It’s no secret that most employees don’t like it when their manager comes around.


Because it usually means they’ve done something wrong! Unfortunately many employees say this is the only time they see or hear from their managers.

When we’ve built a culture that supports world-class patient and employee experiences, it’s counterproductive to participate in a “gotcha!” culture – where you’re always looking for things employees are doing wrong. Instead, we need to employ tools that will help nurture and sustain that culture.

This is where a robust On-The-Spot Recognition program comes into play. Our on-the-spot recognition is a process by which we catch employees “doing it right.” This form of positive reinforcement – where employees are recognized immediately for doing the right thing – incentivizes employees to repeat that positive behavior again and again.

The best part of this type of on-the-spot recognition is that this isn’t limited to just managers or supervisors. Any employee can recognize any employee. If one employee sees a co-worker consistently living and demonstrating the organization’s shared values in a way that meets and exceeds customer expectations or that positively impacts a team member, visitor or patient, they should be immediately written up – in a positive way.

So what’s your role as the manager?  Your role is to encourage participation, to highlight good behaviors that have made a great impact, and to gauge and monitor the process for relevancy.

BONUS: Here’s another great point: Most times, and for most people, recognition is its own reward. No prize or little trinket is necessary.

So what kind of culture do you want at your hospital or care facility? One that’s based on a “gotcha” mentality? Or one that supports and positively reinforces employees who are caught doing something right?

Our team works with hospitals and organizations to help them develop an On-The-Spot recognition program as part of an overall strategy to create patient-driven cultural transformations. Learn more here.

I’d love to know what you think. Have you worked for a company or organization that had a “gotcha” mentality? How did it make you and your fellow employees feel? And what can you do to celebrate and reinforce your employees who are doing the right things and living the shared values of your organization on a consistent basis? Please comment below, tweet us at @jakepoore, or send an email to