Great staffing ideas from the best in the business

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John O'Connor
John O'Connor

There is no doubt that staffing is a real challenge for most facilities.

It's typically the No. 1 budget expense. Turnover is rampant across the sector. And things appear to be getting worse. To be sure, making sure there are enough helping hands in the building can be quite the nightmare.

For those of you feeling a bit overwhelmed, please let me offer a simple suggestion. Take a look at the March 15 issue of Fortune magazine. There, you will find the publication's annual list of the 100 best companies to work for. You're also likely to discover many ways to make your facility a more attractive place to work.

At first glance, it's easy to conclude that you're way too cash-strapped to think about offering the kinds of perks and bennies the big boys dish out. Fair enough. But you just might find a few things that can be emulated. Consider:

• Baptist Health South Florida lets former workers return within five years without sacrificing previously earned seniority status or benefits.

• Veterans United Home Loans gives new hires $10 before their first day on the job to be used for enhancing someone else's life.

• Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts posts all job openings internally for five days before outsiders are informed.

• PCL Construction kicks off meetings that have five or more participants with a discussion on safety. The result is greater awareness of injury prevention at home and on the job.

• Novo Nordisk inspires its employees with videos of patients who have benefited from its life-saving products.

• EY lets those who put in at least 20 hours a week to use flexible work arrangements. They are also eligible for full-time benefits.

• KPMG has a "10,000 Stories Challenge," in which staff members create poster stories to highlight the positive impact of their work.

That's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

JM Family Enterprises gives workers free manicures and haircuts. At OhioHealth, athletic shoes from Zappos are supplied. Nugget Market completely covers healthcare insurance premiums for its workers. Eric Nordstrom invites new hires at his firm's online arm into his office for coffee and a chat.

Then there's ARI, where employees submitting ideas that cut costs or generate new revenues can earn $200 to $15,000. Click here to see the entire list.

To be fair, your organization may have to tweak or seriously modify some of these things in order to make them work. So here's my advice: Pick two or three that seem feasible. Then meet with the right people to adjust as necessary. Then make them happen.

The result could be an improved corporate culture, happier workers, lower turnover and less absenteeism. Oh, and here's a benefit for you: The bottom line might start looking a whole lot better.


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Daily Editors' Notes

McKnight's Daily Editors' Notes features commentary on the latest in long-term care news and issues. Entries are written by Editorial Director John O'Connor, Editor James M. Berklan, Senior Editor Elizabeth Newman and Staff Writer Marty Stempniak.