Possibility Unleashed: The 2023 ANCOR Annual Conference

Early bird registration is now open for the 2023 ANCOR Annual Conference! Register before 11:59 pm EST on February 7 to secure the lowest rates.
Register Today
Connections - 12.19.19

3 Ways To Recognize & Reward Your DSPs

Share this page

How are you thanking your DSPs for all their hard work?

It’s a question I/DD organizations must ask themselves given today’s low unemployment, high competition for talent and turnover rates reaching 70% for some providers.

Your DSPs are the heart of your organization and deserve to be recognized and rewarded for their contributions. After all, caring for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, while rewarding, is also highly demanding at times.

Here are 3 ways I/DD providers can say thanks to their DSPs, and improve recruitment and retention and in the process:

1. Keep it Simple & Timely

Recognition doesn’t have to be extravagant. In fact, keeping it simple can go a long way in keeping employees engaged and helping them understand their hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed. If you see a DSP going above and beyond, let them know! The recognition could be in person, one-on-one or given during a team meeting or in the form of a handwritten note.

Whatever you choose, make sure it’s timely. Don’t wait a week or two to recognize them for something they did today. Providing more immediate recognition lets employees know that you’re paying attention.

2. Give Them Something to Work Towards

Rewarding employees doesn’t and shouldn’t be a one-off occurrence. Regularly recognizing key behaviors such as not calling off, punching in on time, punching out on time as well as tenure milestones is the surest way to keep employees engaged. And when you assign reward points to these behaviors gives staff something to work towards.

Automated points-based rewards systems can track employee behaviors so contributions can be rewarded in a systematic way. Then, employees can redeem these rewards for prizes, such as lunch on the boss, movie tickets or gift cards. Offer rewards in a range of values so employees can choose to either cash them in as they earn them or save them for something bigger

3. Give Your Top Performers a Chance at Something Big

Want to create some friendly competition among your DSPs? Instead of giving small rewards to top performers throughout the year, give them all a chance to win one big prize during an annual raffle. Award raffle tickets for key behaviors throughout the year. Then, once a year, gather everyone together for the big giveaway.

How big can you go? Some of the providers we’ve worked with have given away anything from a free trip to anywhere in the U.S. to a car.

Not sure what’s the best way to recognize and reward your employees? Just ask them! You may find that some would prefer small, “bonus” type rewards throughout the year, such as a gift card or a small cash bonus. Others may prefer to work towards something of their choice. Listen to your employees and be sure to check in with them regularly to ensure the reward they earn is something that feels worthwhile to them. This not only ensures they feel truly recognized but is another great way to boost engagement by showing employees you’re listening and reacting to their feedback.

Want more ideas on how to reward your DSPs? Download our free guide, Rewards For Every Budget for some great rewards ideas providers like you are using to show employees their contributions matter, without hurting their bottom line.

Lisa Fordyce is the Executive Vice President of Enterprise Development for Senior Living. Having started her career as a caregiver and expanding into operations leadership, Lisa has held senior executive operations positions at national health care organizations, leading overall business strategies and day-to-day operations to deliver quality resident care and services. Prior to joining OnShift, Lisa was Chief Operating Officer at Senior Lifestyle Corporation, leading the overall operational strategies.