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Five Fun Ways to Say A Festive Thank You to Your Care Home Staff

The caring profession is both rewarding and challenging, with a number of physical and mental demands placed on care home managers and carers alike. At this time of year, it can be a lovely gesture to recognise the efforts put in by care home teams over the past 12 months. This can take on many forms, from a Christmas or New Year staff party or meal out to a festive bonus, additional days off and more.

Here are five ways to show your care home staff that you appreciate them during this fun and festive time of year.

Christmas party, meal out or ‘do’

Despite the fact that Christmas and winter in general can be a very busy time for care home staff, taking a few hours out for a festive get-together can be something that many people appreciate. Arranging and paying for a meal out at a local restaurant or café, dancing the night away at a hotel or club or simply enjoying afternoon tea together offers the chance for people to let their hair down and get to know each other away from a work environment. If you really cannot fit this in before Christmas, plan something fun for early January instead to help keep the festive spirit going for a bit longer into 2024.

Extra time off

Consider offering staff some extra paid leave this Christmas or New Year. Thanks to Care Vision’s staff rota planning tool, this can be done quickly and easily to ensure that people can enjoy some additional time to themselves while their colleagues cover their shifts – and vice versa. This could be useful for people to go sales shopping sometime in early January without having to wait for their next official day off. Alternatively, think about allowing longer lunch breaks or earlier finishing times for a few days to help staff get into the festive spirit. For staff scheduled to work on Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Eve, how about adding some more holiday hours to their allocation next year as a reward for working on the main festive days?

On-site perks and treats

If the shifts and workload don’t allow for extended time off or early finishes, think about what you can bring to the care home to help staff kick back and relax. There are a number of mobile services that you can book, from massages and exercise classes to treat baskets and makeovers. You could involve the residents too, who would doubtless also enjoy a few treats and changes from the usual routine. Another idea is to organise a secret Santa – or a post-Christmas gift swap where people can bring in unwanted gifts they got for Christmas and swap them with colleagues for something they prefer. How about holding a Christmas film afternoon with a fun festive movie, snacks and drinks?

Christmas bonus and other monetary ideas

Adding a Christmas bonus to staff’s wages in December or January is another way to show your team that you care. Extra cash will come in handy in January; traditionally a month when people tighten their belts after the excesses of Christmas. You could make a donation to a chosen charity on behalf of your staff as well. Ask them to nominate chosen good causes and hold a vote to see which one (or ones) will benefit. You could help out more than one, dividing up any funds raised to share them out more widely.

Community spirit initiatives

More and more businesses are helping their staff carry out volunteering and other worthy initiatives in the wider community. You could offer your team a day off to do a voluntary activity of their choice. Or make a commitment to match any fundraising money they make off-site for their chosen charity during the month of January, for example. Other ideas include holding fundraising bake sales or sponsored events on site, or helping make up food parcels or Christmas gift boxes to pass on to local charities. Again, this is something that residents and their families may also wish to take part in. Use Care Vision to plan events, ensure you have the right ratios of staff and budget for any costs involved.

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