The Healing Power of Recognition

The North Memorial Health system employs more than 5,000 Team Members[1] at two hospitals and 25 clinics across the greater Minneapolis – St. Paul area. Serving more than 55,000 customers monthly, their mission is “empowering our customers to achieve their best health.” With a strong focus on the patient experience, their annual Team Member survey indicated that there were opportunities for improvement in the Team Member experience, particularly in the area of recognition.

With little to no educational materials or appreciation tools available to Team Members, it was agreed upon that the best approach was a one-stop recognition website. The website is accessible to all North Memorial Health Team Members and includes three areas of focus: education, best practices and recognition tools. We called it Recognition Central.

Employee Engagement
Brand Identity
Internal Culture


A Recognition Basics section explains how Team Member recognition correlates to higher engagement, reduced turnover, increased revenues, greater customer satisfaction, and even improved wellness outcomes. For example, the cost of turnover for a bedside RN ranges from $37,700 to $58,400 per team member, resulting in the average hospital losing between $5.2 and $8.1 million each year.[2]

Best Practices

More than 50 best practices are shared, ranging from quick tips, to formal and informal recognition ideas, to peer-to-peer suggestions. Here’s one example: Designate a wall in a break room or shared space as the Wall of Fame for your Team Members. Ask Team Members to post accolades, thank you notes, and stories of the great work they see their colleagues doing.


A library of eCards, downloadable certificates, and thank you cards was developed to spotlight Team Members for living the values, different milestone moments such as birthdays and service anniversaries, Team Member of the Month, and other achievements. All content is customizable, including language.

RSW built a branded icon system to be used for both promoting the site and the materials themselves.


While updated employee survey results are pending, website usage has been substantial. In the first six months since launch, more than 5,000 Team Members logged in, viewing 51,000 pages, sending over 10,000 eCards, and downloading 2,000+ certificates and thank you cards.

[1]Team Members refers to employees at North Memorial Health locations.
[2]2016 National Healthcare Retention & RN Staffing Report