If you asked a Direct Support Professional (DSP) to describe their job, they would likely start by sharing how rewarding and fulfilling it is to care for those with intellectual developmental disabilities. DSPs wear a lot of hats, which also makes their jobs extremely challenging and demanding. That's why it's important to recognize them for all their contributions.
DSP Recognition Week is a week-long celebration meant to recognize DSPs for their dedication, accomplishments and contributions to the IDD community. Make this DSP Recognition Week one your DSPs will never forget. Here are 7 creative ways to celebrate your staff.
Start An Appreciation Board
An appreciation board is a great way for managers, clients and even fellow employees to say thank you and recognize each of your DSPs. Put it in a public place, such as the lobby or a common area where everyone can see and contribute to it.
Hold A Daily Raffle
Give away something special each day to your DSPs! Raffle items could include gift cards to local grocery stores or restaurants, a certificate to a subscription service such as Amazon Prime or Netflix, or even a free car wash from the boss.
Set Up A Mini Spa Experience
Treat your staff to a neck, hand and/or foot massage during their break or lunch hour. It’s a simple way to pamper your employees and leave them feeling refreshed for the remainder of their day.
Help Employees Find Their Zen
The life of a DSP can be a hectic one. Help give them the tools like need to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety by providing mini mindfulness training sessions throughout the week. The techniques they learn can be applied both in and outside of work.
Host A Family Fun Day
Many DSPs work long hours, leaving them less time to spend with their families. If you normally hold an employee picnic or lunch, consider letting your staff invite their families to share in the fun. It’s a great way to show not only your staff, but their loved ones, how much they’re appreciated.
Bring In Some Animals
Partner with a local animal shelter or pet rescue group to bring a few furry friends by. Research shows that spending time with animals can enhance your mood and reduce stress. It’s also a fun way for your employees to spend part of their break or lunch hour. And who knows, it may help someone find their next pet!
Recognize Longevity & High Performers
DSP Recognition Week is about recognizing each of your DSPs and their contributions. But it can also be a great time to callout those who have been with your organization for several years, as well as those who go above and beyond at work. Get your DSPs involved too by asking them to nominate those who deserve some special recognition and hand out awards throughout the week.