March 3, 2023 is Caregiver Appreciation Day — a day set aside to recognize the selfless work of those who care for others by trade. It’s work that often goes unrecognized but is critical to keeping our most vulnerable populations safe and healthy.
Recognizing your caregivers is now more important than ever as healthcare staffing remains a challenge due to a labor supply and demand imbalance combined with record high turnover. Simply put, if you want to attract the very best for your caregiver roles and keep them around long-term, you need to show you value them.
Additionally, when your caregivers feel recognized and valued they’re more likely to share their positive work experience with their friends, family, and peers — which can help you drive more applicants for your open roles. In fact, employee referrals are the number one source of talent among Hireology customers — particularly in the home care and facilities-based care industries as workers in these industries often rely on acquaintances and connections for job opportunities.
So how can you recognize your team during Caregiver Appreciation Day and beyond?
We’ve outlined 6 easy things you can do that will go a long way in making your employees feel needed and valued.
A good old fashioned “thank you”
Say “thank you” in person to each member of your staff or send everyone a personalized email or note that shows you value their commitment to your agency or facility. A heartfelt thank you is easy for you and it means a lot to the recipient. And it’s something that you should be doing regularly — not just during the designated day or week of appreciation.
Have some fun with superlative-style awards
For example, maybe define several different award categories (like “leadership award” or “most dedicated”) and reward the winners of each with a shoutout and gift card. Similarly, you could also highlight team members once they reach their one year, three year, and five year anniversaries. Recognizing time of service is a good way to get people to stick around too, as it gives folks something to work toward and prevents them from jumping ship to other opportunities.
Create channels for feedback (and act on it!)
Sometimes the best way to show you care about your team is giving them a channel to express their feedback and needs. Send out a survey or a suggestion box where people can anonymously share what they like about working for you and what they’d like to see changed. But of course don’t just stop there — commit yourself to taking action on this feedback. Making real and legitimate changes in response to your team’s input demonstrates that you care about their well-being.
Gifts, bonuses, and other perks
Gifts are also a good way to show your appreciation. This can come in the form of gift cards, cash bonuses, branded SWAG, or perks like extra PTO and mental health days. But remember that people can tell when you give a gift with no real emotion or true feeling behind them. Giving gifts of course should be always paired with some of the other tips in this guide, such as heartfelt thank yous, public displays of appreciation, and a willingness to hear and act on feedback.
Make your appreciation public
Private messages and notes are important because they allow you to personalize your thoughts, but sharing your appreciation publicly can also go a long way. Showcase caregiving staff members on your career site or feature individuals on your social media profiles. For many, the publicity of the recognition can add even more meaning to the message. Plus, it’s great for your employer branding strategy as it shows potential applicants how deeply you value your team.
Keep your team fully staffed
Nothing says “I appreciate you” more than helping your team avoid burnout. Fully staffed teams allow people to have more flexibility in their schedules and makes it easier for them to take paid time off or find their desired work/life balance. At a time when many workers are redefining what work means for them and pursuing opportunities that allow them to live the lives they want for themselves, you need to do everything you can to provide that added support and flexibility.
But of course healthcare staffing these days isn’t easy. As noted above, we’re facing an unprecedented labor supply and demand imbalance. And few industries are feeling the brunt of this more so than healthcare. While properly recognizing your team for all the work they do can go a long way, modernizing your recruiting and hiring processes is essential to keeping your pipeline of great talent full. Learn more about how Hireology can help today.