Mission Motivation – The Differentiator: Part 1

Samantha and Adrienne of Lansing Care and Rehab

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Every organization has its values plastered all over their website, the walls in their buildings, or even in their email signature. But how well do they keep up with said values? Mission Health Communities is one of those organizations that sticks to what they believe in. The CARES values—Character, Attitude, Respect, Excellence, and Service—are in everything we do and how we do it. Take one characteristic out and you lose sight of your “why”.

Retention rates are linked to employee recognition and engagement. According to Gallup, 74% of employees who say their team receives regular recognition strongly agree that they feel their work is valuable and useful.

At Lansing Care and Rehabilitation Center, two specific people are taking charge of making sure their staff is recognized for their excellent resident care. Mission Health’s, Michaella Valder, sat down with Staff Coordinator, Samantha Kennett, and ADON, Darienne Collins, to discuss the importance of employee recognition and retention. These exceptional women do not only celebrate anniversaries. They celebrate birthdays, employee of the month, and are avid supporters of the Mission Health’s Make a Friend Mentorship program. Samantha and Darienne are putting a twist on gossip and making it positive. They are the hype people that Lansing needs and deserves.

What was the motivation behind creating an employee recognition board, gifts, etc.? 

Darienne: The recognition communication board was a collective idea! A few of the staff stated how it would be cool to give staff the opportunity to complement each other and in a way for others to see.  So, we came up with the idea of a shoutout board. As time went on, we expanded the use of the shoutout board to include a “policy of the week”, the on-call schedule so that it is always available, and an employee spotlight section, where we post pictures of the staff! We wanted to be able to give the staff the recognition and acknowledgement they deserve, more than just a simple thank you. 
Samantha: We spent quite a bit of time brainstorming retention ideas when Carla Royer, Lansing Administrator, suggested that we form a committee. We talked to a lot of staff and got valuable feedback from other team members. We spent some time on Google looking for ideas. In the end, we wanted to say all the positives and focus on everything everyone is doing well and not just negatives (positive gossip). Darienne is great at decorating, so she changes the decorations every single month to match the holiday or season that is currently happening. 
Why is employee recognition important in your role? 
Darienne: Employee recognition is important in my role because being a leader is more than just being “in charge”.  Having a relationship with the staff in the building is so important for the health (mental and physical) of the building. I started here at Lansing as a brand-new CNA straight out of school. I knew very little about long term care. I love to tell my story of growth to the new floor staff to show them that I understand just how important and appreciated they are in our building.  
Samantha: As the staffing coordinator, employee retention is super important to me. It’s difficult to create a schedule with staff that does not stay or is so unhappy they always call in because they do not feel appreciated. I teach the policies in new hire orientation so the staff know that I’ll be the first person to tell them, “Put you mask on right,” “hey we cannot do that” and many more other things policy related. So as much as I harp on the policies I also like to say, “hey great teamwork” “you all are doing amazing” “thanks for all you do.” Focusing on the positives when our staff follows policy but still enjoying their day at work.
At Lansing, what are the qualifications for Employee of the Month?
Both: We do not have a whole lot of requirements for employee of the month. Attendance and following policy are major considerations, however there is not a set requirement. We have residents and staff that have the ability to nominate employees when they feel said employee has done an exceptional job. The employee of the month is announced during in-service, and we read the comments from the nomination form to let me know what others appreciate about them.

Lansing Care and Rehabilitation is a great example of increasing employee engagement and retention. Employees, especially in skilled nursing, deserve to be recognized and praised for their hard work whether it is in house cleaning, dining, or nursing. Be the differentiator. Be the change. 
Stay tuned for part two of Michaella’s interview with Samantha and Darienne.

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