Receiving adequate recognition could mean the difference between staying and leaving for a caregiver.
While there are many reasons caregivers may decide to leave, many of them tie back to not feeling appropriately valued or recognized for their efforts. Failing to show adequate appreciation to your employees could lead to decreased satisfaction, poor quality of care, and unnecessary caregiver turnover.
At Home Care Pulse, we’ve dedicated ourselves to understanding why caregivers leave and what good companies are doing to retain them. Often, it comes down to simple caregiver recognition. Here are 28 ways that home care agencies showed recognition to their hardworking caregivers in 2017:
1. Gift cards. Giving gift cards was the top method of showing appreciation to caregivers in 2017, with over 90% of home care agencies reporting that they use this method. It’s no mystery why—it’s a simple way of saying thank you and giving them something with immediate value.
2. Handwritten thank you cards. A simple, sincere thank you card expresses your appreciation to your caregivers and gives them something they can keep to remind them again later.
3. Pay raises. We’re all motivated by money to some degree. A pay raise is a concrete way of showing caregivers their value.
4. Bonuses. Bonuses can be highly effective in recognizing employees for meeting or exceeding expectations while remaining cost-effective long-term.
5. Telephone calls. Verbal recognition is the top way caregivers prefer to be recognized. Call your top caregivers occasionally and tell them exactly how you see them excelling at their job.
6. Employee of the month (or similar programs). Giving awards monthly allows you to publicly recognize many different employees over time while giving each one their time in the spotlight. A small gift or other token with the award goes a long way as well.
7. Group training events. More training may seem like an unusual reward, but a frequent comment in the thousands of interviews we conduct with caregivers is that they want more training. Professional training certifications help caregivers feel professionally valued and competent in their role.
8. Text Messages. A text message may be the quickest and easiest method you have. Thirty seconds to write a text is a small price for making a caregiver’s day.
9. Kudos in the company newsletter. Everyone likes a public shout-out, and newsletters a ready-made way to do so.
10. Paid vacation time. Paid vacation not only helps caregivers feel valued as employees but enables them time to recharge and work more effectively when they return.
11. Reward programs. In a rewards program, employees accumulate points that can be redeemed for prizes. Create competition by posting the score chart somewhere public.
12. Annual recognition luncheons. Annual traditions are a good way to build company unity and making it a recognition luncheon creates an annual milestone that pushes caregivers to do their best work in the meantime.
13. Appreciation events. This can be as simple as giving employees donuts for Employee Appreciation Day or as complicated as throwing a banquet. What kind of event will best help your company?
14. Birthday cards. Who doesn’t smile a little when someone remembers their birthday?
15. Business cards. A sense of professional worth goes a long way toward helping an employee feel satisfaction where they’re at. Giving caregivers their own business cards is a little-used but effective way to help them feel important in their position and remind them of their own professional worth.
16. Caregiver of the Year Awards. What better way is there to make your hardest-working caregiver feel like a rock star in front of their company?
17. Discounted Gym Memberships. Not only does this reward your caregivers, it comes with the added benefit of keeping them in better shape for a job that can be physically tiring.
18. Holiday Parties/Dinners. There’s a reason so many companies in every industry throw holiday parties, and that’s because they’re one of the best ways to build community in your company and give a nod to the hard work of your employees.
19. Branded company clothing. Many employees get a sense of identity from wearing their company’s logo when they’re not at work. Besides, it’s great advertising for your company.
20. Merit raises. While simple verbal recognition is often most effective, sometimes you’re better off to put your money where your mouth is. Merit raises motivate employees to work harder and challenge themselves.
21. Movie tickets. Like gift cards, free movie tickets are a language everyone speaks. This is another relatively cheap option to show your employees that their hard work is noticed.
22. One-on-one lunch. A one-on-one lunch also gives you a critical opportunity to build a better relationship with your caregivers so that you can learn their needs and build a rapport.
23. Perfect Attendance Awards. Showing up is the first step to success. Give props to the employee who’s never shown up five minutes late or called in sick.
24. Recognition on Anniversary. Longer-tenured caregivers have experience, skill, and loyalty. Recognizing anniversaries provides a visible incentive to stick around.
25. Referral Bonus Programs. Reward employees who proactively find other great employees. Referral bonuses are a win-win for your agency.
26. Social media page recognition. Company social media pages provide another great (free) way to publicly recognize individuals. Any major employee awards you give should be shared on your social media to showcase the efforts your employees put in.
27. Video recognition. Share a brief video online (Facebook Live and/or YouTube) highlighting a caregiver who you’d like to recognize for their good work.
28. Years of service bonus. Loyalty should be rewarded in any company. Show your employees that their choice to stay with your company hasn’t gone unnoticed.
While using all of these is rarely practical, using a variety of these methods will contribute to creating a work environment that rewards hard work and helps individuals feel valued. It’s a good idea to make a chart that shows all of your caregivers and the methods you use to give recognition to ensure that everyone receives appropriate recognition for their work.
For the most up-to-date information on what caregivers are looking for and why they decide to stay or leave, order the 2018 Home Care Benchmarking Study or call today to schedule an overview with us. Pre-order your copy of the Benchmarking Study before April and get $100 off.