Retaining key employees is crucial in any industry, however, it’s become increasingly important in the healthcare industry. Just this year, it was reported that more than 33,000 nurses left the NHS, putting more pressure on understaffed hospitals and community services. Compounding the problem is the fact that more nurses are leaving than joining the NHS.

With long working hours and stressful working situations, it’s no surprise that healthcare workers are looking to make the move to other industries. Now’s the time for leaders within the healthcare sector to find ways to boost employee retention efforts to ensure the industry’s future success. Taking the time and effort to recognise employees can go a long way in building employee loyalty and dedication. Employees who feel that their work is recognised tend to have higher morale and greater dedication to innovation and improvement. Here, we look at some creative, cost-effective ways that hospitals, surgeries and other health care providers can show their employees appreciation and reward their long-standing efforts.

Recognition as a Retention Strategy

While there are many reasons healthcare workers decide to leave their jobs, there’s one reason that employers have the power to influence: making workers feel appreciated. According to the latest NHS Staff Survey, only 42 percent of employees feel that they are valued by their employer. Having a rewards and recognition programme in place lets valued employees know that their contribution and hard work is seen and appreciated. The value of a recognition programme also extends beyond the staff to impact patients. When your healthcare workers are happy and satisfied with their work, they are more likely to provide a positive experience for patients. For example, a nurse that feels confident that her manager will go the ‘extra mile’ to make sure she’s happy is more likely to go above and beyond the call of duty for her own patients.

Reward their Accomplishments

As mentioned above, employee performance evaluation goes a long way towards employee satisfaction and retention. Strive to make employees feel appreciated and valued when they are doing a good job, hitting their targets or going above and beyond what’s expected of them. One way to honour these moments is with special, higher-end branded gifts such as corporate jewellery, like cufflinks, or crystal and glassware. Many of these items can be purchased at a low cost, but have a high perceived value for the recipient.

For example, you could reward hard-working employees or teams with a practical and stylish notebook or mug that’s personalised with your logo or message. Personalised gifts can help build pride of place, no matter if the recipient uses the item at work or home.

No matter which product you gift or occasion you celebrate, consider giving employees a say in the matter. For example, for a new hire or for a 10-year anniversary celebration, you could design both a branded backpack and a fleece running jacket and let each employee choose which item they prefer. This helps promote an inclusive company culture and ensures that your employees receive something that they actually want to wear and use!

Motivate with Recognition Badges

Recognition badges are an inspired way to reward and motivate employees. With an array of unique designs and high-quality finishes available, it’s easy to create a stunning badge that offers a highly-valued means of reward.

Take some out-of-industry inspiration from global nutrition giant Herbalife, who has made badges the centrepiece of their unique employee rewards programme. Employees earn points based on their performance and are recognised for their achievements with Royal Recognition pins that are adorned with precious stones and jewels. The pins serve as a status symbol within the company and are not only effective in setting goals for employees, but also rewarding them for their accomplishments.

Service award badges are also a great way to say thank you to long-standing employees and recognise their years of dedicated service. One creative and effective idea is to use colour to convey your message and select a different colour for each of service. For example, you could create a lovely series of custom badges designed to award employees for 10, 20, 30, 40 and even 50 years of service!

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