It’s the season of thanks! Thanksgiving is not only a time to show gratitude toward loved ones, but also toward your hard working caregivers. What are you doing to help your caregivers appreciate and love their job this holiday season? One way to improve caregiver satisfaction is through caregiver recognition. The number one reason most Americans leave their job is because they don’t feel appreciated. Employees want to be recognized for their hard work and to know that is not going unnoticed or unappreciated. Appreciating your employees is especially critical in the home care industry where agencies across America experience high turnover. If your caregivers feel they are not being appreciated or recognized, this will ultimately impact the quality of care your clients are receiving. Taking the time to incorporate a caregiver recognition plan into your budget and business will not only help to grow your business, but it will also help make work a pleasant place to be.
When giving recognition, there are few guidelines you should follow:
- Make Your Recognition Timely
Recognize your caregivers in a timely manner. Waiting six months to reward a caregiver for a specific accomplishment shows that their hard work isn’t a priority. Don’t wait months to tell them they’ve done a good job. Recognition should promptly follow an accomplishment.
- Be Specific
Be specific in your compliment. Let them know you are aware of the details of their accomplishment and that their good work has positively affected the client.
- Give Recognition When it’s Earned
Give recognition to those who have earned it. Giving recognition to those with poor performance in hope of improving it may just make the situation worse, and irritate those who are making a difference and not getting recognized. Reward good, positive achievements.
- Make it Sincere
Be sincere in your recognition. Make an effort to reach out to your caregiver instead of having an office staff member send a card. Know your caregivers’ names and pronounce them correctly. Know what specific achievements you are recognizing.
Once you’ve planned and budgeted, consider which methods you’ll use to recognize your caregivers. Below is an infographic created from the information gathered in the 2016 Home Care Benchmarking Study discussing the top 5 preferred methods of caregiver recognition.
Top 5 Preferred Methods of Recognition
1. Verbal Recognition
In the 2016 Home Care Benchmarking Study, we asked caregivers their preferred way to be recognized and verbal recognition was number one. Many caregivers appreciate it when their supervisor knows their name, asks about their family, and compliments and encourages them. It motivates them to continue working hard and striving to improve.
One way to encourage employees is to stay positive. Employees should hear more positive comments in the work place than negative. If employees are constantly hearing how they are falling short, or even hear how their coworkers are falling short, their work performance will suffer. Reinforce your verbal compliments by sending hand written notes with positive recognition. By taking this additional step, you are ensuring your caregivers that their hard work is not going unnoticed.
2. Vacation Time, Bonuses, Perks, and Gift Cards
A huge way you can thank your caregivers is by providing them with benefits that enhance their lifestyle. Whether it’s paid time off, a health insurance plan, or a gift card to their favorite restaurant, it will go a long way in their eyes. However, oftentimes, smaller home care businesses can’t afford to provide these comprehensive benefits, but you can still recognize your caregivers for their hard work through gift cards or smaller bonuses.
For example, due to the nature of their work, caregivers spend a lot of time driving from location to location. One way to show gratitude is to get them a gas or oil change gift card. This shows that you are not only aware of their hard work, but the sacrifices they make to ensure they do a good job. This is your chance to show your caregivers how much their hard work means to you, so get creative and have fun with it!
3. Pay Raise
Don’t be afraid to give a pay raise. Many home care providers will avoid giving a pay raise because they feel in order for it to be effective, it has to be a large sum of money. A pay raise does not have to be a large amount. Even a small pay raise can have a positive effect. Through pay raises, caregivers will feel like they’re being recognized for their hard work and that you value their addition to your business.
4. Recognition from Clients
Many caregivers prefer to be recognized by their clients. Clients know first-hand the quality of a caregiver’s work, so when a caregiver is praised by a client they know it is sincere and honest. As a provider, if a client comes to you with some positive comments about a caregiver, make sure to pass the compliment on. This serves as double recognition—from you and from the client. The caregiver now knows that you are aware of their good work and that their hard work is also being appreciated by the client.
5. Company-Wide Recognition
Although this is last on the list of preferred ways to be recognized, it is just as important as the others. Company-wide recognition can be in the form of an employee of the month program, a monthly newsletter where you highlight caregivers’ performance, or company-wide gatherings/socials. Majority of the time, caregivers work alone, so getting together and interacting with coworkers gives them the opportunity to make friends, share advice, and offer support. It’s also a fun way to boost morale and add something exciting to their routine.
It’s important to have a plan in place for caregiver recognition. In order to know if your caregivers are doing well, you need to have a method to gather feedback from your clients. Having some form of satisfaction management will help you know which caregivers are going above and beyond. Make sure you budget in caregiver recognition, so you don’t have any excuse not to do it. Recognition leads to happy caregivers, and happy caregivers lead to happy clients.
Learn more about how Home Care Pulse’s Satisfaction Management Program can increase caregiver satisfaction and help grow your business.