Blog # 4 As appears in "Pulse" 2017 Purchasing Power Plus edition
Title: Developing Volunteer and Staff Orientation for Hospital Gift Shops
The experience of working in a hospital gift shop is powerful, personal, and satisfying. Starting gift shop volunteers and staff with a good orientation program is most important and critical to their success. In many hospitals, the orientation program is typically run by Human Resources and thus can often be too general and lacking the specifics in relationship to the Gift Shop.
It is my experience that developing your own personalized gift shop orientation that meets your needs and at the same time is fulfilling. I am sure that you will find the following suggestions useful in developing your gift shop orientation.
As a Gift Shop Manager, I have developed our volunteer and staff orientations stressing the use of videos, checklists and calendars. The volunteers and staff have found these useful and easy to understand helping them get up to speed. Too much information can be as counter -productive as not enough. We pace our training using the checklists below. We also use healthcare related videos in the orientation.
1. Start with a Plan: Offering the Gift Shop volunteers and staff a well-planned orientation compliments the hospital HR’s orientation. We have found the orientation should prepare attendees with the knowledge necessary to provide successful personalized service. The Hospital Mission statement provides the center from which to start our orientation. We use the “Gift Shop Mission Statement” to explain how the merchandise relates to the mission of the hospital and how it creates a dynamic for our customers. ( patients, visitors and staff ).
As an example, the UCSF Medical Center Mission Statement is: ”The reason UCSF Medical Center exists is for Caring, Healing, Teaching and Discovering.” The Gift Shop mission statement is: “The reason UCSF Medical Center Gift Shop exists is to provide Caring, Healing, Teaching and Discovering products and services.
2. The Power of Checklists: Develop an orientation checklist to insure consistency in the program. We have turned “Maslow Meets Onboarding” ( copyright Psych Press 2013) into an orientation checklist.
Physiology: Workplace layout, where things are Safety: Health, safety, Policies, Procedures Belonging: Unwritten rules, who’s who Esteem: Expectations, what’s rewarded and what’s not Growth: Career aspirations, professional development
We use this Calendar to keep our volunteers and staff engaged. Gift Shop Orientation Calendar: “DWMQYC” “1-7-30-90-365 days”
First Day Meet the team D-1 First Week Learn about your job W-7 First Month Contribute in your role M-30 First Quarter Understand the Big Picture Q-90 First Year Flourish in your profession Y-365 Your Career Create positive change C-365 and beyond
3. Add Videos: A picture is worth of a thousand words. We use these three videos in our orientation: 1. AHA: The Power of One (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B49EpGsICk) 2. Cleveland Clinic “Empathy”: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDDWvj_q-o8) 3. Monster On Boarding HR video:(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0b6IV09M5X0)
Understanding Gift Cards
Hospital and Small Gift Shops are asking where and how can gift cards be obtained.
Understanding what gift cards represent to merchants is an important factor in answering these questions.
Gift Cards are really a form of advertising with an added monetary value enticing customers to return to the gift shop and then, hopefully, spend more than the cards value.
Gift cards are not a profit center in themselves. They are not sold at a profit. Actually they are an expense that includes the cards cash value, cost of the plastic cards and printing, monthly vendor charges and additional equipment if your POS is not a match with the vendor.
SSB is the acronym for "Sugar Sweeten Beverages." Choosing healthier drinks is a first step in maintaining a healthy weight and helping to reverse the obesity epidemic now sweeping the United States.
According to the NHANES data from 2009-2010 37.5% of adults are obese. The obesity epidemic is affecting our health costs to the tune of $ 147 Billion on an annual basis.
Hospital Gift Shops are being asked to assess the SSB product mix in their beverage merchandise assortments. Red Bull, 5 Hours Energy and Coke are being removed from beverage cases and replaced with still and sparkling waters, hinted water and diet drinks.
Surprisingly many hospital gift shops are reporting that although the customers snicker and complain, they thank the shops for helping them make better choices.
The adult coloring book craze started in the spring of 2015. Hospital Gift Shops are reporting that adult coloring books are selling well to patients, staff and families.
Today’s society places left brain demands on us. Now we get to use the right side of our brains with an activity that takes the stress out of everyday thoughts and let us tap into our creative brain in a low tech way with coloring books.
“The surge in popularity of adult use of coloring books is likely due to individuals tapping into the intrinsic healing qualities of art that have served as a benefit to humans of all different cultures through out history” , says Richards Carolan, director of the art therapy doctoral program at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont CA.
The trend has been fueled to some degree by social media— colorists post their elaborate creations on Facebook, Utube and Pinterest, garnering fans and offering pro tips on things like Prismacolor versus gel pens, or how to make that tricky owl in the corner pop—and by marketing that associates them with such therapeutic ends as anxiety- and stress-reduction.
Though coloring books are often used by kids, these and other new coloring book titles are being marketed to stressed-out, work-addicted adults, who want to benefit from the quiet zen that a coloring session can bring.
The best selling titles in Hospital Gift Shops are: Johanna Basford's "Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt & Coloring Book" long with her second effort, "Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book" Angie Grace "Balance" Extreme Stress Menders Volume 1" Emma Farrarons "The Mindfulness Colouring Book: Anti-stress Art Therapy.". Basford’s next book, “The Lost Ocean: An Underwater Adventure and Coloring Book,” will go on sale in the fall. Basford comments that coloring “ unleashes the creativity we all have in a way that’s quite safe.”
So if you want a break from everyday activities (that does not need to charged or plugged in), pick up a colored pencil and begin to experience the happiness of coloring.