The COVID-19 pandemic has spread healthcare staff extremely thin. According to Activated Insights, over the summer, employee engagement has fallen, and turnover has increased specifically among senior living care providers. While it is impossible to know when the pandemic and the impact of it will end, there are ways to increase employee engagement, morale, and regain camaraderie that may have been lost over the last nine months.
Four Ways to Show Appreciation for Senior Living Staff:
1. Open Dialogue. COVID-19 has left many people feeling isolated both professionally and personally. An online survey of over 2,000 adults has found that more than 7 in 10 adults reported the pandemic has made it more difficult to connect with friends with nearly 1/3 of those stating that it had been the longest “isolation” period they had ever experienced. As an employer, one way to combat this is through the creation of an open line of communication between leadership and employees on the front lines. You can do this by holding virtual town halls where team members are encouraged to voice opinions and frustrations, ask questions, and learn from one another. You can also create an employee feedback section on the company’s website or internal communications center where employees can share concerns or provide individual perspectives.
2. Say Thank You. On social media, publicly when participating in interviews or through press releases, by putting signs up in your facilities, by directly communicating to your employees in company-wide emails, through written notes to individuals, etc. This should be consistent, creative, and it should highlight the many reasons why the providers work is appreciated. Not only does the receival of gratitude feel good, but the outward expression of gratitude may scientifically be more important. An article in Psychology Today highlights 7 proven benefits including physical and psychological health improvements, enhanced empathy, and much more. As the old adage goes, it’s better to give than to receive!
3. Encourage Mental Health Time Off. Given the restrictions on travel, many people did not take summer vacations like they normally would have taken. This has led to significant stress and isolation especially with the added challenges of COVID-19. Encourage team members to take time off to rest and recharge. Encouragement in this capacity is imperative because 95% of people reported a mental health day would improve their work performance, but only 28% felt comfortable requesting one (Source) .
4. Team Building Events. Host virtual happy hours, team-based competitions to win gift cards (costume contests, holiday decorating contests, etc.), brown box lunches, order pizza for Friday lunches, etc. There are many ways to build morale through opportunities to mingle with co-workers and leadership. This is also an opportunity to highlight the inclusiveness of the company. During the height of the pandemic Blue Sky Therapy held regular trivia nights encouraging field employees to join in for an hour of fun and games! This is an opportunity to let your creativity shine and there are endless ideas out there to make it a sure fire interactive hit!
About Blue Sky Therapy
Blue Sky Therapy also partners with skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and home health agencies to provide innovative physical, occupational, and speech therapy services. They also own and operate 6 outpatient clinics throughout Ohio and Florida. LEARN MORE about Blue Sky Therapy.
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