Wednesday, February 24, 2016 3:50 PM

Getting your THANK YOU on!

We’re actively looking for ways to make our organization a better place to work so we can attract and retain the top talent. But what makes a company a great place to work – other than the obvious total compensation package? I can name two factors:

1) Feeling valued

Feeling valued plays a big role. In our 24/7 environment, nurses and clinical staff deal with sick, injured and highly emotional patients and families every day, all shift-long. Operational and support departments work hard to ensure a safe and efficient workplace. And our administrative and corporate teams strive to cultivate a positive organizational culture – one that encourages opinions, appreciation and professional development. So a little thanks goes a long way – for everyone, everywhere in our organization of 10,000 and growing. Here’s why feeling valued is so powerful:

  • It’s uplifting. Hearing positive feedback is good for personal morale – the human spirit.
  • It boosts teamwork. Encouragement helps build commitment, a critical factor for successful teamwork. 
  • It reinforces behaviors. Acknowledgement of contributions builds positive progress.
  • It motivates. Motivation is the most powerful emotion that employees bring to work each day. 
Take our recent Valentine Gram initiative for example. (My personal favorite is to your left. What a beautiful, caring and authentic message received from a colleague! It truly warmed my heart and put a bounce in my step.)  This online message system provided a way for employees to recognize someone for their caring and compassionate heart, as well as to write their personal expression of thanks. It was a week-long words of endearment activity but it produced a whopping 12,140 Valentine Grams! That’s incredible engagement with intentional effort.

2) Being engaged

What’s being engaged? It’s caring, participating, absorbing and involving – intentionally with passion and energy! It’s about staying in-the-know and being intentional with your actions.  Pay attention to what’s happening in the organization, not to just your own role – but really caring about your team’s role and what’s going on around you. From an internal communicator’s view, here are five tips to engage in the workplace:
  • Read your email. Even if you’re not at a desk regularly, check it every couple of days to read time sensitive messages and ensure you’re keeping up on action items.
  • Check out the intranet. Not only does our intranet, The Forum, provide great headline news about Community, it’s a great place for employees to be social on workplace discussions, ask questions, give opinions through polls, and get important updates.
  • Participate in surveys. We have two very important surveys: an employee engagement survey and a safety culture survey. Input received helps shape our work and patient care environments.  
  • Connect with us. If you’re on a social media platform, follow us, friend us, like us, retweet our tweets and share our content. This is not only a great way to stay in-the-know, it’s a great way to share what you know.
  • Recognize others. Help others feel valued by being an active driver of a positive and appreciative culture.Thank someone for a job well done, their generosity, or kind act noticed. Most of all, when you see excellence in action, appreciate it in the moment. 
​Each person contributes to the spirit of the workplace culture. And a “Positive Paul” is as infectious as a “Negative Nancy”. In our environment, it’s impossible to be cheery 100% of the time.  And stress and negativity can bring down an entire team in no time. When’s the last time you gave a spirited, sincere appreciation for a job well done or uplifted a teammate? If it’s been a while, I encourage you to get your thank you on – it’s good for morale all around. 

Ways to recognize at Community

Besides good old fashion words of appreciation and handwritten thank you notes dropped in the mail, Community employees are given several workplace tools to recognize and appreciate each other.  New to the main page of The Forum, is an “Employee Recognition” link under HR Links which provides employees information and access to all recognition programs within Community.

Star Gram

Around the longest is Community Regional Medical Center’s online “Star Gram” recognition program. Over 700 electronic Star Grams are delivered each month to employees. Employees also have the ability to hand-write and hand-deliver a Star Gram.  

Heart of Gold

Fresno Heart & Surgical Hospital’s “Heart of Gold” recognition program is about handwritten recognition. We have no way of measuring its delivery or impact but employees sure enjoy being on the receiving end.

C A R E – Community Appreciates & Recognizes Excellence

Because our corporate employees have not had an easy, unified way to recognize their peers, Community’s Organizational Development Department recently launched a pilot recognition program called CARE. Clovis Community Medical Center retired their long-time Chips for C.H.A.M.P.S. recognition program to participate in the CARE pilot. This new online recognition program gives employees an opportunity to socially recognize the excellent work of their peers and leaders. CARE launched one week ago to 2,290 employees – which is just over a quarter of our entire workforce. So far, over 876 recognitions have been given among the 818 employees who have activated CARE.   

Let’s recap why we get our thank you on…

Feeling valued helps improve our job satisfaction – enjoyment of our workplace. And being intentionally engaged in the workplace keeps you in-the-know, uplifts others, and inspires a positive and appreciative culture.

Just remember one thing: when you’re getting your THANK YOU on … be in the moment! Recognition works best when it’s timely. Happy “thanking” today.

Shannon Merritt, AIC
Senior Internal Communications Specialist
Community Medical Centers