Do your food servers and staff know how much they are appreciated?

Thank you

Appreciation Day in Assisted Living and Long Term Care communities is a way of saying thank you for the personal attention your food servers and all employees extend to the residents they serve. It is a way of saying that we, the company, care about you, too. This past, long year of the pandemic has brought all those who serve the residents, to the attention of grateful families and the companies who manage the communities. Commitment, work standards, proper serving techniques, personal bonding with residents, and even coming to work daily are accomplishments to be noticed and rewarded.

Another way of showing appreciation is an Employee of the Month program to honor those who go a step further to reassure a resident when delivering meals, asking a coworker if help is needed. Making small talk to extend friendliness to a resident is comforting. A server’s attitude affects everyone within her range of motion whether serving a meal, passing a coworker in the hallway, or helping to restock the pantry. Leadership qualities seem to be born in some people but others can learn how to become leaders through Kind Dining♥ coaching (available online, too) sessions that bring out skills some employees didn’t even know they had. Hanging the picture of the Employee of the Month, giving a Certificate of Distinction, and a gift basket full of delights are items to consider. The employee recipient then joins the committee for selecting the next Employee of the Month who in turn replaces her/his spot on the committee.

To show appreciation, the company may also give points for perfect attendance and reward with a gift card. These ideas are not setting up a contest but recognition of an employee’s awareness followed by thoughtfulness. It is a way of celebrating personal achievements and milestones of efforts to improve one’s performance. Other factors to include, but not limited to, are attitude, emotional intelligence, quality of work standards, attendance, and length of service, communication with residents and coworkers, and leadership abilities. Aside from hanging the Employee’s picture in a prominent place for residents to see, a picture and some personal information can be sent in the monthly newsletter, included in the social media posts, and blog posts. A card on the employee’s anniversary of the first workday with a small gift card tells your employee the company is happy he/she is part of their community. The amount may increase at various milestones, along with personal conversations over lunch with a manager and a couple of co-workers of the employee’s choosing.

Kind Dining♥ is nearby to guide you with continuing education, the key factor in keeping knowledgeable, food servers and staff that make your community a wonderful place to live and work. People are rarely born with and not often trained in the most vital skills that make a positive difference in others’ lives.

B♥ Kind ®Tip: Has someone helped you out today? Thank them.

About Cindy Heilman

Cindy is the founder and owner of Kind Dining®, which she began in 2006. She’s traveled across the country and Canada working with and training senior living communities that want to create an exceptional dining experience for their residents and staff. In addition, she certifies select professionals in her Kind Dining® philosophy and provides tools, now in an eLearning format, that make learning stick and help people put insights into action. As a result of her work, clients often share their staff has a new sense of purpose, get along better and keep their focus and energy on what matters most. In fact, she wrote a book, Hospitality for Boomers on how to attract residents and keep good team members. In her free time, she enjoys walking Oregon trails and cheering on her favorite soccer teams, the Portland Thorns and Timbers.

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