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It’s CNA appreciation week! Across the country, CNAs provide invaluable healthcare to vulnerable patients, forge bonds in their communities, and help patients and residents live healthier, more independent lives. We rely heavily on CNAs to make healthcare facilities not only efficient and responsive for patients, but warm work environments for their colleagues.

Here are six things you can do today to celebrate the CNAs in your community, even if you only have a moment to spare.

1. Send a Meaningful Letter

It’s the nature of a busy workplace that employers and employees often communicate only when something needs to change. But to show CNAs that you value them (and to reduce turnover), it’s worth taking a moment to recognize what goes right—even during mundane moments.

To help show your gratitude this CNA appreciation week, we’ve put together a letter you can customize, download, and distribute to your employees

Better yet, have HR reach out to families in your community and ask them to submit short messages of appreciation to your CNAs. Gather these letters and distribute them to your CNAs to show what an impact they have on the whole community. This takes a little more coordination, but personalized and sincere messages of thanks can go a long way.

2. Do a Coffee Run

If you’re pinched for time but still want to demonstrate that you appreciate your CNAs, have the administrator or don do a Starbucks run for the whole team. Visit each CNA on the floor and take their order. Then hand-deliver the drinks to make sure everyone gets what they ordered.

If a coffee run feels impractical for your business, you could also send out a digital gift card. (It’s generally best to play it safe and go with a service anyone can enjoy, like UberEats or Grubhub.) But there’s no guarantee that gift cards will actually be used. It’s often more effective and more meaningful for management to take the initiative and deliver drinks in person.

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3. Publish a CNA-Created Video

You might ask your CNA team to create a short video about your facility or community. This can be as simple as a TikTok where CNAs introduce themselves, talk about what they do, and give a tour of their workplace. With very minimal work, you’ll get a video that you can share on your website, social media channels, and with your team to help celebrate your CNAs’ team culture.

Not only will this video help highlight your CNAs, but it can also act as a teambuilding activity to bring them closer together. A simple video is both fun to create and rewarding to see published (not to mention, it’s exactly the kind of content that job seekers love to see). Once you have the video in hand, share it on every channel you have to publicly recognize the team members who helped produce it.

4. Help Plan Their Careers

Career planning is more time-intensive than sending a card, but it pays off in dividends. For many CNAs, career planning is a major struggle. Is it worth going back to school to become an RN? Will they get a job that will help them pay off the debt? Are there other avenues they can explore if they don’t want a long-term career in nursing? You can answer these questions (and build loyalty while you’re at it).

For CNA appreciation week, consider announcing career planning meetings or a series of other professional events, like Q&A sessions from leaders. You don’t have to conduct all these meetings right away, but you can start putting together a plan to help your CNAs grow within your organization. 

5. Showcase Their Work

Ideally, employee recognition should be an ongoing process. But healthcare is a high-pressure industry, and sometimes appreciation falls by the wayside as you fight to provide quality care. CNA appreciation week is the perfect time to put CNA accomplishments front and center.

During team meetings (or in your employee newsletter), spotlight CNAs who have contributed their work to your organization. Try making signs that highlight different CNAs, their accomplishments, and their background. Hang these up in visible places like the break room, near the time clock, or close to a billboard. This is one easy way to shine a light on workers who are important, but might be unrecognized and under-celebrated. 

You don’t have to focus on any particular instance where one person went above and beyond. CNAs have incredibly demanding roles. They’re already doing amazing work by caring for patients, managing demands from colleagues, and making members of the community feel heard and respected. This routine work deserves its own recognition.

6. Ask For Feedback

Employee recognition doesn’t have to be a shot in the dark. Close CNA appreciation week by soliciting feedback about your workplace and company culture. Ask CNAs directly: what did they think of your attempts to celebrate them? Would they prefer a different kind of employee recognition? It’s best practice to collect this feedback anonymously, so employees can feel completely comfortable responding honestly.

Remember, soliciting feedback is meaningless if you don’t take action. You might not be able to make sweeping changes to your workplace, but you can at least adjust how you celebrate your employees based on their preferences. If workers prefer social events to gift cards, or monetary bonuses to other benefits, take note of that for next time.

Better Hiring With Apploi

It’s a tough market to be staffing CNAs, but Apploi’s healthcare-specific talent management platform can help you find, recruit, and retain workers with a streamlined and effective hiring process. 

Interested in learning how you can recruit, hire, and onboard healthcare staff quickly? Contact us today for a free demo of our end-to-end talent management solution.

Melanie Boroosan

Over her six years in healthcare administration, Melanie has managed human resources, legal, compliance, payroll, and recruitment efforts at a corporate level. This oversight granted her a deep appreciation for the unique needs of healthcare managers, and for the direct ways that business operations affect the wellbeing of each employee. As Apploi’s Director of Healthcare Innovation, Melanie draws from her experience in healthcare HR and ancillary long-term care to pursue a vision of holistic healthcare staffing. Her work is rooted in the knowledge that great care begins with improving quality of life for all healthcare workers.