Minimal investment, high return. Is it possible? Yes, when it comes to team member engagement!
A different kind of employee benefit
Most employee benefit programs tend to be more similar than different. But non-traditional approaches help to distinguish your organization from others! The result? Better recruitment and retention.
- How much you do spend on employment advertising and/or recruiters? You probably realize that your best recruitment source is your own staff, so why not apply that money in the form of a finder’s fee? Wouldn’t you rather pay a team member than pay for an outside source that may not bring results? (Finder’s fees are just a small part of a referral program, but one that employees enjoy!)
- Do you provide discounts for employees to shop at local retail stores as well as discounted memberships to national chains (e.g., Costco)?
- Several years ago, I was approached by a family member who was conflicted between holiday giving and the organization’s policy of “no gifts.” How about donations to a special Employee Fund to support Employee Recognition programs?
Beyond Employee of the Month
Employee surveys show that recognition is often rated more highly in importance to employees than salaries! Forget Employee of the Month! Try:
- A personalized communication from the leader or leadership team, such as a hand-written birthday or anniversary card, is appreciated because it is personal and shows effort. (Sadly, you might be surprised at the number of employees that tell you that you are the only one who remembered).
- Contests (Identify the team member’s baby picture, redecorating, etc.) where a team member can be celebrated and win a gift certificate (perhaps to the local supermarket).
- Conduct an inventory of your team member’s skills and hobbies, and you may be shocked to find the number and kind of talented people who could entertain residents. Wouldn’t you rather pay your staff to entertain the residents instead of your current entertainers?. They can help with computer tasks, and teach residents to paint, play music, cook and sing.
- Give out bottled water to staff on hot days (You can even have your own private label!).
Team Member Participation
A time-worn principle of employee relations states that the more your team members are involved in operations, the more you can expect that they will buy into existing programs and policies as well as new developments and operational changes. Some examples:
- Develop permanent and ad hoc committees and task forces for specific issues, especially issues which are brought up by non-management staff (e.g., unlabeled laundry, meal delivery times, holiday scheduling, etc.);
- Conduct a pot luck employee meal and ask employees to bring their favorite dish to share with co-workers. This kind of program might coincide with a theme day.
- Have staff conduct a weekly 50/50 raffle, with proceeds going to subsidize an employee event.
- For those organizations involved in culture change, you can’t change a culture without involving the key players, so mechanisms need to be in place to obtain input from all categories of personnel and all shifts.
This article was written by special guest blogger, our friend, Julian Rich.
Julian Rich is the founder of J RICH SOLUTIONS, a consulting firm serving the senior care world. He formerly served as C.E.O./President at PENACOOK PLACE in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Julian holds an M.A.in Health Care Administration from George Washington University and is a Board member of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American College of Health Care Administrators, a former member of their national Board, and a former member of the Board of the Massachusetts Aging Association. For further information, please contact Julian at [email protected]