Recognizing the hard work and dedication of staff members in long-term care facilities is essential for creating a positive work environment, boosting morale, and retaining top talent. Whether it is a small gesture or a more formal program, showing appreciation for staff can have a significant impact on their engagement, motivation, and overall job satisfaction. According to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, post-acute care facilities, on average, experienced a turnover of 52% of nursing staff each year. In other words, the average post-acute facility must replace half of its direct care staff each year.
But there are some facilities that are bucking the trend and creating supportive and compassionate environments for both their patients AND staff.
We got the opportunity to talk with one of our clients, Brightmoor Hospice, about how they attract and retain amazing employees and found ourselves incredibly inspired by everything Brightmoor stands for.
So how do they do it? We’ve compiled some of their noteworthy practices and tips below.
Finding the Right Talent
Finding the right staff for a hospice is a crucial step in ensuring that patients and their families receive the best care and support possible. It’s important to have a good understanding of your values, culture, and mission so that you can ensure that the potential candidates align with your organization’s goals.
“To be a part of Brightmoor you have to care,” said Casie Brooks, Director of Human Relations. “We go above and beyond when we talk to interested candidates as we recruit. We ask them what their goals are, their vision, and we ask what they expect from us as their employer, so we are clear on their expectations of us from the beginning.”
Brightmoor finds that most of their recruiting comes from word of mouth. They have a longstanding reputation in the community and have been around since 1964. Their passion for finding the right talent comes from the top and Chuck Brown, Administrator and CEO of Brightmoor Hospice, makes it a point to meet just about every potential hire before they are hired. He comes to all the orientation classes to meet the new hires and let them hear from him.
This results in their 230-member staff being truly the best in the business.
Do the Right Thing Because it’s the Right Thing To Do
Having a clear mission and values is a key factor in retaining staff in any organization, and this is particularly true in a hospice where staff plays a crucial role in providing care and support to patients and their families during a challenging time. When staff members understand and believe in the mission and values of the hospice, they are more likely to feel a sense of purpose and fulfillment in their work. This, in turn, leads to higher job satisfaction, which is a key factor in retaining employees.
Multiple times during our conversation, the leaders of Brightmoor Hospice mentioned their key value of “do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.”
This permeates absolutely everything that they do.
“We do the right thing for staff, we do the right thing for our patients, and we do the right thing for the families,” said Hannah Duncan, Director of Community Relations, at Brightmoor Hospice.
The team at Brightmoor takes that a step further, doing the right thing for the community they serve as well. They encourage staff to volunteer together at community events and reward their employees for giving back, entering them for drawings to win trips and prizes at the year-end Christmas party.
Go Above and Beyond for Patients
Brightmoor employees have a deep connection to the company mission because they go above and beyond for their patients. Brightmoor trains staff in what it means to go above and beyond, and they lead by example.
From making sure no patients are alone on Thanksgiving to the Brightmoor Cares program – which focuses on making patients feel like part of the Brightmoor family, the whole staff takes on the mission to go above and beyond.
Brightmoor Hospice also takes part in the Second Wind Dreams Program, which fulfills dreams for seniors. The entire Brightmoor staff participates in making these dreams come true and the ripple effect of those dreams spreads from the patient to everyone who helped make it a reality.
As part of this program, the team fulfilled the dream of a patient who, as an avid motorcyclist for most of his life, was able to take part in a special motorcycle ride in his honor. He was escorted by more than 100 riders from all over Georgia.
Caring for Team Members as People
Caring for employees as people rather than just employees can have a profound impact on their engagement, well-being, and overall job satisfaction.
“We care about our team members as people, and we make it known that we care about them,” said Duncan.
Brightmoor put those words into action.
When the tornados came through on January 12, 2023, the team came together and helped the impacted staff and their families. There wasn’t a generator to buy within 50 miles, so Brown sent three of his sons to Macon to buy generators and deliver them to staff without power. They provided meals, support, and safe places to stay. The phones were down at the office, but they were able to still get messages to staff and families using Carefeed.
During the height of the pandemic, the Brightmoor team hosted drive-through events, providing supper for families and even giving away those pandemic-time treasures like toilet paper and paper towels.
From Christmas parties to family picnics, and trunk or treat events to holiday decorating, Brightmoor brings their employees together for more than just work.
Recognizing & Celebrating Team Members
When employees feel that their work is acknowledged and celebrated, they are more likely to feel empowered and engaged, leading to a more positive work environment and employee retention.
Brightmoor recognizes employees through kudos cards given by their peers and has an employee of the quarter program. They highlight employee spotlights on their social media channels and feature employees who help record their radio commercials!
They also make employee professional growth a priority, not hiring managers from the outside and focusing on promoting from within. They are even rolling out a CNA ladder program to further recognize and elevate CNAs on staff.
“We have growth & advancement opportunities for all staff, not just college graduates,” said Duncan, “If they want to grow in their career, they have that option here.”
In fact, some of the leadership on the call with us did just that. Casie Brooks, Director of HR at Brightmoor, started out as a CNA in 2007.
Listening to and Communicating with Team Members
“There is a massive open-door policy here,” said Duncan. “Ideas, complaints, concerns…it is all welcomed.”
The Brightmoor team uses Carefeed to implement their staff satisfaction surveys – easily creating and sending surveys to the entire team. Surveying employees lets them know that Brightmoor wants to hear their feedback and is actively listening to their employees.
Employees can reach out to the on-site chaplain or social worker at any time if they need support or someone to talk to and there is a buddy system for the CNAs so they have the support of a peer.
Regular communication with employees is essential in building trust, fostering transparency, and ensuring that everyone is on the same page.
Brightmoor sends their newsletters, employee communications, and surveys using Carefeed.
A Suite of Tools to Make Onboarding and Retention Easy
Carefeed is proud to be a part of Brightmoor Hospice’s success, making their lives easier so they can focus on what really matters, their patients.
Carefeed is your central place for seamless communication and engagement with residents, families, and staff. Their solutions digitize and automate outdated processes to save your team time and increase operational efficiencies.
- Efficient communication with all communities’ residents, families, and staff
- Create & send templated monthly newsletters and staff activity calendars
- Create surveys to send to staff to understand work satisfaction
- Text and email employee onboarding documents for e-signatures
- Send and document internal consents for policy updates
- Securely chat with staff
Learn more about Carefeed’s solutions beyond just staff retention or schedule a demo here.