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27 Things to do to Reward and Recognize Your Staff

Posted by Rick Lau on Jul 31, 2018 7:00:00 AM
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I ran a sold-out conference last year called Accelerate. It's Canada's largest clinic business summit where hundreds of clinic owners attended.

We talked about everything from getting new clients with digital and doctor marketing, patient experience operations, commanding higher prices, selling your clinic and more. What came up is that clinic owners said their #1 problem was recruitment and management of staff.

Staff today are more difficult to manage than ever before, especially millennials. So It’s essential to have proven reward strategies in place to maximize their results and get the most out of them.

In this blog post, I’ll teach you the best 28 reward strategies my team and I have discovered from working with 100s of clinic owners to reward your staff to get maximum results from them when you can't afford to give them a raise. 

Lets get started…

As I mentioned before, employees today are more difficult to manage and keep engaged than ever before. In the past, you could motivate them with financial rewards. Now, they do not just want financial rewards especially millennials. They value and want recognition and to be part of something more than financial rewards.

Many clinic owners struggle with hiring millennials because they don’t understand this one key. According to the Deloitte Millennial Survey, 1 in 4 millennials would quit their job for a better or different offer. And 66% plan on quitting their job by 2020! That’s frustrating considering how much time and effort you put into finding then training them.

My team at CSC is one of the fastest growing healthcare supply companies in Canada and 100% of my employees are millennials.  I only visit my team once every 3 months. They could easily find a higher paying job elsewhere but they stay with me.

If you give them an incredible experience it will build more loyalty than giving them cash. Having millennial employees is like dating. Most of them don't get much attention at home so give them something to make them feel special. These rewards I’ll reveal in a second will. But first what’s the most powerful way to motivate and engage your staff that the world’s most successful companies use?

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It’s a compelling purpose and aligning them with your vision. This will motivate them far more than any financial reward or perk. Financial rewards are only temporary, whereas having a compelling purpose and vision will pick them on up on Mondays and pull them through difficult times. And when a competitor comes trying to steal them away... they'll stay even if they pay more.

A powerful purpose is an unbeatable force that can drive you and your team to dominate your competition. It pulls them toward your goal instead of you having to push and bribe them. That's why people in the military despite being shot on multiple deployments keep going back even though they don't get paid that well.

If you look at any great company. A powerful purpose & vision is what separates good companies from great companies from legacy companies.

Look at Google's purpose: Organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."

Amazon: “To be earth's most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”

A clinic owner I am coaching right now: Impact 30,000 lives and help them avoid pills and surgery AND to donate $100,000 to charity (Women's Transition House)

Plus, a powerful purpose attracts top staff and keeps them. Research shows that it's not the money that millennials seek, it's purpose. Being a part of something bigger than themselves. That's how you motivate and inspire not just millennials but all employees.

Once you have a powerful purpose for your clinic. Next you want to have proven rewards to get the most out them and make them want to keep doing great work for you.

Here’s how to reward your staff where they’ll love you and want to do great work for you.

Here’s a list of proven rewards that you can pick and choose from:

1.) Recognition in front of peers

People love to be recognized and appreciated. One way to do this is to recognize your employee’s achievements during a company meeting, newsletter, or on your company wall. This will make them want to keep doing great work.

2.)  Spot awards

Right when you see an employee do something right, give them a gift card. It doesn’t have to be much, $25-$50 is enough. You can also give them tickets to a sporting or play event.  You can find discount gift cards at sites like Groupon

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3.)  Write them a hand-written note

A handwritten personal note can be a powerful and free way to reward your employees. This can mean a lot to an employee, it shows you care by taking the time to think about them. Just make sure it’s sincere and specific.

4.)  Impromptu time off

Let them leave early or arrive late. Send them a quick email saying it’s a beautiful afternoon so enjoy it!

5.)  Breakfast Treat

Find out your employees favourite breakfast treat. Then bring it in one day.

6.) Team spa or pedicure or manicure day.

7.) Date night with your partner. Free trip to movies and pay for their babysitter.

8.) Pay for gas for a month - I was able to hire great physiotherapists just from this one perk.

9.)  Costco membership – a great one.

10.) Pay for their bus pass

11.) Annual gym membership or bootcamps.

12.) Free trip to Hawaii

13.) Team birthdays and work anniversaries

Other great ones:

14.) Family invites.  Especially for christmas parties.  Most clinics I know don't invite their family members but it’s the one chance to get the spouses on your side and support your clinic during tough times.

15.) Bring-your-dog day

16.) Cover a major expense - not an inexpensive one but a powerful one I wanted to include. if an employee really goes above and beyond. Pay their car payment, mortgage payment, insurance payment, a major home appliance, etc.

17.) Cookies for a cause - if an employee is an active volunteer. Give them a cookie shaped like the charities logo they volunteer at with a thank you note.

18.) Make a charitable donation in their name.

19.) Traveling trophy- whenever an employee does something outstanding give them the traveling trophy. It can be anything from a special hat, golden object, figurine, etc. that goes from employee to employee when they do something great.

20.) Different dress code - let them come to work in jeans.

21.) Post team achievements in break rooms - people love to be recognized.

22.) Secret Santa-style appreciation - put slips of paper with everyone’s name in a bucket. Then tell all staff to draw a name and then write an achievement they have done on it. Then send it to them.

23.) T-Shirt design contest - hold a contest on designing the coolest shirt with your company logo on it. Then choose the winner and wear the shirt on a special day or event.

24.)  Educational investment  (show you are investing in their professional development).

25.)  Praise from a customer - whenever a patient says something good about your staff. Share it with them. Or ask current patients to write down on a note what they love about one of your staff.

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26.) Have coffee shop meetings - a great way to change things up in a relaxed environment. Buy them coffee.

27.) Hidden praise - hide notes of appreciation around their workspace.


28.) Indoor food truck day

On a hot day have someone on your staff wheel around a cart of ice cream and hand it out to everyone. On a cold day push around a "Cocoa Cart" of Hot Chocolate. They'll love this!

Try implementing some of these rewards in your clinic today and watch your employee productivity skyrocket.

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Topics: Hiring & Firing, Clinic Culture


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