With the severe staff shortage, we want to give our workers some gifts. I have a small budget but want to start doing things like a New Year’s gift, and Valentine’s and Nurses Day recognition of some sort. Do you have any ideas?

I think the idea of letting staff know you are thinking of them is wonderful! I have heard from many facilities about cute ideas for various holiday presentations.

With a small budget, perhaps ask some of your vendors to get involved with your recognition program. Maybe one of them could donate a sandwich tray, a shirt or two, or bagels for shifts. Forget the pizza, as many facilities say their staff are tired of pizza parties.

Maybe a charcuterie tray or board, with some beverages. Try a beverage cart near the DON office or the break room. Coffee, tea, flavored creamers, sugar cubes, brown sugar, syrups and flavored creamers for hot or iced coffee, and hot chocolate have been a huge hit at some facilities.

Another good idea can be lottery tickets. Or bag hand balm or specialized hand cream since many employees have sore hands from glove use and alcohol gel, especially in winter.

Homemade jams and jellies, as well as soaps, are also appreciated if you are the type of person that enjoys doing that, and can supply your number of staff. Special name tags and angel pins are all appreciated.

If you have a tiny budget, try doing a game, like guessing the number of gloves used in a month, and give gift cards to Starbucks or Amazon for winning guesses.

Ask family members to assist with a luncheon or some type of food functions for each shift. Whatever you decide to do, be sure you do something for each shift! It’s not fair to have a luncheon at 1 p.m. and expect your night shift to wake up and come in. If you really want to treat your staff, be sure you show up on all shifts.