How to Use Employee Awards to Keep Healthcare Staff Motivated and Engaged at Work

Group of happy business people discussing and working together during a meeting in office. Finance architect designer work conceptWritten by Veronica Turner

In the dynamic realm of healthcare, where staff face intense pressures and challenges every single day, finding effective ways to maintain motivation and engagement is key.

A well-thought-out employee awards program can be a shining beacon of appreciation, illuminating the efforts of those who dedicate themselves to caring for others. These awards recognize stellar performance and fortify the spirit of teamwork and continuous dedication.

Throughout this guide, we’ll dive into various strategies for leveraging employee awards to foster the kind of work environment that cultivates both individual growth and collective success.


10 Ways to Use Awards to Keep Healthcare Staff Motivated

Engaging and retaining healthcare staff requires thoughtful recognition. Discover 10 ways to use awards that will keep your team motivated, appreciated, and deeply connected to your mission.

  1. Recognize Individual Achievements Publicly

Acknowledging your healthcare staff’s achievements in public settings can significantly boost morale. A public commendation, like naming someone “Nurse of the Year” during a staff meeting, makes the recipient feel valued and noticed by their fellow peers and managers.

It also sets a precedent for excellence within the team, encouraging others to follow in their footsteps. This type of recognition becomes a powerful motivational tool that promotes a culture of acknowledgment and striving for high-quality care among all staff members.


  1. Celebrate Team Successes with Group Awards

When a group within your healthcare facility excels, it’s vital to celebrate their success collectively. By presenting group awards, you underline the importance of teamwork in providing outstanding patient care. This is essential, as your business couldn’t survive without teamwork.

Whether it’s finishing a major project ahead of schedule or achieving high patient satisfaction scores, acknowledging the collective effort builds unity and enhances collaboration. This recognition can take many forms, but all of them should demonstrate appreciation for the team.


  1. Create Custom Award Plaques for Your Team

Crafting custom award plaques and trophies shows your team that you recognize their unique contributions and value their dedication. These personalized and classic tokens of appreciation capture the essence of what makes each role within your healthcare staff special.

By incorporating symbols or phrases that reflect their hard work and commitment, you create a tangible representation of their achievements. Whether displayed on their desk or at home, these plaques become enduring reminders of the meaningful impact they have on patients.


  1. Provide Continuing Education Opportunities as Rewards

Using continuing education as a reward not only recognizes your healthcare staff’s hard work but also fosters their professional growth. When you offer courses or training sessions as incentives, it demonstrates your commitment to their career and personal development.

This approach transforms an award from a mere token of appreciation into an investment in their future and the future of patient care. It’s a win-win scenario: staff members expand their expertise while the practice benefits from updated knowledge and skills.


  1. Integrate Reward Programs with Career Advancement Paths

Linking your reward programs directly to career advancement opportunities can greatly motivate your healthcare staff. By doing this, you’re not just acknowledging their present accomplishments, but you’re also investing in their professional futures.

For example, a series of awards leading to a higher position or specialized training incentivizes consistent performance and loyalty. This strategic approach shows employees that their hard work and dedication can lead to tangible progression within the organization.


  1. Make Use of Peer-to-Peer Recognition Programs

Implementing peer-to-peer recognition programs can be an extremely effective way to boost morale and strengthen team bonds. In the high-pressure environment of healthcare, it’s the colleagues working side by side who best understand the challenges each of them faces.

Encouraging staff to nominate and celebrate their peers for exceptional work gives them a sense of ownership over the recognition process. This type of program promotes a supportive work culture where everyone’s contributions are valued by those they work with most closely.


  1. Offer Practical Gifts That Suit Each Individual

Understanding the individual needs of your healthcare staff and offering practical gifts as rewards show thoughtfulness and consideration. Instead of one-size-fits-all items, tailor your gifts to suit each recipient. If you’re not sure what to give your staff, simply ask them.

Personalized, practical gifts will not only be genuinely appreciated but will also enhance their day-to-day work life. Such gestures make it clear that you recognize and care about their personal contributions to the workplace, reinforcing their value to the team.


  1. Honor Years of Service with Special Celebrations

Celebrating the dedication and longevity of your staff with special recognition for years of service is a heartfelt way to express gratitude. These milestones are significant. They showcase an individual’s commitment not only to the healthcare field but also to your organization.

Whether it’s a personalized gift, an elegant dinner, or a tribute during a team gathering, these celebrations are memorable moments that affirm the value of loyalty and experience. Honoring these anniversaries inspires others to build their careers within your supportive environment.


  1. Incorporate Unexpected Surprises Throughout the Year

Sprinkling unexpected tokens of appreciation throughout the year can keep your healthcare staff engaged and feeling valued. It’s these unforeseen gestures, like surprising your team with a catered lunch after a hard week, that often make the most impact on your staff members.

Such surprises break up the routine and serve as delightful morale boosters, reminding employees that their hard work does not go unnoticed. This can also prove to your healthcare workers that there’s always something positive potentially around the corner waiting for them.


  1. Tie Recognition to Patient Feedback

Connecting employee recognition to positive patient feedback is a powerful way to affirm the impact of your staff’s work. When a patient goes out of their way to talk about the care they’ve received, acknowledging this praise reinforces the importance of patient-centered service.

