Enhancing Employment in Long Term Care:
A Guide to Retention
Fringe Benefits and Other Incentives
- Provide free coffee, tea, milk, bread, and butter for the employee lounge.
- Provide microwaves, toasters, and refrigerators in the employee lounge.
- Provide seasonal treats for the employees.
- Bring in special treats during weeks of special staff recognition, e.g., nurses' week, CNA day, dietary week, etc.
- Buy donuts for any unit or shift that goes for a week with no absences.
- Once a week or once a month, have a local bakery bring treats to your facility. Have volunteers available to sell these treats to the employees.
- Ask your volunteers to make special pies, cakes, and other treats and sell them for reasonable prices to the employees.
- Ask a volunteer organization to sponsor an ice cream social and deliver the sundae of your choice to all employees free of charge.
- Sell coffee to employees at a low price.
- Sponsor pizza parties for all shifts after survey or for other special events.
- Provide popcorn or ice cream cones for employees on an occasional basis.
- Provide birthday treats.
- Sponsor celebration meals in honor of special staff recognition days.
- Assist employees interested in forming a car pool.
- Make arrangements for the facility's van to pick up employees at certain locations on a set schedule.
- Make arrangements for your employees to purchase bus passes at discounted rates.
- Assist with transportation to and from the facility if an employee is snowbound or if an employee's car breaks down.
- Have your maintenance department help jump-start cars in the winter.
- Pay a uniform allowance, if possible.
- Ask a local uniform store to provide discounts to your employees.
- Consider volume ordering to receive employee discounts.
- Provide your employees with a list of reputable day care providers.
- Provide discounts at certain day care providers.
- Offer in-house day care at reduced fees.
- Create a directory of employees willing to provide child care during one shift in exchange for child care during another shift.
Picnics and Parties
- Encourage employee parties to honor a retirement, bon voyage, survey survival, baby shower, and wedding shower.
- Sponsor seasonal employee celebrations such as winter carnivals, summer picnics, and holiday celebrations.
- Allow and promote potlucks.
- Include the employees when you plan resident parties and treats.
- Encourage individual units to have holiday parties. Assist them in planning by working out a deal with a local restaurant.
- Sponsor facility-wide parties with a meal, dancing, and entertainment. Hold them onsite or outside the facility.
- Provide tables, Nesco roasters, serving utensils, and tableware for employee potlucks.
- Encourage shift or departmental potlucks.
- Identify an employee who is willing to coordinate a facility-wide potluck.
Reduced Priced, Reasonably Priced or Free Meals
- Allow employees to purchase facility meals at cost.
- Provide free meals when an employee is working extra hours or for other employee rewards.
- Provide inexpensive vending items.
- Subsidize a vending contractor.
- Provide employees access to onsite exercise equipment.
- Provide exercise video programs.
- Ask a local health club to offer your employees discounts on memberships.
- Identify one of your employees who is willing to facilitate walking or exercise groups.
- Sponsor educational programs stressing the importance of exercise.
- Bring in a motivational person to spearhead your exercise program.
- Encourage your employees to participate in Crop walks, MS bike rides, Diabetes walks, etc.
- Sponsor an employee assistance program (EAP).
- Provide your employees access to stress videos or speakers.
- Provide insurance that covers counseling.
- Allow the counseling professionals you have on staff to provide free service to other employees.
- Contract with a counselor to provide discount services for your employees.
- Make stress counseling available to employees at no cost. Keep it readily accessible and confidential.
Relaxation Tapes, Soothing Lights, Massage Therapy
- Play soothing music in the employee lounge.
- Have tapes or CDs available for employees who want to sing.
- Provide access to exercise equipment, whirlpool, etc.
- Provide a leader for aerobics or jazzercize.
- Provide videos on conflict resolution and other self-building topics.
- To reward an employee, give a gift certificate for time with a massage therapist, hair dresser, or nail specialist.
Teams -- Bowling, Softball, Volleyball, etc.
- Sponsor employee teams.
- Purchase shirts printed with the facility logo.
- Provide space for the team on campus, if possible.
- Consider intramural sports in your facility, e.g., tug-of-war and relay races. Allow residents to watch.
Craft Groups/Support Groups
- Provide a room where the groups can meet.
- Help the groups secure craft leaders.
- Facilitate various support groups.
- Purchase support videos and pamphlets.
- Have employees sign-out for the support videos.
- Provide refreshments and support videos for employees and their families.
- Plan theme days just for fun. Some considerations include: Disney days, Hawaiian cruise, Hawaiian luau, baseball opener with a tailgate party, Oktoberfest, Twelve Days of Christmas, crazy tie day, PJ day, cartoon day, western day, circus day, roaring 20s day, crazy hat day, blue jean day, and backwards day. For the Twelve Days of Christmas theme day, purchase small Christmas gifts and draw employee names for each of the twelve days before Christmas.
- Post special activity days throughout the facility. Remember to involve the residents.
- Encourage employees to bring in their collections -- dolls, stuffed animals, stamps, etc.
- Plan menus to match the theme day.
Raffles or Garage Sales with Proceeds for Staff Outings
- Sell chili or salads for lunch and use the proceeds to sponsor an employee holiday party.
- Provide space for employee raffles or garage sales.
- Process posters to advertise these events.
- Encourage staff on units to take turns bringing items to raffle and use the proceeds for employee outings.
- Encourage employees to bring in items to sell. Use the proceeds to benefit a community cause or to help a needy individual. This is good public relations.
- Acquire a special series of Bingo cards. Every 24 hours the facility goes injury free, a number is drawn. Any injury voids all cards.
- The winner of Bingo receives a cash prize.
- Develop team prizes and individual prizes.
Bulk Food Purchase Options
- Join a co-op or group purchasing program.
- Provide your employees a "Sam's Club" membership.
- Contact local merchants and solicit their assistance in setting up programs.
- Contact food vendors to equip and ask for quantity discounts.
- Ask a representative from your organization to shop for interested staff at a pre-identified discount store, such as Sam's.
- Work out an acceptable payment plan.
Discount Coupons for Food or Department Stores
- Give gift certificates to employees for the holidays.
- Keep gift certificates on hand to give out in drawings for good attendance, to give as rewards for special deeds, and to give as a bonus for working extra hours.
- Approach the Chamber of Commerce and discuss the possibility of their providing your facility with discount options which employees could use for dry cleaning, crafts, etc.
Chapter One: Good Wages and Working Conditions
Chapter Two: Scheduling Options
Chapter Three: Recognition
Chapter Four: Feeling In on Things
Chapter Six: Growth and Opportunities
WAHSA 204 South Hamilton Street Madison, WI 53703
Telephone: (608)255-7060 FAX:(608)255-7064