Reward system for hardworking CNA's..need help!


At most LTC facilitys we have good CNA's, and then we have the LAZY CNA's who hide in rooms on their cell phones, never do rounds, and seem to just suck the life out of the other CNA's...etc. right? WELL. Im sick of the good aides not being appreciated at our facility...thus causing them to leave, because they are picking up the slack of the LAZY aides...Im trying to think of a reward system that our Baylor nurses can offer...maybe per shift for our Aides that go above and beyond, to say Thanks for doing an awesome job...

I was thinking CNA pins, badge holders, the new rubber band bracelets, Candy, heck, I dont know...Just looking for some ideas that wouldnt cost a I said would like to give 4 out a each shift.

Thanks in advance...


LPN1974, LPN

879 Posts

How about some framed certificates for above and beyond the call of duty.... for Outstanding Work?

How about a board for Outstanding employee of the month, to recognize that particular employee....something NICE to post those employees names where everyone, patients/visitors/other employees could see it, maybe in the main entrance lobby or at the main desk area or nurses station. It would be nice to keep the names of the ones honored and add to it each month, etc.

You could select this employee by letting everyone vote and nominate their favorite outstanding employee of the month.

How about a "Special Parking spot"? really close to the main entrance where that employee doesn't have to walk far, or maybe a parking spot of his/her choosing and they get the use of that particular spot for a month or so? It would be nice to have a "Free standing sign" to put at that parking spot with that employee's name on it, so everyone would see it. These suggestions would virtually cost you nothing....except for the framed certificate.

And depending on how much you want to spend in money, how about some gift certificates to the local stores, or a free dinner for the employee and a guest?

Other small coupons such as free video rentals, ice cream favors at the local ice cream joint, etc. maybe you can think of some more like that in your area.

Hmmmm....that's all I can think of.

Specializes in LTC, home health, critical care, pulmonary nursing. Has 12 years experience.

Why SHOULD there be a reward system? We are paid to do what we do. Usually an insulting amount, however we are compensated. I find the concept to be a little patronizing. We are adults. I do my job well because I was hired to do it well and I take pride in it. Not to get recognition. Besides, my reward comes when my residents are comfortable and clean and happy.

Specializes in 5 yrs OR, ASU Pre-Op 2 yr. ER.

A "thank you". Tell the ones that do a good job, just how good of a job they do. Let them know what you think. Trust me, this goes a very long way.

Specializes in ICU, PICC Nurse, Nursing Supervisor. Has 20 years experience.

I can't believe Im reading this from a CNA. If you do your job well that means the patients have good care. Sure you are paid to do it, but so are the other CNA's who could care less. No one wants to treat you like a baby; they just want to thank you for the wonderful job you do. Take it as compliment.:)

Why SHOULD there be a reward system? We are paid to do what we do. Usually an insulting amount, however we are compensated. I find the concept to be a little patronizing. We are adults. I do my job well because I was hired to do it well and I take pride in it. Not to get recognition. Besides, my reward comes when my residents are comfortable and clean and happy.


483 Posts

The reward? You get a paycheck and you get to keep your job! :chuckle

Specializes in Education, Acute, Med/Surg, Tele, etc. Has 13 years experience.

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) 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! :)


455 Posts

Hand written thank you notes are nice.

We used to have a special bulletin board where anyone could post a thank you note to a coworker.


4,516 Posts

One thing I found successful when I was charge on a stepdown unit was, with my director's support, recognize and reward the good CNA in a tangible way.

I had one super CNA. First of all I recognized her contribution whenever I front of everyone. I wrote a letter citing her exceptional work to my upper management then worked to get her recognized: the title Lead CNA was given to her with a substantial raise. Part of her duty as Lead CNA would be to help form a new job description/standard of care for CNA's and provide leadership. Yes petty jealousies developed but with patience and consistent insistence, the other CNA's worked up to the standard or were eliminated.

If we can 'grow our own' workplace leaders we encourage and reward the good, while setting the standard for the bad. But it takes a dedicated management effort to foster this kind of environment, I know...and we don't always have that out there do we?

Best wishes and hope you can come up with a workable plan. :)

boulergirl, CNA

428 Posts

Specializes in Home care, assisted living. Has 7 years experience.

Folks, we ARE being paid to do a job but there's nothing wrong with at least receiving a thank-you or a pat on the back every now and then! Sometimes when you put in that extra effort or dedication it's nice to get a bit of recognition (when you least expect it, too!). When I've received a gift card or thank-you note from mgmt., it lets me know that I'm an EXCELLENT employee and a valuable part of the team. It also boosts my morale and helps keep me going when I feel tempted to give up. Let's face it, being a nurse's aide is not the most rewarding work, and if you don't go back to school for a degree, there is no future for you in this field. Anyone can change a brief or make a bed. Those who show pride in their work, however, should be noted in one way or another.

Specializes in ER, ICU, Infusion, peds, informatics. Has 24 years experience.

another suggestion would be to encourage resiedents/family members to write notes telling the cnas how much they appreciate their hard work, and make sure a copy goes into the aide's personnel file. it seems like they always hear from the dissatisfied residents, but rarely hear from the ones who think they do a wonderful job.

is your employer backing you up on this? or is this something you would have to do "informally?" if your employer is on board and willing, i think that a couple of extra hours of pto would be nice -- not a huge amount of money, but sure could add up for a cna that is consistently great. i once worked for an agency that rewarded us for going to in-services by giving us pto.

i think the movie tickets/small gift cards is a great idea, too, if you have to go out on your own. if you are a big facility, the parking spot idea is great -- right next to where the don/administrator get to park

allele, LPN

247 Posts

Has 10 years experience.

NurseWiggins, I think what you want to do it wonderful! I always appreciate any small token of thanks! For example, our manager sends out a little "Kudos" email to the whole unit recognizing staff for little achievements! It's a small token of thanks that usually makes me smile if I make the list! If this is something you're doing on your own, maybe a little 'treat' bag, like you'd get at a kids birthday party, with a nice little note of thanks for their going above and beyond or being so caring? The bags could just have a little candy or something in them, a little CNA pin, whatever. If this is something your facility agrees with you on, maybe a free meal certificate? I LOVE the extra PTO idea!! I'd like that more than money! At any rate, good luck and again, I love the idea!


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