Annual holiday party and staff recognition event
By Natasha Mohr
In the last couple of years, there has been some debate about whether or not “Administrative Professionals Day” (celebrated annually on the Wednesday during Administrative Professionals Week, the last full week of April), may be a bit antiquated or according to some (like Wikipedia and US News) even offensive. Without indulging in this debate, we do believe that whether it is acknowledged as a day to celebrate admins or a day to celebrate support staff, that these folks are absolutely essential to quality patient care!
You are probably already great at consistently saying “thank you” around your office. After all, you know your staff does a lot of things for which you are grateful. While it is certainly nice to hear the words, sometimes in the midst of the daily grind, a more personal gesture can add a beautiful exclamation point to the sentiment.
Here are 20 unique and personal ways you can express your gratitude for your staff:
1. Pass out simple, handwritten notes about something specific to each person.
2. Make a sign with your own hands that greets patients as they walk in the office. (I think our staff rocks! Dr. Kenkare)
3. Catch people helping out their peers and acknowledge them by giving them a small goody. This lets them know their kindness/teamwork did not go unnoticed.
4. Tell your patients something you appreciate about the nurse or staff member they are speaking with as you walk by or are with them in a patient room. (“Hi, Joe. You may not know this, but not only does Conor work here full-time, but he’s also a really good musician. Sometimes he plays at the wine bar on 12th and Farnam. It’s worth a listen!”)
5. Friday Happy Hour, anyone? Don’t schedule patients the last hour of the day. Bring in a hummus and veggie tray, a cheese board and some crackers and some wine and cider. Give your staff a happy hour kicked off with a special toast of gratitude. Knowing this is from you will make it very special.
6. Place decorative pieces of paper (one for each staff member) on the walls of the break room. On the paper, write three things you appreciate about each person. Invite the rest of the staff to add to your work. (Joe: Always goes the extra mile. Detail oriented. Kind.)
7. Buy a new Keurig machine for the office and a stash of delicious coffee fixings. Add a shiny bow and a handwritten thank you note.
8. Offer to help complete a task that may be a bit tedious for your staff. Spend 20 minutes prepping instrument trays for the next day, wiping down patient beds, counting inventory, or folding the laundry.
9. Make homemade goodies!
10. Send flowers—a beautiful bouquet of flowers (whether hand cut or purchased) and a note of gratitude will brighten up both the day and the office.
11. Write a poem and post it in a high-traffic area. Don’t worry, poet laureate status not required . . . Roses are red, violets are blue, you guys are awesome – I appreciate you!
12. Actively listen. Invite a staff member to join you for a coffee break and ask about how things are going for him/her.
13. Give your time or resources to a cause your staff cares about. Volunteer your time, then send a photo with a note about what you gained from the experience and thank participants for sharing their passion.
Employees give back to staff-favorite non-profits, like Open Door Mission, with quarterly volunteer service days.
14. Gift some learning. Offer financial reimbursement to anyone who chooses to enroll in a community education course of their choosing. Then ask them about what they are learning—you’ll probably learn something, too!
15. Hire an instructor (yoga, kickboxing, spin, Zumba, etc.) to do a series of three private classes for you and your staff. They say the staff that plays together stays together!
16. Adjust your clinic schedule so everyone gets 15 minutes a day outside of their lunch to breathe, read a book, put their feet up, or grab an apple…whatever recharges their battery!
17. Make a “thank you” video; Email it to your staff as a surprise when they dig into their inboxes in the morning.
18. Ask your staff if there is an item that might make their jobs easier and then provide it for them: A specific training, new photocopier, or new stylus pens for the iPads. You might not be able to offer them a new laser, but hearing the feedback and searching for reasonable solutions is really the point.
19. Keep a running list of things that happen during the workday for which you are grateful—large or small. At the end of the week, share your list with your staff.
20. Plan a fun outing on company time. Rock climbing or a group cooking or painting class are good ideas. If you have staffers who are all into pedicures, go nuts! There are plenty of options!
Try one or a combination – but definitely try something!
Good luck and leave us a note – we’d love to hear how it goes!
Taking a break! Teams go all out for the Halloween potluck and costume contest
Grazie: 20 Unique Ways to Thank Your Staff – Practical Dermatology, August 2016, on-line archive