The healthcare sector is one of the few industries that, despite the current economic decline, has a high-volume of job openings. While the high level of vacancies encourages a variety of people to consider joining the healthcare sector, many of the personal traits required for healthcare professions are behavioral-based competencies. Not everyone possesses the compassion and adaptability required to work in long-term care, which makes recruiting for this industry a major challenge. Behavioral assessments can aid HR and hiring managers in identifying top candidates, but once they hire the perfect candidates for job roles, they must ensure that their employees meet or exceed their performance appraisal goals.

Once employers have identified and nurtured their top-performing employees, they must sustain their interests to ensure high levels of employee satisfaction and avoid the financial losses associated with turnover of continuing care workers. Employers with tightening budgets may find it more difficult to sustain their high-performing employees’ interests by providing financial incentives. “Management must think beyond monetary compensation and reward employees’ efforts in alternate ways,” said Dr. Frederick Morgeson, Eli Broad Professor of Management at Michigan State University and Scientific Advisor at HealthcareSource. He suggests the following six non-monetary ways to reward employees:

1.  Offer Meaningful Incentives

Incentives, however small, can go a long way towards keeping high-performing healthcare professionals motivated. By using performance management software to identify hard-working staff and provide them with rewards, employers can effectively demonstrate the types of behavior and performance expected from staff, reinforcing these values to the entire workforce. Free tickets to local events, acquired through the generosity of business contacts willing to act as sponsors, are a popular alternative to monetary incentives. They provide employees with the chance to enjoy some much-needed leisure time, courtesy of their employer.

2.  Provide Statements of Achievements

Trophies, certificates, and/or handwritten statements of achievement can help to boost morale in the workplace, and serve as ways to recognize employees who have achieved good attendance records, met or exceeded productivity targets, and provided exceptional standards of care. This helps set an example for other employees who are coming up short when it comes to exceeding expectations.

3.  Offer Positive Feedback 

Positive, constructive feedback can help staff maintain their positive attitudes. While many managers provide ample feedback when things go wrong, they must acknowledge that positive feedback is also essential for those who have demonstrated high levels of commitment and performance. “Decades of research have shown that positive reinforcement is the best way to make sure a behavior will continue in the future. Positive feedback can be very motivational and most organizations need more of it,” said Morgeson. Providing feedback on a consistent basis is imperative to make this successful; performance management software enables managers to coach their employees on a regular basis by creating an online dialogue that compliments their in-person performance reviews.

However, when it comes to performance reviews, the management of performance appraisals can pose a significant challenge, and many employers would rather push this chore to the side to avoid the reams of paperwork appraisals generate. Healthcare performance management software simplifies performance and competency management by automating the process through reminders, checklists and reporting. With the employee performance review process online, the workload on HR and hiring managers is reduced so that they can focus on positive feedback and mentoring.

4.  Grant Greater Autonomy

Workers who make their own choices in the workplace will be more satisfied and productive than those who do not. Granting greater autonomy in the workplace can take on many forms and may include allowing employees to set their own agendas and choosing the best way in which to perform their work.

5.  Ask for Opinions

When employers ask their staff for their opinions and act upon their suggestions, they’ll be more likely to be happy with organizational changes. Employers can also use employee satisfaction surveys as a way to pick out their most vocal and thoughtful employees and position them as experts, complimenting them on their high levels of knowledge, and offering them more visibility in the workplace.

6.  Create Opportunities to Improve Social Interactions

Healthcare employees work hard, and rarely have a chance to socialize in the workplace. Introducing staff to senior management and stakeholders can help shape their careers and improve social interactions. Once you recruit the best candidates and retain top employees, healthcare organizations must ensure that they are fostering an environment where employees feel satisfied with their work.

It’s often said that an employee leaves the people, not the job. The financial incentives will not always be available to sustain your high-performing employee’s interests and keep them satisfied in their role but the opportunity to improve social interactions is always there. Long term care organizations must start to think outside the box when it comes to improving employee satisfaction.


Download the Employee Accountability Initiatives White Paper to explore the driving forces behind the push for employee accountability and implementation initiatives specifically built for healthcare organizations.  

Meghan Doherty

About Meghan Doherty

Meghan Doherty is a content marketing professional based in the Greater Boston area. She has more than five years of experience creating and managing content for SaaS companies in the healthcare and talent management spaces.