Feeling In on Things

The Big Picture


  • Educate employees regarding the big picture of your organization and show how they make a difference in the big picture.
  • Share your mission statement and your strategic plans.
  • Provide customer service training.
  • Explain "marketing" and the public image of your facility; discuss what is involved and the role of each employee.

Input on Care Decisions and Care Conferences


  • Allow any employee assigned to a permanent group to give input to managers.
  • Encourage nurses to request CNA input for all care plan and MDS updates.
  • Ask CNAs to keep the ADL care plan updated.
  • Seek employee input for behavior management.
  • Seek employee input for feeding problems.
  • Invite and encourage employees to attend care conferences.
  • Ask employees to participate in family care plan review.
  • Utilize the knowledge of employees who are "experts" in providing specific cares.

Input on Procedures


  • Request and accept employee input for procedure changes.
  • Provide the format for CNAs to write the initial procedure and have the nurse fine-tune it, e.g., new bed, lift, etc.

Input on Quality Improvement


  • Include employees at all levels on CQI teams for issues such as retention, orientation, staffing policies, documentation tools, and shift routines.
  • Put a suggestion box on each unit and ask employees to share their ideas and concerns prior to a scheduled meeting. These can become agenda topics for the meeting.
  • Ask for employee assistance on a problem you need to solve.
  • Ask employees to share the problems they encounter in providing care.
  • Ask employees to share the problems residents bring to their attention.
  • Ask for employee input on equipment or product purchases.
  • Invite employees at all levels to attend monthly staff meetings.

Input on Committees


  • Invite employees at all levels to serve on committees that deal with topics such as quality assurance, infection control, ethics, and dining room.
  • Provide the time employees need to attend meetings.
  • Report committee happenings to all employees.
  • Provide a vehicle for employee concerns to be shared at meetings.
  • Encourage employees to participate on committees that focus on internal functions, e.g., recognition, dinner, picnics, etc.
  • Encourage employees to report on committee functions at monthly staff meetings.

Input on Room Changes


  • Keep a running list of employee suggestions for roommate possibilities.
  • Encourage employees to share roommate conflicts.
  • Keep employees informed of your rationale for room changes.
  • Teach employees all factors involved in roommate choices.

Input on Departmental Planning


  • Create an employee  task force to assist in goal planning for their own department.
  • Encourage your employees to develop their own goals.
  • Ask for employees' involvement and opinions on equipment purchases.
  • Have the employees evaluate products or types of products.
  • Ask employees for their input on staff allocation or assignments.

Input on Benefits


  • Request and respond to employee concerns regarding benefits.
  • Offer options and allow employees to select which benefits they prefer individually given available dollars.
  • Periodically ask staff to evaluate the benefit package; make adjustments accordingly.
  • