Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) are the heroes and heart of any I/DD organization. Not only does this group provide care and support to those with intellectual/developmental disabilities, but they foster special friendships that are valued by so many. And while there are many ways you can celebrate your DSPs throughout the year, DSP Week, which runs through September 18th, is a time to really put a spotlight on these hardworking individuals.
Here are just a few ways providers can celebrate this week and beyond.
Host An Awards Ceremony
Your DSPs do so many special things for the clients they serve. Now is the time to recognize them for it. Ask clients, their families, home managers and fellow staff members to nominate those individuals who are making the biggest impact at your organization. Share these impactful stories with the entire organization during a formal awards ceremony complete with plaques or printed certificates. You can also share these achievements in your employee newsletter and across your social media channels.
Send Thank You Letters
There are plenty of simple and inexpensive ways to show DSPs how much their work is appreciated. Sending handwritten, personalized thank you letters to each of your DSPs is a perfect way to remind them of all they do and how much their contributions matter. And never underestimate the power of a “thank you” or “nice work” when an employee goes above and beyond.
Create DSP Care Packages
The onset of the pandemic brought a number of new challenges and stresses to the DSP role. Assemble some quick care packages to encourage DSPs to find a moment to indulge in a little self-care. Fill a goodie bag with some fun healthy snacks, a scented candle and a gift card or two to a local restaurant. You could even throw in some company swag such as a t-shirt or a reusable water bottle.
Hold Daily Raffles
Add some excitement by holding raffles throughout the week. Giveaways could include gift cards to restaurants or stores, an extra day of PTO or bigger ticket items like wireless headphones, a tablet or even a TV. Award bonus raffle tickets based on years of service and surprise DSPs throughout the week with extra chances to win.
Get Clients & Their Families Involved
Let your DSPs see just how much their work means to those they serve. Ask clients and their families to write thank you notes or create a 30-second video speaking to all the great things your DSPs do. It’s a simple, touching way to remind your employees just how big of an impact they are making on the individuals they serve.
Remember, while DSP Week is an excellent opportunity to amplify your employee appreciation efforts, it's important to celebrate your hardworking staff all year long. An employee engagement platform that ties rewards to key success metrics makes doing so much easier. OnShift Engage assigns points for behaviors like attendance, on-time clock-ins and more to boost organizational success.
As an I/DD provider, you understand how hardworking and dedicated your DSPs are to the individuals they serve. While their work can be challenging, it is always rewarding—and that is something worth celebrating!