Recognition Beyond a Pizza Party
Yes, we all like a slice of hot, cheesy pizza, but let’s move beyond this short-lived satisfaction and give our facility staff recognition that builds a sense of lasting pride and loyalty – especially our certified nursing assistants (CNAs) who give so much of themselves on a daily basis.
CNAs spend ample time with residents and families. They’re one of the greatest assets to a nursing facility, and yet burnout and turnover rates remain high. And did you know they’re one of the key ingredients to preventing resident falls and pressure ulcers? Their unique positions bring companionship and contentment to residents, all while offering concerned family members reassurance.
In order to decrease turnover rate, it’s important to show employees that they’re appreciated. Make it a top priority to create a positive and rewarding work culture. As your employees’ job satisfaction increases, turnover decreases. This longevity can translate into a higher quality of care, better understanding of residents and family and improved job satisfaction. As CNAs make quality connections with residents and families, the facility can go from feeling like an institution to a real home. Reducing this turnover truly is a crucial risk management strategy.
So, “What can we do,” you ask? Budgets are tight and resources are scarce. Tap into their creativity and compassion, promote strong attachments to the clinical team and appreciate their unique skills. The costs of prioritizing and re-focusing are very low in comparison to the benefits reaped from a happy and tenured staff.
Here are a few things managers can start doing today to show CNAs and staff appreciation:
- Recognize that they have something to say. Give them a voice. Employees are full of valuable information that can improve the quality of life for residents. When people are heard, they’re empowered – hear what they have to say and act on it.
- Recognize their need to connect. Make sincere connections and show compassion to your staff. After all, this is what we’re expecting them to do with residents. Appreciating these influential caregivers builds loyalty and strong connections to the team.
- Recognize them as valuable resources. Invest in their development. Give them the knowledge, tools and resources to perform exceptionally. Allow staff to earn education days. Utilize their knowledge on fall prevention teams, employee safety or facility goal setting. When you invest in staff, they understand their importance.
- Recognize longevity. Give loyal staff opportunities to participate with physician rounding, wound care nurses and special projects. Offer employment tiers or categories to your CNA positions that include tenure and performance accomplishments. This can reduce costs and risks related to a revolving door.
- Recognize the need for accountability. Not only will poor performers affect your resident outcomes and staff morale, they will significantly increase risks. Address issues professionally and timely. You’ll be giving a priceless gift to good CNAs, nurses and residents.
That slice of pizza will always be appreciated— but don’t let that be the extent of your employee recognition program. Do what it takes to create a culture of nurture, compassion and loyalty. It will inevitably flow to residents and visitors. Not only is it a great risk management strategy, it’s the right thing to do!
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