A year ago Elaine Grose, Albert Goodman's Senior Tax Manager, shared her thoughts on how providers can thank their keyworkers without breaking the bank. We've revisited it and added some examples of care organisations which are doing just that.
With increased outgoings on PPE, covering the costs of staff who are self-isolating, and inflated insurance premiums, most care home businesses were lucky to see a profit in 2020; 2021 is not looking much better. So how can you reward your dedicated workers, who have supported the most vulnerable in our society, without doing too much to harm your bottom line?
There are of course the basics:
- Clear communication of expectations, as one disengaged staff member adds to the team's overall burden
- Regular breaks with in/outdoor spaces to relax in away from the residents
- Flexibility with working hours
- Investment in equipment to reduce the physical burden
- Well run and supported systems, to ensure minimal disruption to your staff's administrative burden
- Creating a constructive and open feedback system.
Then there are financial rewards:
- Discretionary bonuses
- Increased holiday entitlement
- Generous employer pension contributions
- Benefits which attract little or no tax liability
- Employee share schemes, to create an additional return when finances permit.
Since Elaine first wrote this piece we've learned of two homes which have implemented some of her points:
Indoor space for regular breaks - Elliscombe House
Carla Bowman, Manager of the newly-opened Elliscombe House, has written an article elsewhere in this newsletter about building an entire staff team. One of the things the owners of Elliscombe House paid particular attention to was their staff room, which is located on the top floor of the home. This means that staff can enjoy their breaks undisturbed, and the owners have provided comfortable furniture, a nice view, and tea and coffee facilities. These small things show staff that they are valued, and give them somewhere to relax before resuming their shift.
Employee incentive scheme – KRG Healthcare
Late in 2020 KRG Healthcare set up a Reward, Recognition and Wellbeing programme for their staff called ‘Applause for KRG Stars'. The programme includes discounts at 900 shops, employee of the month rewards, exercise/fitness/wellness videos, advice on money matters, and healthy eating recipes/articles.
Let's face it, most individuals working in the care sector are not in it for the money, but when it comes to those that go above and beyond, their financial value should not be overlooked!
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.