I think employees should always try their best but realize the importance of recognition from peers and supervisors. At some point, my former facility began naming an employee of the quarter and an employee of the year.
When it started, I knew nothing about it. After a while, I was asked to give my opinion of which employees impressed me with their job performance. The problem was I was usually asked while riding in my power chair in the hallway. Since it was not private, I did not want to say anything that others might overhear. I would have preferred to submit my names privately or on paper.
Occasionally, the aides would chat about the awards. Some felt since they never won, their work was not appreciated by management or the residents. Others felt some employees won too frequently and questioned how fairly employees were chosen.
Even if I gave my input, many times I had no idea which employee won either award. If the winner did not boast about it, I never found out. The selection of some employees surprised me because I did not feel there work was outstanding. I wondered if management was using the award as a motivation.
The quarterly award was a $100 gift card, and the employee of the year award was a $300 gift card. The annual award, given close to the holidays, made employees enjoy speculating about winning and what they would purchase with the gift card if they won.
There were always employees, particularly aides, who did a good job and were never recognized. I am sure some of them felt the employee awards were more a popularity contest than an award based on merit.
I also felt residents should have given employees some small acknowledgment of appreciation. At a previous facility, we had a Resident Council Thank You Bulletin Board. Each month, residents picked employees to honor. I made cards on my computer that were placed on the bulletin board. Many employees who were put on the board said they enjoyed being recognized.
I think if nursing home employees are being honored, residents should be informed of the winner. It should also be clear how winners are determined. That way, residents can make a more informed nomination.
Kathleen Mears is a long-time blogger who has been a nursing home resident for 21 years. She is an incomplete quadriplegic and uses a power wheelchair to get around. Her computer is her “window on the world.” This blog shares her thoughts and view of life as a nursing home resident as well as ideas of how it might be improved in the future.
Topics: Leadership , Staffing , Training