“We try to come up with new, fun ideas weekly, or at least monthly, that are intended to bring smiles to the faces of our staff. The ideas are usually small and inexpensive, but the results can sometimes be bigger than anticipated. Recently, our HR director developed a ‘family tree’ to have the staff put their name on a leaf and place it on the tree. That idea morphed into staff and departments putting up pictures of animals that they associated with. Every day there are new animals on the tree.”
— Lee Rooney, CEO, Signature HealthCARE of Putnam County, Cookeville, TN

“We do special meals every month. Sometimes we grill out. We’ve done chili dogs, nachos, walking tacos, ribeyes and cheeseburgers. We celebrate Nursing Home Week with fun activities and make special foods to go with our themed days. We have done four Thanksgiving dinner baskets with the help of our food supplier. We do summer fun baskets. Also, we have a smaller basket each month for attendance.”
— Jamie Frantz, Assistant Dietary Manager, McLean County Nursing Home, Normal, IL

“Every month, we hold a manager bake-o , where managers cook for the staff and residents. The theme changes every month. We did comfort food a few months ago where the mix was wonderful, everything from Mom’s cookie recipe to chicken tortilla soup. For a moment, residents aren’t patients and staff aren’t their helpers. We are all just people enjoying a meal together. The labels go away, and everyone starts to smile and laugh.”
— Jonathan Stark, Administrator, Regency Care of Central Oregon, Bend, OR

“A really simple, inexpensive way is for management/supervisor to print out a nice paper award stating, ‘We value you as an outstanding employee.’ Simply go up to the employee and say the company values your presence. This proactive acknowledgement will surely bring a smile and positive feeling. The employee will feel super welcome!”
— Sophia Bautista, RN, BSN, Cascadia of Nampa, Nampa, ID

“We focus on our sacred six values daily: integrity, positivity, teamwork, patience, compassion and respect. It is important to round in the facility multiple times a day and after hours, greet all staff with a smile, listen to their thoughts and really get to know each one as a person. Celebrate birthdays, send a kudos card to their house, ask about their families, celebrate a graduation or career ladder completion, lots of food and showing their community and peers through social media how much we care for our stakeholders.”
— Nicolle Meade, RD, LD, LNHA, CEO, Signature HealthCARE at Summerfield Rehab & Wellness, Louisville, KY