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Staffing: 7 Simple Staff Appreciation Ideas

Easy, low-cost ways to let your team know you value them

LUNCH ON US Everyone loves a free meal.

It’s never been more vital to retain your experienced nurses. In just the same fashion as they came, Baby Boomer nurses are leaving the workforce in droves. About one-fourth of all nurses over the age of 54 plan to retire within a year, according to estimates. From someone who recruits nurses for surgical centers and hospitals, here are 7 simple ways to make your nurses feel more appreciated — and maybe make them forget about retiring for a while.

  1. Say thank you … publicly. Everyone loves to be recognized, especially in front of their peers. A private thank you is nice, but a group email or a shout-out in a staff meeting packs more of a punch.
  2. Order personalized mugs. Buy everyone a monogrammed coffee mug with their initials on it, so every time they take a sip, they think of you. With printing sites all over the web, giving a gift like this one is easier than ever.
  3. Hold a nurse-of-the-month contest. Having an award to vote on every month is a great way to strengthen the bonds of your nurses and keep them focused on the positive aspects of patient care. Ask everyone to submit an anonymous ballot with a written explanation to back up their votes. At the end of the month, announce the winner and read why her peers voted for her.
  4. Cater a meal. Buying lunch for the staff every now and then can go a long way. Ordering trays of food and sandwiches is a great way to demonstrate that you notice their hard work. Plus, who doesn’t love a free meal?
  5. Host quarterly, off-site meetings. Take the time to take your staff away from the OR and meet as peers and friends. Use outside environments to establish stronger bonds between co-workers and help them relax around their bosses and supervisors. Activities like hiking or rock-climbing make for great team-building exercises and give everyone the opportunity to let their hair down a little without the added pressure of being at work.

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