The medical field can be stressful for multiple reasons. You work long hours, it is a high stress environment, and you are likely responsible for other people’s lives. Although personal changes may be needed in addition to workplace changes in order to be happy at work, recognition can improve the healthcare workplace culture by raising productivity and preventing burnout. Here are some ways to practice recognition effectively and some of its proven benefits.
3 Tips for Using Recognition Effectively
Workplace recognition is a great and extremely important element of a healthy and productive work environment. However, if not done properly a good thing can easily turn into a problem. Here are some tips for using workplace recognition effectively.
1. Be Consistent
In order for recognition to be effective, you need to be consistent with it. If you only acknowledge some good work performance it will likely cause frustration among staff. Therefore, it is best to just let a medical worker know when they are doing something right whenever you see it every day. You should apply this rule to constructive criticism as well. Following this rule will also help to ensure that all staff are being treated equally.
2. Implement a Reward System
Employee of the month is not a new idea, but in healthcare settings this might not always be present. Incorporating a reward system for nurses and other staff might be a good way to apply recognition and boost morale. It might also be the motivating push that a healthcare worker needs to succeed in the work environment. The same consistency and equality rules should be applied here in order for this method to be effective. However, this should not be the only form of recognition put in place. Here is an interesting study that found rewards to be a less motivating factor for nurses than many have believed previously. This does not mean that this recognition tactic should be removed all together, but that hospitals should combine this with other forms of recognition as well.
3. Treat Everyone the Same
Equality is extremely important, but this is especially true when it comes to workplace recognition. Everyone should be treated the same no matter their gender, ethnicity, race, or sexual orientation. The same is true for those with personal relationships outside of work. No one should be favored or punished for a personal relationship. Applying this rule is easy when also following the tip of consistency.
5 Benefits of Recognition for Healthcare Workplace Culture
We know about how to apply recognition and constructive criticism productively, but what are some of the benefits to the healthcare workplace culture? The following are some reasons why every healthcare setting should recognize when their nurses, and also other staff, do a good job.
1. Increased Productivity
Having your hard work recognized tends to motivate people to do more. This is especially true for particularly stressful career fields like nursing. It is always nice to be reminded when you are doing something right, and when it comes to nursing you may need this motivating push to keep up the good work. Similarly, constructive criticisms can help to make improvements or correct mistakes. This tends to keep both productivity and motivation high while reducing mistakes.
2. Reduces the Chances for Burnout
Having a work environment that encourages recognition tends to make people feel more accomplished and good at what they do for a living. Therefore, hospitals and clinics that practice this usually see less cases of nurse burnout. This is good for both the nurses themselves and the medical center as a whole, because reduced staff turnover means less incidents due to lack of training.
3. Improved Communication
Applying frequent recognition and constructive criticism opens up productive communication among medical staff. This contributes to both improved patient outcomes and a better work environment. Communication is key in every healthcare setting, so opening up communication in this way will greatly improve the way that a hospital runs.
4. Creates a Good Workplace Environment
As mentioned before, having an environment that recognizes good work and achievement also improves overall morale in the workplace. Nursing can be a very stressful and demanding field, so a good work environment is an important factor when it comes to preventing nurse burnout. Everyone should genuinely like where they work, and those in the medical field are no different from anyone else.
5. Improves Patient Outcome
The previous benefits of recognition such as improved communication, reduced burnout, and improved productivity and motivation also improve patient outcomes. Less mistakes tend to be made in a productive work environment that applies constructive criticism and recognition, and in the medical field mistakes can be deadly. The patient is always the first concern for any healthcare professional, so this benefit alone is often motivation enough for medical work environments to incorporate recognition.
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