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The 10 Best Employee Appreciation Gifts for Medical Staff


Healthcare workers are some of the hardest-working people in the world. From nurses and doctors to receptionists and human resources, everyone has a critical role to play in patient care.


However, the last few years have proven that healthcare worker burnout is at an all-time high, and retention is at an all-time low. Healthcare practices are looking for smart ways to improve their employee experience, reduce burnout, and rebuild healthy workplace cultures.


Employee recognition programs are one of the best ways to express gratitude to your medical staff. Learn why employee recognition is so important in healthcare, plus 10 great gift ideas to help your staff feel the love.

Why does employee recognition matter in healthcare?


Employees are more engaged when they feel that their work matters. In fact, recognition is a key driver for medical staff engagement.


Regular recognition and team building can create a strong sense of community and camaraderie at your hospital. Medical staff who engage in a larger community are less likely to experience workplace burnout.


Burnout and work dissatisfaction often lead to turnover, which costs healthcare organizations money and time, not to mention morale issues. Since burnout now affects 60% of medical workers, recognition is more important than ever.


Burnout, dissatisfaction, and disengagement aren’t just cultural problems. They can have a tangible, negative impact on your business:

  • According to the 2022 NSI National Healthcare Retention & RN Staffing Report, the average hospital turnover rate in 2021 was 25.9% — a 6.4% increase over the previous year.

  • The average cost of turnover across all occupations in the healthcare industry can cost as much as 150% of a mid-level employee’s salary.

  • In the past five years, hospitals turned over an average of 100.5% of their staff; 95.5% of these terminations were voluntary.

  • Registered nurses (RNs) are leaving the workforce at an alarming rate. The RN turnover rate in 2021 was 27.1%. The average turnover cost of an RN was more than $46,000.

While healthcare managers search for ways to reduce attrition or burnout, it’s easier to develop innovative ways to retain your team. Building a culture of recognition and appreciation can go a long way to improving the employee experience.


Plus, employee engagement can also help you recruit top talent, keep your current workers happy, and maximize patient safety. It’s a true win-win.


10 popular employee appreciation gifts for medical staff


Pizza parties are fun, but the best employee recognition programs offer tangible, long-lasting gifts for your team.


While an employee recognition program won’t solve every issue in your business, you can thoughtfully integrate gifts into a cultivated culture of recognition. These 10 gift ideas are the perfect way to show your staff how much you value their contributions.


1. Custom care packages


Custom care packages are like a hug in a box. With a boxed experience, you can create a complete experience through a selection of curated items.


For example, you can develop a “Breathe” box for your ER nurses that contain:

From vacation-themed boxes to delicious kits for foodies, you can create a truly special, memorable care package for your team. Consider doing this every quarter basis to delight your employees regularly.

2. Fun (and functional) socks


Colorful socks bring a smile to everyone’s face, but branded socks can take it to the next level. You can even opt for medical-grade compression socks with fun themes. They don’t look like your typical compression socks, but they offer amazing relief for your nurses’ sore, aching feet.


3. Personal care bundle


Part of working in a healthcare environment is washing your hands — a lot. Don’t discount the value of a heavy-duty hand lotion for your employees.


Take this a step further and offer your team luxurious, name-brand lotions in a personal care bundle. For example, you can gift them a Burt’s Bees bundle with lotion, hand salve, and lip balm.


4. Insulated water bottle


An insulated water bottle is ideal for busy healthcare workers who want to keep their drinks at the perfect temperature. This popular stainless steel bottle keeps drinks piping hot for eight hours and refreshingly cold for 16 hours. Looking for those coveted 40 oz. tumblers with a straw and handle? We have that on-the-go style, too.


5. Portable massager


Nothing soothes tense muscles quite like massage therapy. While you can certainly endow your team with massage gift cards, massage guns also make fantastic employee appreciation gifts.


Try electric massage guns, heated neck and back combos, or luxury shiatsu foot massagers to give your employees’ sore muscles a break. Looking for a retail brand item like the Theragun for a higher-end recognition piece? No problem.


6. Diffuser and essential oils


It can be tough for medical workers to unwind after a long day of work. Give your team the gift of peace with a diffuser and essential oil kit. This bamboo option is stylish, quiet, and allows for customization. Why not throw in a few essential oils with this gift so your team can craft their own creations?


7. Personalized penlight


Penlights are essential items for medical professionals. This one is made from sturdy aluminum alloy and has a bright light with a long battery life. For extra wow power, engrave the pen with your company logo, a special message, or the employee’s name.


8. Relax sleep kit


Sometimes it's hard for healthcare providers to fall asleep after a stressful day. Acknowledge your hard-working medical staff by gifting them this relaxing sleep kit, which includes lavender spray, calming hand lotion, and a soft eye mask.

9. Cooler bag with snacks


Who doesn’t love snacks? You want your medical staff to keep up their energy, so supply them with fun, filling snacks to keep them going strong throughout the day. Gift your team a branded cooler bag filled with popcorn, nuts, chips, and other goodies. If you want to send something sweet to your team, these branded cookie canisters are a delicious and bright option!


10. Fitness gifts


You value your employees’ health, so why not show it with fitness-themed recognition gifts? Bundle a few fitness-themed products to show employees you care. Branded yoga mats, digital fitness smart bands, and antimicrobial towels are popular crowd-pleasers.

Change your culture: Recognize your healthcare staff


If you want to boost employee engagement and retain more of your staff, recognition is key. Awards, plaques, and kudos can go a long way, and promotional products are a smart way to help employees feel appreciated. Done right, employee recognition campaigns with branded merchandise can reduce operating costs, boost productivity, and increase the quality of patient care.


Originally posted by our partner, Boundless, on April 12, 2023

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