How to recognize your frontline healthcare workers

Recognizing Healthcare Workers
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Frontline workers are the face of your organization. They are often the first and only interaction clients will have with your healthcare network. Since the rise of COVID-19 and the realization of this global pandemic, frontline healthcare workers have not only been the face of your organization, they have also been saving lives, going above and beyond expectations to render care. We can see examples every day of healthcare workers as heroes helping people to stay safe and heal, often at the expense of their own health and families. It is no question that these workers should be supported and recognized for all of their efforts. As their employer, you must look for areas where recognition can have a more lasting impact on employee wellness. Here are eight long-term and meaningful ways to engage with, recognize and support your frontline healthcare workers.

1. Offer workload assistance

Offering resources to your frontline employees recognize their heavy workload and conveys your willingness to support them. Assisting acknowledges the difficult job they are doing and communicates your commitment to validating their hard work. Bellin Health in Green Bay, Wisconsin has demonstrated commitment to this concept. Not only did they develop new workflow and workload distribution methods, but they also partnered with the AMA to teach other networks how to accomplish this task. Now that’s commitment!

2. Connect them with technology

One way to recognize your frontline workers is to keep them connected using a modern digital intranet and personalized mobile experience. By simplifying and optimizing the digital employee experience, you are creating an avenue that connects workers no matter where they are or what their job title is. It provides an opportunity for workers to recognize each other and for HR or management to recognize frontline employees as well. Firstup offers one such digital platform that is connecting employees, offering an avenue of support and engagement that can be very meaningful. Learn how top-ranked Nebraska Medicine, one of the largest employers in the state, is working to modernize their intranet and improve the digital employee experience for their healthcare workers. 

3. Provide growth opportunities

What better way to say, “Job well done!” than to offer ways for your employees to improve their skills and grow personally and professionally? Allowing employees the opportunity to branch out into new territories conveys the message that you value them and believe in their ability to grow. Providing growth opportunities not only benefits your employees but also strengthens their engagement and commitment to your company. Mayo Clinic is one such hospital system focused on providing growth opportunities for their workers. At times when other systems have pulled back on benefits for growth, Mayo has continued its push to develop their staff and reward their growth. Mayo has demonstrated key leadership in this principle by offering tuition assistance, developing in-house education networks, and collaborating with community partners.

4. Prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion

A great way to recognize frontline employees is to publicly acknowledge and foster diversity and inclusion. Having a diverse workforce allows personal and professional growth and conveys that value to employees and clients. Frontline workers are the largest group of employees in most hospital systems, so approaching diversity and inclusion with intention lets them know that they are valued at the deepest level. This value is then passed on to your clients. Mayo Clinic exhibits this principle on an ongoing basis by having a variety of events, lectures and exhibits that showcase the principles of diversity and inclusion that the company commits to. This focus on diversity and inclusion is an ongoing practice. Having a continuing commitment to this principle demonstrates their acknowledgment that diversity is a benefit that should be celebrated.

5. Celebrate success

During these unprecedented times when many people are operating on “survival mode,” it is easy to overlook the successes that are achieved daily. Those successes are happening and it is more important than ever to recognize them. It is important to note that recognition doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. A formal and public “thank you” is often all that is required to uplift and acknowledge your staff. Providing small treats or a short break in the day can also help to recharge and reinforce the excellent job being done.

6. Recognize positive behaviors

Another way to reinforce positive actions is to publicly acknowledge them. Calling out excellent treatment and care provided by your staff is imperative to reinforce this behavior. Acknowledge these behaviors not only from your staff to your clients but also from staff to each other. Post this recognition for everyone to see and allow clients to recognize especially positive interactions as well. This is a good time to create a “kudos” board in each department and on employee communication apps available through your intranet. Reinforcing the successes as well as the recognition given encourages participation from staff, clients, and management. Dignity Health has taken this principle to heart. They have developed an app for co-workers and the public to shout out to those that made a difference to them.

7. Seek out daily wins

It is important to approach the recognition of staff proactively and intentionally. Ultimately, frontline staff are putting their physical and mental health on the line to care for others. This is no small sacrifice. Make it a point to seek out the small wins daily and provide positive feedback frequently and reliably. Giving staff reassurance that they are seen, heard and valued increases the likelihood that these behaviors will be repeated and that staff will feel supported.

8. Invest in your staff

What better way to recognize your staff than to invest in them? Creating programs for staff to learn new skills or become certified in their specialties is an exceptional way to acknowledge the value they bring to your business. It lets them know that you value their contributions and believe that they are worth your investment. Improving your staff not only advances them as individuals but also adds value to your business. It is a real win-win.

Looking for more ways to engage with your healthcare workforce?

The bottom line is that everyone benefits from improved communication and recognition. Although achieving these goals can be difficult with frontline employees who are often disconnected from technology, Firstup can make it an achievable goal. Their ability to connect the dots throughout the organization to the frontline gives your business a platform for communication and recognition. Request a Firstup demo today to get more information on how these solutions can work for you.

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