In Part 1, we revealed some employee recognition secrets from Lansing Health and Rehabilitation Center’s Staff Coordinator, Samantha Kennett, and ADON, Darienne Collins. They discuss why it is important to recognize employees and why they made the decision to form a committee and dedicate their time to celebrating their colleagues.
In Part 2, I am revealing three more secrets from Samantha and Darienne. They go more into detail on their favorite form of recognition, how they incorporate Mission’s CARES values into their employee recognition program and what, and how the Mentorship Program has made a major impact on them and their mentees.
What is your favorite form of recognition and why?
Darienne: My favorite form of recognition is public recognition. Pictures that can be posted or shared (i.e., bulletin boards, frames, social media). Other forms of recognition we have include:
Individual birthdays (gift and picture on Facebook), certificates of recognition for years of service, any shoutouts an employee receives on the bulletin board we read at our monthly in-service meeting, anything and everything food related… Our staff likes to be rewarded with food. Relias online education platform compliance drawing (basket of goodies), employee of the month gets a frame on the wall for 1 year (this is newly implemented). Simply buying slushies for the floor staff. Little things even make a difference.
Samantha: Tangible forms of appreciation. Yes, saying I appreciate you is great and will make you feel good for a moment but taking the time to know someone and get them something they enjoy just shows that you took the time and effort to show them appreciation. Even if it is their favorite drink, favorite candy, publicly appreciating them on the staff shout out board or on our electronic scheduling platform where everyone can see it.
How has the CARES values—Character. Attitude, Respect, Excellence, Service—impacted your career with Mission Health?
Darienne: The CARES values impacted my career by reminding me what it takes to be an exceptional nurse and leader. Always trying to have a positive/helping attitude, acting how I would want the immediate floor staff to act, RESPECTING one another, the residents, and their families. Demonstrating a work ethic that I would like to see in everyone. Being reliable and trusting.
Samantha: Honestly, I use the CARES values in everything I do. Showing up for the staff when they need me, leading by example (Carla uses that phrase a lot), treating people how I would want to be treated, stiving to be the best I can be in everything I do even when feeling overwhelmed. I always try to be available to help everyone everywhere whether it’s fixing the Wi-Fi, cleaning a room, helping with transportation or whatever else is needed to help the building succeed.
Making the retention program a success for our building was generally pretty easy because we have an amazing administrator [Carla] that supports us in all we do. She is always willing to jump in and help wherever is needed. When we come up with the crazy idea at 12am to make breakfast for the night shift she didn’t hesitate to say I’ll meet you guys there. I’m truly blessed to learn leadership skills from Carla.
What impact does the Mentorship program have on you and your mentees?
Both: We feel it gives the mentees a more direct, organized way of training. It is a more personable approach. It impacts us as mentors by giving a structured way of training, to make sure our staff is knowledgeable in all of the areas needed to give exceptional care.
Our new hires are VALUED at Mission. From the moment they start through their caregiver growth with us, our purpose is for new hires to feel valued as an integral part of our culture and our team. This is possible with highly qualified MENTORS. We are able to increase our retention rate by pairing new hires with a trained mentor to help guide and help them hone the skills that are most important to them. Not only does this help with guidance, but the new hire can work toward career advancement and making new friends at work.
The Mentorship Program is impacting our CNAs because they have someone they can go to for virtually anything. Mentors and mentees create a friendship and can put trust in one another. Mentees have the opportunity to learn and grow as they are going through Mission’s CNA courses and eventually become mentors themselves to create another friendship with new CNA students.
All employees of all industries, especially in skilled nursing, deserve to be recognized for their hard work. A simple “Thank you” may only go so far. Continue to let staff know they are doing a great job, but having a rewards and recognition system can have a major impact on employees. For the employees that are constantly sticking to our CARES values, recognize them. If it’s a team of people, throw them a small party and make them feel appreciated for their dedication to providing for their residents.