You know, it may sound silly...but my employer use to give out candy bars for perfect attendance or something an employer did that was beyond the call of duty (little things that mean alot to a patient or patients family)...so we use to kinda get a little kick out of doing that little extra. They would also give out thank you cards with heart felt thank yous (not pre printed stuff...real notes!) personalized to employees that did something special for their residents!
We don't have those perks anymore, a management change said no to that because "we are supose to be doing it anyway" then cut our staff by 1/4! We still do the extra's or special little things because we are caring individuals that are like family to these folks, but it was nice to see that the management noticed by a little thank you note and what not. Made you feel like part of a team, not a work horse that can be replaced...
It wasn't much...but it was very much appreciated by all! Since it was cancled, moral has bottomed out...and the workload doubled. Not good!
Implementing a nice little personal 'pat on the back' reminder of appreciation is important for moral, and does do wonders! It shows someone noticed and took the time out of their busy schedule to show they recognize you for your efforts!
Pins are popular at my facility...but boy they can cost a fortune when you have over 40 of them. I started making friendship pins, you know those little beaded pins on safety pens...they loved it! I also made some with their names (letters on beads) for ones that helped me in an extra ordinary way (like the only CNA who helped me with a dying patient who was a family friend, and they stuck it out with me and helped...I knew her sacrifice, and thought it was very much worth a thank you!).
I have also made up appreciation awards on my computer and backed them on colorful construction paper in fun colors and shapes, and a yearly thank you letter at Christmas that always is guarenteed to get lots of hugs and heartfelt joyful tears! I may not be able to give much moneywise, but I can do things that don't cost much but mean more than some trinket from the dollar store.
I think what you are thinking of doing is awesome, make sure it is okay with management. It is NOT okay with mine, but I give it outside of work
(like when we all walk to our cars after shift). It means so very much, and I get back 100X more!