Your workforce is your greatest asset. But in today’s job market, both recruiting and retaining employees is tougher than ever. According to a recent survey of providers conducted by OnShift, 67% cite finding and hiring qualified job candidates as a top challenge, followed by employee turnover at 57%.
It goes without saying that the recent pandemic has dramatically impacted the industry’s ability to consistently recruit and retain staff. Many direct care employees, including DSPs and other hourly employees, have been stretched thin due to staffing shortages over the past 18 months. In fact, a recent survey of frontline employees, also conducted by OnShift, found that 49% were feeling stressed and burned out at work.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to find new ways to show your staff how much their contributions matter and how much you appreciate them. Here are some simple ways to celebrate your staff in a way that can boost retention and will help capture the attention of your next great hires.
Establish A Systematic Rewards Program
On the surface, this might sound like a major initiative that would be overwhelming to put together, but creating an employee rewards program doesn’t have to be complicated. Plus, according to a recent survey of frontline workers, rewards and recognition is a top perk they value at work.
As the saying goes, “what gets recognized, gets repeated.” Keep this in mind as you plan out your rewards program. Think about the key behaviors you want to see your employees repeat—things like coming to work on time or not calling off. These are behaviors that are objective, can easily be measured, and therefore, can be easily acknowledged and rewarded.
Employee engagement software like OnShift Engage can automate this process by assigning points for key attendance behaviors. Providers also have the ability to manually assign points when they see a staff member go above and beyond the call of duty.
With OnShift Engage, employees can see how many points they’ve earned and how close they are to their next reward. They can also see how their ranking among their peers, creating a little friendly competition.'
Keep in mind that the rewards you distribute can also be simple. A gift card or lunch on the boss can go a long way in helping employees feel recognized. Some providers using OnShift Engage allow staff to turn their reward points into raffle tickets for big-ticket items such as a TV, a cash prize, or, in one case, a car.
Remember To Regularly Recognize
Earning rewards is great, but you need a human touch. OnShift Engage makes it easy for managers and supervisors to identify top performers and send notes of encouragement and congratulations.
Many providers have also found success with more public initiatives such as employee of the month or wall of excellence programs. These may sound old-school, but these programs are an effective way to showcase your best employees and encourage others to strive for similar success.
Be sure to also share stories of success in your employee newsletter, during team meetings, with clients and their family members, and on your social media channels.
Find Reasons To Celebrate
In the I/DD world, things like DSP Week (which takes place next month) are a perfect reason to celebrate and recognize the accomplishment of your staff. However, one week out of the year isn’t enough to show your employees they deserve to be celebrated.
It’s important to find times throughout the year to show your appreciation. Something like a summer picnic or a fall barbeque allows staff to unwind and have fun. You can also use holidays such as Black History Month or Women’s History Month to recognize staff and celebrate the diversity within your organization.
One provider recently implemented an Employee Appreciation Month, where they host special events for employees throughout the month, raffle off prizes, or surprise staff with things like gift bags or staff breakfast. Consider getting your clients involved by having them write words of appreciation to their favorite staff members.
However you choose to celebrate your staff, make sure you do it consistently. It’s also important to find moments when you can recognize individuals, teams and your workforce as a whole. After all, every single employee contributes to the overall success of your programs and the wellbeing of the clients you serve.
Invest In The Employee Experience
Today’s workforce has certain expectations when it comes to technology in the workplace. Show you’re invested in your staff by investing in technologies that support them.
Modern staffing software such as OnShift Schedule gives employees 24/7 access to view their schedule and request open shifts right from their smartphone. While this may seem small, it can have a big impact on making your workforce part of the scheduling process. It can also help better support their work-life balance.
Mobile time and attendance software also positions you as an innovative organization. OnShift Time makes punching as simple as taking a selfie. Employees can punch from any tablet or mobile device, including their own personal smartphone. They can also quickly view their timecards, punch history and request PTO.
Many of today’s hourly workers in I/DD and behavioral health are struggling financially. A simple benefit such as access to earned wages, between paychecks can help reduce financial stress. OnShift Wallet makes it easy for employees to anonymously access wages when they need them so they can avoid late fees, high-interest rates and costly payday loans. Best of all, it’s no risk to your organization.
Want to learn more about how OnShift is helping I/DD and behavioral health providers redefine the employee experience? Request a demo.