After the industry "baseline rewards" of salary, benefits and a few perks to assure "fairness" are met... then what? David Pink’s book “Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us” may have some new ideas.
According to Pink, the traditional if/then contingency rewards such as cash bonuses are fine for routine, highly controlled jobs. However, contingency rewards no longer as effective for modern jobs that are complex, self-directed and require creative thinking such as those involving on-call scheduling for your physicians!
The problem with a strictly cash reward is that it usually spent in a relatively short period of time and its effect fades away soon thereafter. Such "bonus" type rewards also tend to focus efforts into short-term results and on the reward itself, rather than the long-haul behavior that sustains the organization and that can be an inspirational example to others. Such short term focus also encourages burnout of your scheduling “hero” and does not encourage spreading “how to” knowledge within the on call scheduling team.
According to Pink, what's needed are more "now that you already are doing this… then" type rewards to thank your call scheduling staff for the great job they are already doing.
Here are some general reward criteria for the call-scheduling team, inspired by Pink:
- Rewards in the inform of property, such as household ornaments, create a more lasting effect for the employee. Also, as the staff sees the item in the office, they can remember the reward event and appreciation of hard work. It never fades out of mind the way a cash bonus can.
- The best rewards are something shared, unique, exciting, memorable and valuable but not necessarily expensive. Intangible rewards such as a holiday or 'dinner for two' in a five star restaurant offers great satisfaction for the individual, while the documentation of the event (pictures and certificates) can be displayed for the team.
Team? What team? Don’t forget the backup scheduler or the Physician who runs interference when there is a conflict of opinion regarding who should be taking an assignment or denied a day off!
Here are a few more detailed reward ideas:
1. An inexpensive but meaningful item to display at home or office, such as a signed certificate, or engraved object such as a clock.
2. A service the team can share such in-office gourmet coffee and goodies delivered for a week.
3. Higher-up or public acknowledgement and announcements with pictures of the event for display.
4. Certificate for an experience the employee can share with another, such as the five star dinner for two.
5. Certificate for a local, personal service the employee likes, such as professional massage or car detailing.
6. Certificate to Amazon or StarBucks with $100 on it.
7. Free personal time off in addition to vacation, perhaps an extra Friday afternoon.
8. Hand written note of appreciation, signed by the CEO and mailed to their home
Key Takeaway: Don't forget to reward your exemplary On Call Schedulers in a meaningful way that can inspire others. It’s time to make these “unsung heros” visible to the organization they serve.