Workers Want to Feel Valued

Just showing appreciation might not be enough. The timing and delivery also matter. Appreciation needs to be personal and meaningful, said Mark Linzer, MD, Vice Chair, Department of Medicine and Director, Institute for Professional Worklife, Hennepin Healthcare, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

He and colleagues studied COVID-related stress and coping mechanisms among US health care workers. They examined intention to reduce work hours and intent to leave in 20,665 diverse health care workers. Among 9,266 physicians, 24% were moderately or more likely to intend to leave in 2 years. Among 2,302 nurses, 40% were intending to leave. In physicians, nurses and advanced practice clinicians, feeling valued by one’s organization was associated with significantly less intention to leave, the investigators reported in Mayo Clinic Proceedings Innovation, Quality & Outcomes. “Thus addressing burnout, fear, mental health concerns, and work overload, as well as having workers feel valued, would all be mechanisms to attempt to reduce intentions to leave the practice and promote worker retention,” said Dr Linzer, Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Brian R. Carlson, Vice President of Patient Experience for Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, said small things can make big differences, such as knowing all the employees names and greeting them each day by name. He advocates checking in to make sure the employees have the tools they need to do their job and that the expectations of their job are clear and understandable.

“Another point is that if people have to work in a bad process and then get blamed for the bad process, they will grow more frustrated. Look at your work processes and evaluate are they efficient and effective for all involved,” Carlson said.

It is important to discover what types of appreciation employees value because everyone is different. For example, some individuals want public appreciation but others would prefer to not be singled out. He said it is best not to use appreciation to create favorites. Being fair and transparent in your distribution of appreciation is vital. Carlson said try to find something to appreciate in everyone who works for the medical practice. “Don’t assume money is the appreciation everyone wants. People want to feel valued and respected and part of something bigger than themselves.”

This article originally appeared on Renal and Urology News