It’s National Healthcare Facilities and Engineering Week (Oct. 23-29), and we’ve reached out to one of our Vice Presidents of Integrated Facilities Management, Gary Rizzato, for the inside scoop on how our teams will be celebrating.
“National Healthcare Facilities and Engineering Week is more obscure that the other major healthcare workers’ weeks, like EVS week or healthcare foodservice week,” explains Rizzato. “By nature, facilities departments tend to be more behind-the-scenes, so getting recognition for those team members from other hospital departments can take a little more effort.”
According to Rizzato, the most important thing facilities and engineering leaders can do in the hospitals is to look for ways to draw attention to their teams.
“Asking other departments to participate in Facilities Week is important,” Rizzato explains, “because they may not be as aware of it as they are of those other recognition weeks.”
Rizzato recommends looking for “fun, out of the box” ways to recognize your team members, and to encourage others within the hospital to do the same.
“‘Hug a Maintenance Guy’ is one of my favorite ideas for Facilities and Engineering Week,” Rizzato says. “Maintenance and engineering folks aren’t typically seen as the most huggable people, and often aren’t as closely entwined with other hospital teams, so flat-out encouraging people to ‘Hug a Maintenance Guy’ not only helps break down some of those barriers, it is also a surefire way to put a big smile on my guys’ (and girls’) faces and make them feel appreciated.”
Another way Rizzato has drawn attention to his team members has been to designate a “Special Dress Day” and get brightly colored scrubs or some other “special” uniform for that day.
“At one of the hospitals I’ve worked at, most everyone working at the facility -- except my facilities and maintenance guys -- wore scrubs to work,” says Rizzato, “so we decided to do scrubs for our special dress day, but no ordinary scrubs would do!”
“Since the goal was to draw attention to my team -- I really wanted them to stand out and be seen -- I decided to order hot pink scrubs for them to wear,” Rizzato explains. “I was a little worried about backlash against the color, but the team actually loved being able to stand out around the hospital, and all of the sudden people were stopping them in the halls to thank them for their work -- it was a great way to get my guys noticed!”
At the end of the day, Rizzato says, it’s all about getting your team members the recognition they deserve, and the more you can generate that from other people within the hospital (as opposed to just you, as a leader, recognizing their efforts), the more impactful it will be.
For more information on HHS and our unique approach to healthcare support services, please contact us.