Your 24/7 hospital may have some quiet times throughout the day (and night) but your employees are always ready to spring into action when needed.
Where most 9-5 jobs can make time for a Friday afternoon social hour, 24-hour facilities don't have a natural break in the work week -- mainly because there really isn't a work "week". So how can you create ways to boost employee morale?
Faced with this arrangement, HR managers at hospitals, treatment centers, and health clinics need to find creative ways to keep morale up no matter what day or time it is. Here's a list of 5 simple activities that can make a big impact on each shift your team works.
Improving Employee Morale at a 24-Hour Hospital
1. Happy Hour at Any Hour for Hospital Workers
Provide fresh, healthy food and nutritious juices, teas -- and yes, coffee -- to revive the team who is leaving and give a smart start to the incoming shift. This can build in a little socializing time for both shifts to relieve some stress and provide bonding time.
Holding an event like this once a week can be something employees look forward to. Just be sure to stagger the event at different days and times so everyone can benefit. And resist the urge to make work-related announcements or info-sessions at these informal gatherings.
2. Colleague-to-Colleague Motivation at 24-Hour Facilities
Just because employees are working opposite shifts, doesn't mean they can't support and encourage each other.
A communal white board in the break room can provide a place for employees to post positive patient stories, successes, funny incidents -- with room for their peers to comment and interact. Like an analog Facebook page, minus the drama. The board can be cleaned once a week, but not before someone takes a picture of it to log the stories.
3. Boost Morale with 24-Hour Gym Access
Most 9-5 workers can strategically plan their gym visits for before or after work. But round-the-clock workers have to get more creative. Having an on-site gym facility -- even with a few simple supplies -- can keep workers healthy and fit at all hours. A treadmill, free weights, and room to stretch can be a great start.
Post a check-in board in the room to allow employees to track their visits and personal goals. Even cross-shift workers can engage in some friendly competition with each other in the gym if they can see each other's progress on the board.
4. Personal Recognition for Hospital Employees
Employees who work round the clock may not get typical access to supervisors and administrators, as a typical 9-5 worker might. Without direct interaction from higher-ups, morale can flag.
Boost morale back up by regularly recognizing employees for achievements, whether big or small. Forego a cash bonus and instead treat the employee to a meal out -- breakfast, lunch, or dinner as their work schedule allows. This memorable experience reminds workers that you recognize them as individuals, not just a part of the herd.
5. Attention to Detail in the Hospital Break Room
Keeping break rooms organized, clean, well-stocked, and nicely decorated can do wonders for morale boosting. Consider also adding these workplace morale boosters to the break room to make it more inviting:
- Free Book Exchange: Employees can take a book home to read, and keep it if they like -- and add any books of their own that they're done with.
- Oxygen Bar: Tired workers can revive on a flavored oxygen bar any time throughout their shift.
- Nap Chair: A dark and quiet corner can be the perfect spot for a comfy recliner -- complete with eye pillows and ear plugs.
- Light Therapy Lamp: Help your employees keep their circadian rhythms on track when they're working all hours with limited access to natural light.