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Beyond a Pat on the Back: The Power of Workplace Recognition in Nurses' Mental Health

Updated: Dec 8, 2023


The importance of workplace recognition in maintaining good mental health

When we are genuinely passionate about something, we are willing to put in a lot of hard work, no matter how challenging. And, sometimes, at the detriment of our mental and physical health.


It can feel disappointing not to receive proper recognition and appreciation for the hard work you do each day. This can be especially disheartening in high-pressure jobs such as nursing, where people give so much of themselves to their profession and their patients.


 

In this article, we are going to explore why workplace recognition is crucial for maintaining good mental health.



1 - Increased productivity

When employees come to work feeling valued and appreciated, they will be motivated to continue working hard and strive to improve the quality of their work every day without hesitation. They will feel naturally productive and seek to do more to receive the same appreciation for their work.


2 - Increased employee satisfaction

Reassurance plays a considerable role in maintaining the quality of work from employees. As a worker, knowing you are doing your job well and meeting expectations in the form of job recognition gives you job security, a feeling of accomplishment, and wanting to carry on being the best you can be.


3 - Creates a safe work environment

When all employees' needs and worries are heard, validated, and acted upon, it creates an empowered and appreciative workforce that wants to establish good working practices and improve on procedures and routines that are already in place.


4 - Improves psychological well-being

Being part of an organisation that doesn't validate your well-being feels overwhelming and stressful. If you feel undervalued, overworked, and unappreciated at work, you are at higher risk of developing work-related stress, anxiety, and depression. You may even begin to struggle to maintain your daily working routine. If you feel heard, valued, and needed at your job you will be happy to show up every day and work hard.



5 - Increases employees retention

If employees feel appreciated for the quality work they provide, they will feel more loyal to the company and more inclined to stay in that job for a more extended time. Retaining more workers, especially in nursing, will relieve stressors for other workers who, at one time, may have been working overtime or with less staff than needed causing them stress and exhaustion.



Overall, nurses' mental health needs to be highlighted as a top priority if healthcare organisations want to change the current picture for nurses. Workplace recognition has many impacts, from the quality of work completed to looking after the surrounding environment and overall workforce outlook and mental health.

Therefore, employers must consider developing staff recognition programs to address their employees differently. Even little changes, such as offering workers reassurance and recognition not only for the job they do but also for how they handle the constant pressure and tension they are exposed to daily.



Reflection

  1. Do you feel appreciated at work?

  2. What does your workplace do to recognise the hard work that you do?

  3. What do you think your workplace could do better in showing appreciation for its hardworking staff?

 

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