Employee Incentives, Rewards and Results
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Employee Incentives, Rewards and Results

At the UCAOA 2012 Spring Conference, a Caesars Palace Executive spoke about the incentive reward program they established to motivate their staff toward excellent customer service. I immediately thought "YES!” At our urgent care we have always tried to acknowledge staff for special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and recognition days like X-ray Tech or PA day. Continually coming up with new ideas for something of value to individual staff members was problematic. At one winter party we gave a large stack of gifts only to have a staff member tell us the gifts had no value to them. (Jeesh!) The customizable reward program was a concept we could implement at a reasonable cost that was exciting for staff, provided an opportunity to tie performance goals to rewards, and recognizes events more consistently and personally.

Employees are awarded points for various individual or team goals as well as events. Companies, such as awardsnetwork.com, awardpoints.com, loyaltyworks.com, handle the administrative aspects of the program and have a catalog of items that employees can purchase using their accumulated points. Items range from a five day trip for two with airfare included to lawnmowers, dishwashers, blenders and technology items such as iPads, laptops and flat screen TVs.

Our first step in implementation was to set an annual budget and make a list of all the goals and special days or events we could possibly reward for. We have individual goals such as being named positively in a patient satisfaction survey to department goals such as reducing total days of accounts receivable turnover or collecting an increasing percent of patient email addresses for marketing purposes. There are also health and wellness goals to create an incentive for employees to attain and maintain a healthy lifestyle. We even created cards with points that we can hand out for "you got caught doing something exceptional”. After establishing the reward goals, we worked backward to determine the value of a point which only management knows. We continuously work with the awards company to add or delete reward goals based on the current needs of the organization or as goals are accomplished.

To start the program, we sent out flyers to staff and provided kick-off points to get them excited about the concept and to introduce them to our customized reward website. As employees looked through the online catalogue, many found items they wished to save up for while others were interested in smaller items that were within reach after accomplishing just a few goals. One of our employees commented with excitement that, "originally, I thought it would take forever to earn enough points to order something like that [flat screen TV], but I am almost there already!”

Since the inception of the rewards program we have seen improvements in various departments, including billing where we reduced insurance denials and decreased days of accounts receivable turnover. We have had several employees visit their primary care doctor for annual check-ups, receiving points for both the visit itself and for their healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. We have recognized anniversaries with the company and birthdays and provided an opportunity for each employee to select items that bring value to them personally.

In addition to reducing the amount of time and effort spent by administration on gift selection, the rewards program has successfully driven employee performance while simultaneously increasing employee satisfaction and loyalty.

Pamela T. Hassett
Chief Financial Officer & Chief Operating Officer

EmUrgentCare, PLLC

New York

www.EmUrgentCare.com

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