Showing staff appreciation is one of the most rewarding ways to engage with a team. During a crisis, even the smallest gesture of thanks can go a long way. As healthcare workers – from nurses to accounting departments to medical records staff – all carry a heavy burden brought on by COVID-19, clinical and hospital administrators should consider taking a moment to check in and show their teams their efforts are appreciated.

One of the easiest ways to show your team support is to recognize milestone events with your employees. Birthdays, work anniversaries, team successes are all great reasons to pause and celebrate with your team.

Be sure to pay attention to extra efforts and recognize staff during this time of added stress. This advice applies to more than the doctors and nurses working directly with patients. Consider including team members from the medical records department, radiologists, pharmacists, dining services, and facilities staff. There’s no need to pull out all the stops for a grand gesture. Instead, focus on showing heartfelt, genuine appreciation. Something as simple as a handwritten or emailed message of thanks can have a big impact on morale.

Consider a company social media post thanking each department for their efforts on a particular challenge. If a patient or guest shares a special word of thanks about a staff member, make sure those kind words get passed along.

In addition, encourage team members to show appreciation for each other. Saying “thank you” has the power to energize a team in the face of adversity and create a more positive environment.

Some non-emergency clinics and offices may be experiencing a decrease in work, with employees facing layoffs. While these decisions are immensely difficult for leadership, one way to show appreciation is to regularly check in with furloughed staff. Let these team members know you’re thinking about them and be sure to communicate any updates regarding their employment or other relevant changes with the organization.

Another way to express gratitude is to share reminders of existing resources offered by your organization. Post flyers or send emails detailing what’s including in a company employee assistance program and highlight any services that might be especially helpful during this time, such as mental health resources.

Create a list of recommended self-care habits and distribute to your teams. Ensure you’re following the CDC’s suggestions to optimize the PPE available at your practice. Remind workers to rest between shifts and take breaks to recharge. Pay attention to staff’s mental health, too. If team members are showing outward signs of stress, check in and offer support.

Lastly, if your organization is overwhelmed due to COVID-19, consider engaging a third-party service for assistance with release of information and medical records management. As patient needs surge, so does the need for efficient medical records support. Outsourced release of information or medical records services can provide much-needed relief for overwhelmed medical records staff, or for nurses and other care providers who may otherwise be tasked with this extra work on top of COVID-19. Medical providers asked to help with records management tasks might even become limited in their ability to focus on patient care. If your organization needs additional support for HIM services, reach out to us for more information.

When it comes to staff appreciation, there’s no wrong way to say thank you. Consider trying out a combination of options over time to find what works best for your organization.

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