Ah Valentine’s Day – February’s celebration of all things love that managed to evolve beyond romance alone. What makes the day special is that it’s a time to show kids, friends, family and yes, even colleagues and clients that we value and appreciate them.
While there are many traditional ways to show staff members that you care (cards, candy, edible arrangements), a truly meaningful way to give back is for each agency to provide their caregivers with the best work environment and experience possible. Because, as proven in the field, when caregivers are happy, clients are happy too.
Here are some ways for you to give back this Valentine’s Day – and beyond:
Surprise and delight:
With caregivers out on the road and visiting clients, it’s often a rare occasion that everyone comes together face-to-face. Why not host a special Valentine’s day breakfast or brunch to toast everyone’s hard efforts and reiterate how much their efforts mean to your organization? Another idea is to create a month-long appreciation wall that features individual words of appreciation to each caregiver in your organization on heart-shaped paper. Encourage others to comment on others’ hearts too. You can even ask long-standing clients or their family members to contribute words of thanks as well. Small, personal gestures like this can go a long way to making caregivers – who often face thankless and challenging days – feel appreciated.
Job satisfaction is directly tied to feeling empowered to make choices and have control over day-to-day tasks. It’s unsurprising that technology can help here. Providing caregivers with the tools to efficiently deliver care helps them save time, streamline tasks, and even manage their own schedules. While this extends far beyond a Valentine’s Day initiative, it is nonetheless an occasion to remember that implementing technology that improves caregivers’ lives is valuable for all recruitment and retention strategies. For example, a mobile caregiver app enables caregivers to easily view their schedules, in real time, accept additional shift offers if they wish, and document tasks and timesheets anywhere, online. All of this can provide a sense of ownership over one’s day, streamlining travel and ensuring seamless client visits.
A perfect match:
Just like in any relationship, the client-caregiver relationship must click in order to gel. Personality clashes, misunderstood communication, and even political and religious beliefs can cause rifts in trust, emotional well-being and care quality. Caregivers too need to know that their scheduling preferences and skillset is taken into consideration when being matched with potential clients.
The right technology can elicit a functional profile of each worker so their schedules can be matched to their preferences. It can incorporate daily, weekly and payroll minimum and maximum hours, as well as detail how skills and interests match up with individual client needs (e.g., a registered nurse’s time is better spent administering medications than providing transportation to an appointment.) Skills-matching is also invaluable for certain clients who have very specific needs, as are “do not send” lists for staff and clients who simply don’t mesh well.
Clearly, implementing technology to support your caregivers goes far beyond marking Valentine’s Day alone. But it’s simply one more tool in the toolbox of providing a rewarding, empowering work environment for your valued employees.
What other ways do you show appreciation to your caregivers – or your clients? We’d love to hear them!