A revamped employee recognition program was unveiled Monday morning at Freeman Neosho Hospital's Flower Box Café.

A revamped employee recognition program was unveiled Monday morning at Freeman Neosho Hospital's Flower Box Café.

"One of the things that we have done is first of all, we have done a lot of education of the program, because we are really encouraging other staff members to put down on paper in the nominations what they witness their coworkers doing every day," said Renee Denton, director of administrative services at Freeman Neosho Hospital. "There is a lot of really good things going on within the walls here. So we were just encouraging staff and educating them on how they can nominate someone as the employee of the month. We are trying to make sure that we keep it at a higher level with true observation of the elements that make up Freeman's Best – our five star promise. They fill out a nomination form that addresses every one of our five star promises: Compassion, teamwork, professionalism, (communication and ownership) and they give examples of how they believe this individual personifies the five star promise."

The Freeman Neosho Hospital Employee of the Month has been in effect for around 10 years, but late last year, organizers decided to revamp the program.

"One of the things that we wanted to do with the revamping, again, was bring back the specialty to it, bring back the honor of being chosen as employee of the month. To do that, we did address the Freeman promise, but we also added a WOW factor," Denton added. "The 'WOW' factor is and could be anything that is just observed this person going above and beyond their job duties. Not only doing their job really well, but going above and beyond. The other thing that I don't think has been done in the past is to make certain that we do is we are forwarding our employee of the month nominations as Freeman's Best. We can make nominations for Freeman's Best award, which is done at the (health) system level, where one employee every month is chosen as Freeman Health System's Best."

For the employee who is recognized each month at Freeman Neosho, they also get some gifts such as $50 in gift certificates they can use from Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce members. They also receive a traveling trophy that they can display in their department. Then each month, it will be given to the next employee of the month.

"Another change that we have made to the program itself, we are actually going to have the persons who nominate them be the ones who read the nomination," said Denton. "We think that it is really important for persons who submit the nominations to be able to be the one to read their nomination. They (the employee of the month) have their own personal cake that they can either take back to their department or to their home, whatever they would like to do with that. They will be receiving an employee of the month nice polo shirt that they will be able to wear one time of the month, the last week of the month, of the day of their choosing, again something to honor them and set them apart."
January's employee of the month is Angie Allison, unit secretary of Freeman Neosho Hospital's ED (emergency department) unit.

"To me, it is an honor (to be recognized)," said Allison,, who has been at Freeman Neosho Hospital for 18 years. "I (was) totally surprised, I had no idea."

One of the nomination forms about Allison read as follows for the WOW factor: "She and her granddaughter actually raised $1,000 for the Cancer Beaters a few years ago."

After the recognition event, Debbie Hudson, assistant director in the emergency room talked about Allison.
"Angie is a very hard worker," Hudson said. "If it weren't for her, we would have many mischarges. She goes through all of our charts, makes sure what the nurses do what they do. I have worked many codes and if it hadn't been for Angie there, helping making phone calls, going out with family until the chaplain can get here, she is just a dedicated worker. She comes in when you want her to, she works extra, she never complains, she is a hard worker."
Overall, Denton is pleased with this recognition program at Freeman Neosho Hospital.

"I think that it is very, very important to make sure that we take time to recognize our staff members who are outstanding in their field, but also who go above and beyond," she said. "Many studies have proven that recognition from your immediate supervisor or from any of those persons who you report to is a satisfaction component that is necessary for staff members to not only feel good about themselves, but to be proud of the job that they do. I think us taking the time to recognize our employees as employee of the month is very, very critical to the overall success of our hospital."
Allison is pleased to work for Freeman Neosho Hospital.

"This is just a great place to work, I love Freeman," she said. "Everybody that I work with, they are great."