Iowa Specialty Hospital

A View from the Inside

Steve Simonin, CEO


We’ve been trying to focus on reward and recognition at Iowa Specialty Hospitals and Clinics lately.  How do we, in this new era of social media and different expectations, update our 15 to 20 year practice of thanking each other?  Someone mentioned that Casey’s has a reward system when you purchase something or you can use your Hy-Vee card when getting gas to reduce your cost per gallon based upon your purchases.  (I once got free gas and told everybody and posted about it as well.)

Every winter as well, we try and come up with games and challenges to get people motivated to work out … years ago we had a challenge up at the fitness center for the most miles on a cardio machine.  Boy, people were competitive and worked out extra hard.  This was great for those who played along.  

I have a Peloton bike (these are those stationary bikes you see on the commercials that are always in someone’s living room overlooking a lake or mountain … mine is in a storage room).  On the Peloton is a leaderboard that allows you to compete against others on the same ride (usually thousands of other riders across the nation) for output (how hard you are riding).  It lends to the competition and is motivating for me, however, a lot of discussion on the Peloton Facebook site has been “don’t compete, you do you”.  Lots of virtual screaming which is not good in my opinion.  However, there’s also a lot of rewards on Peloton - virtual high fives from other riders saying “hi” or “congrats on a milestone ride (100,200, etc.)”.  And on the Facebook page, people are also compassionate and kind and give a lot of advice.  

My thoughts on recognition at work, in our personal lives, and the communities we are associated with - is it’s tricky.  R&R comes in a variety of forms.  Good ol’ thank you notes sent to the home never gets old.  A “thank you” in person or email or social media is better than no thank you at all.  Recognition in the form of prizes for a job well done - badges, points, recognition on a poster board or computer screen is motivating for some and should be accepted.  So I challenge you to make a list of people in your lives to thank over the next several weeks.  Be intentional, but with meaning.  Who knows, maybe you’ll form a habit?  I know you’ll feel better for passing on the praise.

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