Time and time again, long-term care personnel put their hearts into their daily routines only to be told or to feel it’s not enough. 

That stultifying message may come from surveyors, regulators, family members or residents themselves. There seems to be no shortage of people holding back on acknowledgement and gratitude.

This is not healthy — for staff morale or the eventual fate of your facility.

If only there were some way to take charge and rectify this unhealthy, stultifying condition. 

Actually, there is.

Long-term care operators can’t force surveyors to be more collaborative or the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to give out more back slaps. But they can counteract the absence of recognition that lingers in too many facilities.

Successful providers find ways to lift their employees themselves, and McKnight’s can be a big help in this regard.

For example, the provider that does not submit some kind of entry in the new and expanded McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards program is missing out on a guaranteed way to energize staff and lift morale.

First, any provider that’s earnestly pursuing better care outcomes qualifies. (The same goes for any vendor serving the sector.) This is about high-tech AND low-tech in the workplace. It also doesn’t have to be some new invention fresh off the assembly line. 

If you’re using it, you’re undoubtedly putting your own custom touches on it, or massaging it to fit your workplace. Tell us about it this program, product or system.

Second, there are 16 — sixteen! — categories that you can land an entry or two in. There is certainly (at least) one for you. Remember: Simply entering shows delight with your staff or department.

Let them know and see pride grow.

Third, we will announce a full list of finalists this summer, a great way for national recognition in McKnight’s publications, websites, newsletters, etc. We name names (and that’s a good thing!). 

That precedes what could possibly be the biggest splash of all: Gold, Silver and Bronze awards that will be celebrated in print, online and in a nationally broadcast online ceremony. There will be nearly 50 of them, if judges get enough of what they like to see.

Does the government, the mainstream media or “the system” have you down? Does it feel like staff is just going through the motions? Take the bull by the horns and lift yourself up with this McKnight’s-produced elixir.

Enter the McKnight’s Tech Awards during your favored entry period. (Today, May 24, is the last day for the early-bird discount — so there’s still time to get in on that, if you’re really motivated. Other deadlines are July 1 and July 9.)

Don’t hold back on the appreciation for your staff, department or building. You, and they, have already done the hardest part. 

Now it’s time to finish the job and reap your due reward(s). 

Visit the McKnight’s Technology Awards website for full entry information and timeline. Read about past winners.

James M. Berklan is McKnight’s Long-Term Care News’ Executive Editor and a Best Commentary award winner in the 2024 Neal Awards, which are given annually to recognize the nation’s best specialized business journalism.

Opinions expressed in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News columns are not necessarily those of McKnight’s.