I agree that acknowledgement is a great motivator, especially from the "higher ups" but my own opinion is that finding out the reasons behind losing staff might be more beneficial in the long run.
Sometimes higher management think they can solve a problem with rewards etc rather than dealing with the source of the problem itself-why is morale bad, why is there a lot of sick leave, why is there a high turnover of staff? Find out what or who is the real reason and deal with that.
Do they need more education, more support, better staffing, meal breaks covered-no-one minds the odd break being interrupted or missed, but when it happens constantly then it needs to be looked into. Are they treated with respect by other staff?
Our PACU has an age range of 30 years, PACU experience levels from 18 months to 15 years, various ethnic backgrounds, fabulous workers and not so fabulous workers, and a lot of strong characters, but we seem to be united in our sense of humour and our passion for food, esp chocolate. Nurses from other departments want to work with us, but openings are few & far between. The anaesthetists (and sometimes even the surgeons) do acknowledge our input/opinions/good calls, and our manager listens to us.
So maybe that's it-food and respect! When you think about it, it covers alot of things in life really, doesn't it.
lilcajunnurse, you hospital's system sounds a great idea, especially when it covers so many areas & levels, and how great that it is an ongoing thing. It also helps the administration get to know their staff better, which is a huge bonus. I was "presented" with an award by our (on-site) CEO of 4 years who didn't know who I was, you can guess how much I valued that!