognition is personalized and therefore more meaningful.

Way to go HIM team – and if anyone is interested, we like cronuts in the morning!

Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery

Otolaryngology team

Best Practice: On-the-spot recognition program

How it works: The Otolaryngology team “nose” how to recognize good work, when and where it happens, in real time.

Bravo, the department’s on-the-spot recognition program, provides team members an exciting way to recognize one another instantaneously – either face-to-face or virtually.

Virtual Bravo, an online platform, is user-friendly and innovative.  While it’s not meant to replace face-to-face recognition, it’s especially convenient for this large and geographically dispersed department. From the department’s internal site, employees can click on the “thumbs-up” Bravo icon and fill out their name, the name of the person they are recognizing, and what they are recognizing them for.  Once they click submit, the kudos is posted instantly online, as well as sent via email to the recipient. This innovative approach is especially handy for managers who work with team members in varied locations.

Face-to-face recognition is even easier.  Employees have the option to hand a Bravo sticker to a colleague they want to recognize while looking them in the eye and expressing their appreciation. Team members can often be seen sporting their stickers on their lanyards like “badges of honor,” and they can receive a gift card once they collect enough stickers.

Bravo, Otolaryngology, for taking recognition to the next level!