September 02, 2008 | | Comments 2
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Make it fun … and improve your environment!

This is a practical idea that can easily be implemented in any unit:

Who is your one staff member who LOVES taking pictures (it seems every unit has at least one!). Ask him or her to take candid digital shots of staff (but be careful to avoid patient faces). Print photos that are large enough to be seen from a distancea mix of 8×10 and 11×14 works well. Purchase an assortment of frames that complement each other. Check craft and hobby stores, larger chain stores, or perhaps you can ask your corporate buyer to suggest an approved vendor.

Hang the pictures in a collage design in your departmentNOT in the staff break room. The idea is to choose a wall easily seen. You want your patients and visitors to know this is a great place to work. You want potential employees to know your department takes pride in recognizing each other. And you want your staff to feel celebrated and appreciated.

Periodically rotate the photos so newer staff members have as much “exposure” as the old timers!

What are some other ways to celebrate and appreciate staff?

And lastly, here is an interesting thought to ponder:
“Three people were working at a construction site. All were doing the very same job, but when each was asked, “What is your job?,” their answers varied. “Breaking rocks,” the first one said. “Earning my living,” said the second one. The third person said, “I’m helping to build a cathedral.”

(Peter Schultz, former CEO, Porsche; as cited in 1001 Ways To take Initiative At Work).

Entry Information

Filed Under: Retention


Bonnie Clair About the Author: Bonnie Clair, MSN, RN currently works as Retention Project Manager at CoxHealth in Springfield, MO. Her clinical background includes nursing management, nursing education administration and neonatal flight team. Her bedside nursing experience is comprised of Med Surg, NeuroScience and 15 years in the NICU. She has facilitated development and implementation of a clinical ladder for staff RNs and worked on a steering committee to implement Shared Governance in her health system. Other recent projects include designating parking spaces close to the hospital for pregnant staff and organizing a bi-monthly reunion event for employees reaching their 90th day of employment. She is passionate about nurse retention and relevant nursing education. You may contact her at

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  1. I love the idea of taking pictures of staff to display. We are working on an idea that might be fun. We are going to have a “message board” on each unit. When a peer, a manager, or a patient/family sees a staff member going the extra mile, he/she will write it on a paper cut out to be placed on the board for display to everyone. The cut-outs will reflect the season, such as, leaves for fall, hearts for Valentines, etc. At the end of each month, the notes will be removed. A copy will go to the employee’s file, the original to the employee with a small gift (candy bar or trinket) and his or her name will be drawn for a prize. The prize winners will be announced in the hospital newsletter.

  2. Bonnie Clair

    Hi Carolee ~
    AWESOME idea! Thanks a bunch for sharing it. I love using seasons as a means to keep the board current, and changing it out each month is a wonderful way to keep the recognition frsh and updated.

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