6 ways to recognize your medical practice staff this holiday season

Show your hardworking staff that you appreciate everything they do for your medical practice and the patients you serve.
Operations Staffing

The holidays are a great time to show your employees how much you appreciate their hard work. It’s always important to recognize medical practice staff, but it’s essential this year, as many teams have been stretched thin by staffing shortages and affected by burnout.

Here are five ways you can say thank you to your hardworking employees:

1.  Host a holiday party for employees and their families
While hosting a festive breakfast or lunch for staff is a nice way to show that you care, a family-friendly party outside of work hours promotes a culture that values staff members’ lives outside of work. Including employees’ children in those party plans is especially important during school breaks, when social events outside of business hours can create stress for working parents. Make kids feel welcome with fun activities like arts and crafts or a scavenger hunt. A holiday party gives your staff the opportunity to socialize, meet each other’s families and bond over a job well done.

2. Offer personal time off—over the holidays or in the upcoming year
Not every medical practice will be able to give staff extra time off during the holiday season, especially given the staffing challenges many organizations have faced this year. If you’re able to, though, providing additional days off shows your employees that you appreciate their hard work and want to give them an opportunity to rest. That’s an especially valuable benefit if your office remains open on holidays.

Even if you can’t offer time off this calendar year, expanding those types of benefits in the year ahead is a gift employees will be thankful for in the new year. Almost half (45%) of medical groups added or increased benefits for employees in the past year, according to another MGMA Stat poll, with additions and improvements to paid-leave offerings cited as the most common change.

3. Give a holiday bonus
Tried-and-true cash bonuses are a great way to show appreciation—and one that’s generally a hit with employees. But if monetary bonuses are challenging for your medical practice, small-denomination gift cards to coffee shops or other local businesses are still meaningful. 

4. Recognize employees with personalized, specific notes of gratitude
Employees want to feel appreciated—not just for being part of your team but also for their unique contributions to your practice. Rather than sending out generic holiday cards, take the time to send handwritten, personalized thank-you cards that let each employee know that you recognize the value they bring to your practice.

Be sure to include specific examples of how each employee has positively affected you, the organization, your team or your patients. This could include an instance when that individual covered for a sick colleague, stayed late to finish a task or received positive feedback from a patient. Expressing gratitude to your staff can have a profound impact. In fact, one study found that workers recognized within the past month were half as likely to be looking for a new job as those who had not been thanked.

5. Listen to employees’ feedback about how you could better support them
It’s been a tough couple of years for healthcare staff. While much attention rightfully has been paid to the unprecedented stress faced by clinicians, administrative employees also have faced significant challenges and are still feeling the impact of staffing gaps. Consider taking dedicated time to listen to your team’s perspective on their needs and challenges, and make sure they feel connected to your organization’s mission.

6. Help employees focus on the work that matters most
A key cause of administrative staff burnout is feeling overwhelmed and like your work doesn’t matter. However, by automating manual, time-consuming processes—such as appointment scheduling, insurance verification and patient payments—you can give your employees more time to spend on the most fulfilling aspects of their work, such as connecting with patients and meeting their needs.

Learn how Phreesia’s digital tools for intake, access and payments can help your medical practice staff work smarter in the new year.