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Take Care of Hospital Staff With Wellness Incentive Programs

Well-being matters – especially to the ones providing it for others. Hospital teams provide care for a living, and now it’s time to turn the spotlight on those that need it most.

Since healthcare industry workers consistently go above and beyond the call of duty, it’s easier for them to feel depleted, often while putting patients’ needs before their own. Nearly 8 in 10 nurses in the United States say they feel “emotionally drained” on a consistent basis.

A workplace well-being program can provide solutions to the burnout. It also shows employees that their company…

  • Rewards individual contributions
  • Acknowledges unique challenges
  • Values team efforts

From nurses to administration and every role in between, an effective patient care team gives their all to ensure a positive experience. Hospitals should implement a way to give back that not only aligns with their mission but also addresses specific needs of their workers.

Without the proper motivation, hospital staff can quickly feel overworked and underappreciated. Some signs of job fatigue may include:

  • Reduced productivity
  • Negative coworker interactions
  • Poor patient service

Besides a decline in work quality, not taking care of themselves can result in employees quitting. Employee turnover can be costly, but an effective incentive program keeps employees engaged, aligns them with company objectives, and turns things around in more ways than one.

Programs that are prevention-based (like health and wellbeing programs) tend to have a more powerful effect than other types of programs. This is mostly due to the fact that the rewards involved are not a quick fix, but instead can improve quality of life over a period of time.

When dealing with an industry ripe with worker shortages and jobs that can’t be done remotely, hospitality incentives like extra time off are difficult to deliver. Wellness-focused incentives provide an opportunity for a hospital to communicate to its staff how much they are valued by prioritizing their mental and physical health.

A program like this also offers tangible ways for hospitals to provide reasonable recognition for their staff’s efforts.

A wellness program can range from instant rewards like spa gift cards to long-term benefits like increased mental focus and healthier cholesterol levels. These programs also create a sense of family and belonging as coworkers cheer each other on to earn rewards as a team, all while becoming better versions of themselves.

Here are some hospital wellness program ideas to get started:

  • Find out what employees need and want. This may include an across-the-board health screening for all employees – and a hospital can provide these resources easier than most other workplaces. Once assessments are complete, certain stats may stick out, like a majority of people suffering high blood pressure or admitting to high levels of stress. From there, a hospital can figure out which area to focus on improving first.
  • Determine how to measure success. Maybe a points-based system works best, or a master checklist does the trick. Either way, hospitals need to figure out how to track the progress of each staff member. This could include completing an online stress management course, taking a yoga class, counting steps, or improving BMI. Once certain tasks are completed, rewards should be delivered in a timely fashion.
  • Rewards should vary depending on the person and their involvement. Spa gift cards are a great way to encourage participation. This also aligns with the wellness theme. Hospitals can also choose to work with local partners and give out gift cards for healthy restaurants and local gyms. There are many ways to reward achievement. Sometimes the most exciting is for employees doing well in the program to be featured on postings throughout the building.
  • Internal organizers would do well to note increases in productivity as participants get started. Aside from rewarding hospital staff doing well with wellness goals, management will most likely also notice a happier staff. Assign specific administrators with tracking patient interactions and quality of work. Acknowledge any improvements in these areas, as this will also keep up the positive momentum of any incentive program.
  • None of it matters if nobody knows what’s going on, so communicate about incentive programs in physical and digital form. Think flyers, text alerts, social media, and in-house meetings that hype up staff about the potential short-term and long-term benefits of such a program. Include detailed instructions on how to participate, as well as the different rewards that can potentially be earned at each level. Communication should go on throughout the entirety of the program, not just at the very beginning.

Give a gift that keeps on giving with wellness rewards. Focusing on employees’ mental and physical health, and staying consistent with wellbeing program efforts, can keep hospital staff healthy, happy, and producing quality service for many years to come.