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Hospital Recognition System Gets Recognition Done Right

“The La Porte Regional Health System (LRHS) mission statement highlights our desire to excel in customer service. LRHS established Customer Care Standards of Behavior to communicate the specific employee behaviors required to provide excellent service to internal and external customers.  The five Customer Care Standards of Behavior are 1) Integrity, 2) Commitment, 3) Timeliness of Service, 4) Communication, and 5) Appearance.

LRHS’ Caught You Caring (CYC) Recognition System was designed to recognize employees, volunteers and members of our medical staff for providing services above and beyond the high standards of care linked to the Customer Care Standards.  The recognition procedure is simple—when you see a peer providing services above and beyond—you complete a CYC form that identifies the employee, the Standard of Behavior exhibited, and a description of the action being recognized.  It’s so simple!

CYC forms can be used for all levels of accomplishments—from a simple thank you to saving a life.

The TAG (Thanks, Appreciation, Gratitude) team facilitates the Caught You Caring Employee Recognition System to further celebrate with those who display “extraordinary” behaviors. The TAG Team is comprised of front-line staff members from such diverse areas as Nursing, Environmental Services, Wellness Resource Center, VNA Home Care Services, Accounting, Patient Registration, Community Health Center, and Information Services--to name a few. Every team member serves for a two-year period. Consequently, each year half the group retires and new members are brought on board. The rotation of team members ensures a good supply of fresh ideas.

When the TAG Team first convened to create the LRHS recognition system, they set in stone their belief that recognition should be instant and available, with no limits on the number of employees who should be recognized. When an employee behaves in a way that deserves to be recognized, that behavior should be noted immediately in a meaningful way.

The TAG Team reviews all the forms that are submitted.  The forms are categorized as a) Thank-you, b) Star Performer, c) Super Star.  Star Performers and Super Stars are recognized publicly at the quarterly TAG Team celebration. All employees are invited to attend our 15-20 minute celebrations that highlight our Star and Super Star Performers. Those recognized are surprised in front of their peers as their CYC story is read. This is a very powerful, yet very low-cost recognition plan. Stars are given label pins, balloons and certificates, and have their photo taken for the company website and included in a card sent home to the recipients so that they can share their recognition with their family and friends. TAG Team members work with department directors before the celebration to ensure that no Star and Super Star recipients miss a celebration. The team also coordinates on-the-road celebrations—in-department visits to an employee who could not attend the celebrations or prefer to be recognized privately.

The recognition system has grown substantially since its inception in 2000.  Most recently, the 14 Forces of Magnetism were incorporated into the Caught You Caring Employee Recognition form.   The goal of the integration was to heighten awareness of the likeness between LRHS’ five Customer Care Standards of Behavior and the 14 Forces of Magnetism.

LRHS’ 5 Standards of Behavior-- Integrity, Commitment, Timeliness, Communication, Appearance--reflect our commitment to exceptional customer service by which we perform our jobs everyday.  Our Magnet™ Designation reaffirms the hard work and dedication of our entire staff and reinforces the core values by which we perform our jobs everyday.”

Debra Baughman Director, Leadership & Development
La Porte Regional Health System
La Porte, IN 


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