While roaming the halls of Geisinger Wyoming Valley Hospital last week with my father, during latest in the unfortunate and seemingly endless string of back surgeries my mother has had little choice but to endure, I found a bright spot. That's right, a bright spot in the middle of family surgical stress in a hospital.

This is the view from the pull-out bed in my mom's room in the PCU. It's about time they put guest beds in patient rooms - the next step would be to make them comfortable (hello institutional furniture designers). Clearly, this is not what I am talking about.

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Many companies have figured out that employee recognition of just about any kind goes a long way - though some still have yet to figure it out (or care?). Financial incentive programs, a press release to the local newspaper business section, employee of the month award or parking spot, picnics, a new car or a cruise - these are all ways many companies across the globe reward and make staff feel appreciated. OK, maybe the new car and cruise are less common, but I'm promoting the idea hoping to make it more commonplace.

Most often, when companies do recognize talent publicly, it's the on the job kind. I get it, it's a workplace. However, other talents that help shape people are largely left invisible on the inside, except for the occasional golf trophy on a C-level desk.

So I was pleasantly - if only momentarily, surprised and distracted from counting the hours my mother was under general anesthesia and under Dr. Schlifka's scalpel by a beautiful display of employee art on a wall of the hospital corridor.

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I enthusiastically commend Geisinger for recognizing that custodians, physicians, phlebotomists, nurses, EKG technicians, dietary aides, unit clerks and others from the multiplicity of occupations under the seriousness and stress of that expansive roof also have a life out from under it - and celebrates it.

Like the copper pipe, wires and sign on the wall of this hospital corridor, it doesn't have to be a complicated effort to recognize that your people are whole people - not just minions there to do your bidding...

Does the organization you are with recognize staff as whole people or minions?

P.S. In case you are wondering, my mom is in PT/OT rehab and should be home this coming Wednesday thanks to the excellent care provided by the staff at Geisinger Wyoming Valley and Geisinger South.


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