Recognition creates resilience and health

Blog by Kristin Tesmer, President, DFW Hospital Council Foundation

We have quite a bit of work underway locally through educational events and collaboration to address clinician burnout. Our goal is to create work environments that promote resilience and health within our valuable employees.

We recently conducted a survey to obtain data on this subject. Three in 10 of the respondents cited a “lack of support or recognition from leadership” as fueling their burnout. Through collaboration with North Texas hospitals, we hope to encourage people to simply say “thank you” when our staffs do their jobs well. Research shows companies with high-recognition cultures benefit from less turnover and better performance. This is likely due to less stressful environments and the always-welcome expressions of gratitude enabling our staffs to better cope with the demands they face on a daily basis.

Last year, Deloitte U.S., a national professional services company, announced a year-end shutdown for all employees. This “collective disconnect” between Christmas and New Year’s provided welcome recognition of employees for their hard work. To celebrate the 200th birthday of founder William Welch Deloitte, the company repeated the “thank-you” with another collective week off in February.

Certainly, a hospital environment is different from a national corporation as we must care for our patients 24/7. But discovering creative ways to allow our dedicated employees time away from the stressors of patient care can only benefit our workforce.

In the July 31, 2018 Harvard Business Review article “How Managers Can Prevent Their Teams from Burning Out,” Jen Fisher recommends three strategies to prevent burnout in colleagues at work. They include encouraging time off from work, expanding wellness programs and “creating a culture of recognition.”

On April 25, North Texas hospitals demonstrated their “culture of recognition” by participating in the DFW Hospital Council Foundation’s Annual Employee of the Year Luncheon. It was a joy to host our many nominees as our hospital leaders learned about their heroic deeds and great dedication. Thank you for taking just a few hours out of the year to honor these outstanding team members for their lifetime of tireless work.

In our quest to lead others, we must remind ourselves why we serve our patients. I hope you found joy in learning of the accomplishments of this year’s nominees and you will join us in continuing this “culture of recognition” tradition in 2020.