Employee Recognition Programs in the Healthcare Industry

The Importance of Employee Recognition Programs in the Healthcare Industry
Mike Szczesny, Owner and VP of EDCO Awards & Specialties

Hiring and retaining top-quality candidates in the healthcare sector has been a significant challenge. Aside from the risk of working around patients infected with diseases, as we saw during the COVID-19 outbreak, they are also faced with several difficulties. The healthcare industry needs effective and efficient retention strategies because of a talent shortage, high turnover rates, and heavy competition for top candidates. 

Healthcare workers have a complex routine of responsibilities. They serve an incredibly different group of employees in various job functions. From nurses to physicians, janitors, and administrative staff, every employee in a healthcare organization is important, as they all directly affect the patient experience through the care and effort they put into their job.

To accelerate a superior patient experience, HR professionals in healthcare can ensure their organization’s employees are engaged. Employee engagement has many standards, and one opportunity often overlooked by healthcare organizations is employee recognition. 

When doctors, nurses, and other frontline healthcare workers experience burnout or feel the heat of stress, leaders must help them regain their strength by unleashing the tonic of genuine recognition or creating an employee of the month award. Incredible work is being done daily in healthcare, and sharing those successes through a visible platform can significantly improve employee engagement. But is creating a formal recognition platform worth it for healthcare organizations? The data and studies show that it is a profitable investment and is, in fact, very essential to the organization, employee, and patient health.

Here are a few benefits of employee recognition programs: 

Boosting Productivity and Engagement Among Healthcare Staff

By showing appreciation for their employees’ perseverance and hard work and publicly rewarding all they have achieved and their successes, employers help their employees feel that their work has a purpose and that they are valued members of the industry. When faced with challenges or unpleasant situations, a kind word or an act of recognition can significantly impact an employee’s look. Rather than feeling overstressed and unappreciated, they will feel more positive about work and motivated to improve and perform better. Studies have shown that when employees are engaged and motivated, their productivity levels and quality of work improve. 

Reducing Employee Turnover Rates in Healthcare Organizations

Turnover is an expensive threat in the healthcare industry. Aside from the financial expenses, the remaining employees always have an increased workload. Employees must say goodbye to a friend when colleagues leave, cover their responsibilities and shifts, and train new hires. These effects can create a cycle of turnover, which creates a heavy financial and emotional burden for organizations.

Improving Employee Satisfaction and Enjoyment of Work in the Healthcare Industry

When the authorities give employees due recognition, it gives them a sense of belonging and satisfaction, and they enjoy their work more.

Enhancing Customer Loyalty and Satisfaction in Healthcare Services 

A happy employee yields a happy client. When employees are happy and satisfied, they give their time and attention to relating to and working with patients by listening to their complaints and ensuring they are satisfied without the employee getting frustrated. 

Retaining Quality Healthcare Employees Through Recognition Programs 

The healthcare industry needs effective and efficient retention strategies. Top-quality employees can be retained with proper recognition and by offering them a few words of encouragement. Employee engagement directly affects the likelihood of an employee staying longer. Hospital leaders worldwide are actively seeking ways to address the stress and burnout experienced by their healthcare workers amid the pandemic. Recent research has revealed a potential solution to enhance hospital performance: fostering greater staff engagement in their roles.

Mitigating Stress and Absenteeism Among Healthcare Workers

Employees sometimes experience burnout and go through stress; when they are genuinely appreciated and given maximum recognition, it helps ease stress because they feel appreciated and their efforts are valued. Hence, there will always be a low absenteeism rate, and they will always feel happy carrying out their daily tasks. 


Some reasons causing people to leave their jobs are sometimes outside of an employer’s control. Still, one aspect that can be influenced is how employers recognize, reward, and communicate with their employees in the workplace. When employees feel appreciated, they are more engaged, motivated, and likely to do more for their organization. According to studies, organizations with formal recognition programs have 31% less voluntary turnover than organizations without any programs and are 12 times more likely to have high business outcomes.

For leaders who aim to promote employee, team, and business success, it is crucial to prioritize employee recognition and integrate it into the company’s overall culture. Despite the challenges that employees often face, research suggests that employers should attempt to recognize and appreciate their work, as it can enhance job satisfaction.

About Mike Szczesny
Mike Szczesny is the owner and vice president of EDCO Awards & Specialties, a dedicated supplier of employee recognition products, branded merchandise, athletic awards and employee of the month awards. Szczesny takes pride in EDCO’s ability to help companies go the extra mile in expressing gratitude and appreciation to their employees.


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