Beat Down Burnout

Recognition, Rewards & Burnout

Have you heard about ‘The Great #Resignation?’ Most of us have by now. It’s already cliché to scratch our heads and ask why. Yet, why are people leaving their jobs? More than once, I’ve had a CEO tell me that if people are leaving their jobs, it’s almost never about money. That got me thinking. As an Executive #Coach who works in #healthcare and deals with burnout, I went back to the basics of #burnout and how that applies to healthcare. I went back to #Maslach’s 6 factors of burnout. Her fourth factor is a lack of #rewards and #recognition. This makes total sense to me. If people don’t feel recognized, and appreciated for the work they’re doing, they’ll seek a workplace where they are appreciated. They will literally plan for recognition and reward. As a codebreaker certified IOS coach and licensed trainer, I wondered what recognition looked like to the four different B.A.N.K. personality types. How do they want to be appreciated and rewarded, if not through money? Furthermore, how could this information become a system to retain staff?


We’ll start with the Blueprint personality type, for a couple of reasons. The Blueprint is the first personality type in the B.A.N.K. system (which stands for Blueprint, Action, Nurturing and Knowledge). Secondly, I’ve recently learned that the Blueprint is the type most prone to burnout, due to them being driven by a need to follow all the rules, do everything perfectly, and be responsible for everything and everyone. Blueprints value responsibility, duty, rules, credentials, titles, and processes. Recognition to someone like this often means getting the titles and credentials for the job they’re actually doing, not just the job someone thinks they’re doing, for they are often doing far more than is seen. The words, “Well done,” go a long way.


You won’t get off that easily with the Action personality type. They value attention, excitement, winning and fun. The want recognition that puts them center stage. Attention, attention, attention. Shower them with accolades every chance you get. They’ll want their name on things like a parking space, their office door, a placard on their desk, wherever you can think to display it. All these things excite them and make them feel like they’re winning. This will make them more likely to stay at your organization if you look for opportunities to do this and keep doing it.


The Nurturing personality type deals in relationship currency over money. People matter more to them than finances. They also value personal growth, #significance, teamwork, and community. Their sense of ethics and morality is high. It’s their emphasis on significance that prompted me to write this article. They want their life’s work to be significant. They want to make a difference in this world. They also want to be recognized for the change they are making in the world around them. If they aren’t being recognized for their significance, they’ll go elsewhere. They know their value and they will work for someone who recognizes it. Recognition for them comes in the form of acknowledging the team (please not a pizza party, more on that later), words of kindness and encouragement, motivational posters and phrases, or other things that encourage personal growth such as helping them form a book club.


The knowledge type values logic, self-mastery, expertise, competence, accuracy, and intelligence. From childhood, they’ve always been the person with all the right answers, which puts incredible stress on them to continue to be right all the time. My guess is they’re #2 on the list for burnout by personality type. Recognition for them means acknowledging their expertise. Many hospitals have done away with Doctor Day and changed it to Provider Day, which does the exact opposite. It devalues their expertise and the years invested into that expertise. They need recognition for their competence, and the time spent building their mastery. If there is a technology issue, they need support that is backed by true experts in the field. They need to know that their expertise is always backed up by competent support people and that you have their back in that way. They need to know that disagreements won’t be based on opinion and innuendo, but on facts and science. This is how you can reward the Knowledge type and be supportive of them.


Here’s the thing. We know that certain cultures lean more toward one personality type than another. For example, Japan is primarily Blueprint. Hawaii is more Nurturing. This is true of certain industries and professions as well. Law is mostly Blueprint. Healthcare is mostly Nurturing. What does this mean in terms of what we just discussed? What is our learning opportunity here and what actions can we take?


Remember, I said that the Nurturing type wants to be recognized for their significance. This was the reason I chose this topic. Right now, everyone in healthcare is starving to be recognized for their significance. From the CEO to the housekeeper and the security guard. They need words of kindness and encouragement. I know that seems obvious, and yet it isn’t happening. Not on the level that it’s needed. You see, you can’t pour out of an empty teapot and that’s what we’re asking these folks to do. Your ability to care is like a bank account. These people have been giving and giving and giving. They gave much more over the last two years than they had budgeted. They’re hearts and souls are overdrawn. The deposits haven’t kept up. Motivational posters only work if you huddle around them and speak about them on a regular basis, or if they’re a part of the CEO’s daily walk-through. Can this all be done via email? Yes. Will it be effective? No.


Team recognition speaks to the Nurturing type, so it does need to happen. That alone isn’t enough. You must follow up with one-on-one conversations with people. You don’t have to be the CEO or any administrator to do this. Anyone can be a leader and take the time to talk to the people around you and encourage them, check up on them, make sure they are okay. You also need to have rewards specific to each personality type, as I outlined previously.


Food is a great motivator, as well as a team activity and a way to build community. However, we are healthcare. If we’re going to give our people food, let’s make it healthy food. Let’s not give food that promotes T2DM or PCO. Please. For that matter, if you have people doing shift work, take a long hard look at their food options and the timing of those options. You may be saving their lives when you do. Shift work should not be a death sentence. If you have people doing shift work, it is your responsibility to make that environment as healthy as possible. Then, the rewards and recognition come on top of that.


This may seem like a lot, however none of this is expensive except for the shift work part. Most of this is a shift in your mindset and your heartset. You can do this. Remember, I’m here if you need help.

Nanette Nuessle