It also provides a personal sense of accomplishment for the recognized healthcare worker, knowing that their efforts have made a significant difference in someone’s life. Rewarding this feedback with certificates or personalized gifts further highlights your appreciation.


In Conclusion…

Now that you’re equipped with a plethora of strategies to supercharge your healthcare team through thoughtful recognition, it’s time to put these ideas into action. Remember, the most vibrant workplaces are those where appreciation is a core part of the culture.

Start today—identify someone for public praise, design a custom award, or simply celebrate a team’s success. Every gesture counts. Embrace the power of personalized recognition and watch as motivation soars and engagement deepens within your healthcare staff.

Author Bio: Veronica Turner is a health and lifestyle writer with over 10 years of experience. She creates compelling content on nutrition, fitness, mental health, and overall wellness.


Please also review AIHCP’s Health Care Manager Certification program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  These programs are online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification.

Employee Retention Strategies For The Healthcare Industry

Doctor's uniform and stethoscope isolated in a white backgroudWritten By Lucy Peters

In the current labor market, employee retention is more important than ever. Some are describing the current period as ” the great resignation.” With the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic causing many to reassess their employment and change jobs, this is doubly true in the healthcare industry, which was of course the industry most involved with dealing with the pandemic. Employers are looking for effective strategies to increase employee well-being and therefore retention, which will reduce turnover and costs associated with hiring new employees.

Why Do Employees Leave?

To come up with useful employee retention strategies, it is first important to understand why employees leave their positions. Once we understand this, we can attempt to mitigate these circumstances as much as possible. The two biggest quoted reasons are usually salary and benefits or feeling overworked. In the healthcare industry, the second option here is usually key. In fact, even pre-pandemic, the turnover rates of US hospitals were seeing a small but steady climb, reaching 19.5% in 2020. Replacing employees is expensive and time-consuming, which is why employee retention planning is also a budgetary issue. One sensible idea is to implement an exit interview or survey when an employee moves on, in which you ask them to outline exactly why they are leaving. This data will help you more effectively design your benefits and retain future employees.

Retaining employees is critical to building strong teams and nurturing talents. The key to employee retention is keeping employees both happy and motivated. This can be a particular struggle within healthcare, an industry where long hours and a high-stress environment is commonplace. All is not lost though, as there are still effective ways to increase happiness and motivation in any work environment, and they might just be the key to reducing your turnover rates.

Review Salaries And Provide Better Work Arrangements

The first thing that should be assessed is the salaries offered. Are they lower than the industry average? Remember, lower salaries may seem like a smart financial decision but can incur “hidden” costs if they are contributing to a high turnover rate, as money is spent on replacing and onboarding new employees. These days, employees are also seeking more flexible working arrangements, and this should be implemented wherever possible.

Make Employees Feel Valued

The next step is to ensure employees feel rewarded outside of salary. Some of the most effective ways to reward employees don’t have to cost the earth, and although salary should be considered here, smaller gestures can go a long way in making an employee feel valued – rewarding employees on a budget is perfectly possible. One idea you could implement is to start weekly or monthly lunches to build morale and foster teamwork. Also, ensure hard work is recognized – for example, the gesture of sending a card can go a long way and lets employees know their work is being noticed.

Offering wellness perks such as discounted gym memberships or free classes are also a great idea, as employees that are fit and healthy are much more likely to be happy. Regular surveys where employees can express their concerns or ideas is a great option – as long as you then act on these. Not only will this increase workplace morale but it also gives your employees the chance to change their working environment for the better, empowering them to do better work.

Employee retention can be a particular struggle within the healthcare industry, which has such a high turnover rate. However, there are some important strategies that can be implemented to help mitigate this. Offering perks to increase employee happiness will go a long way, but overall, the most important thing is understanding why employees leave. The use of employee surveys will help you optimise your strategy and create a working environment that they want to be in.



Please also review AIHCP’s Healthcare Manager Program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program in online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a Healthcare Manager Program


Health Care Management Reimbursement Systems.

health care management
health care management

The article, “How Do Medicaid, Medicare and Private Insurance Reimburse for Telehealth?”, by BHM states

“Telehealth is rapidly increasing in popularity. The major challenge is the varying methods of reimbursement, if they exist at all.”

American Institute Health Care Professionals‘s insight:
With new technologies in health care management, comes new ways to manage them.  Telehealth is an innovate way to visit the doctor without leaving your home.

See on

Health Care Management Should Read This.

man with clipboard
Health Care Management should always have great leadership.

Health Care Management Information.

The article, “Healthcare businesses need better managers”, by Donald Tex Bryant states

“Good leaders and managers use their authority to keep employees using processes that have been agreed upon by their teams or use processes that have been delineated in contracts or agreements with payers.  If a team has decided that a certain process will achieve a better product or outcome for clients and patients, then it is the responsibility of the manager to see that everyone use the process.”

For the full article please go here.

As you can see from the article there are a number of qualities that are involved in good health care management.    You do not always have to be the smartest person in the room to be a great manager.    You only need to know how to get the most out of your health care professionals and lead them to a job well done.
If you are interested in furthering your health care education then you should go to our site.