By Anesta Henry
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) has launched a monthly Employee Recognition Programme to honour staff for their hard work, dedication and going the extra mile to deliver patient care.
Delivering remarks at the inaugural awards held at the QEH Auditorium on Tuesday, Executive Chairman Juliette Bynoe-Sutherland said such an initiative is pivotal simply because only those within the organisation understand what it truly takes to deliver patient care to the public.
She stressed that employees understand the times of plenty, scarcity, as well as the creativity, professional skills, ingenuity, collyfoxing, and sacrificing that it takes to make QEH work.
Bynoe-Sutherland said reward and recognition programmes are important to increase motivation for workers to maintain a positive attitude, encourage friendly competition, improve productivity, and also boost employee retention as satisfied workers are less likely to leave or complain and are most likely to deliver the best service or patient care.
“But forgive me if I dwell on a lesson that I have learnt over the past three years and why I pushed so hard on this event. The QEH organisational culture is a work in progress, we are trying to create a culture of open and effective communication between ourselves and with our patients.
“We are seeking to maintain a unified purpose and build and sustain a culture of excellence. Our culture will not be changed by mandates from the board or directives from management. What QEH has taught me, what all of you in this room teach us, is that a positive organisational culture is built by inculcating in each and every employee the sense that their words and actions make a difference,” she said.
Suggesting that employees are motivated when commended for a job well done, the Executive Chairman said the 64-plus employees honoured at the inaugural event were chosen because of their deliberate choice to give of themselves, rise against their own personal circumstances and to give to the people of Barbados.
Noting that there are not yet many hospitals on the island where healthcare professionals can trade their skills, Bynoe-Sutherland said for many, working at QEH is the goal.
“Therefore, we are compelled to do all that we can to build recognition into the fabric and sinews of the organisation. This event is just one corporate measure for executive directors to celebrate their teams. Peer recognition is equally important.
“We are going to continue with our annual Peer Recognition event, the RESPECT Awards where team members vote and recognise other team members, as recognition from co-workers can be equally as important, and it’s really important to get staff engaged in celebrating and recognising others.
“In building this culture of recognition – a radio shout out, a thank-you card, handwritten notes, or an anonymous gift can have tremendous power in showing authentic appreciation. It is also important to recognise that some of your employees love the spotlight and others are much more private so recognition can be tailored to the individuals,” she said.
Employees were honoured for various contributions to patient care and for keeping the facility functioning even during challenging times.
Groups from several departments were recognised for the significant role they played, going beyond the call of duty and working long hours, to ensure QEH systems kept running during the cyber-attack on the hospital’s information technology systems. [email protected]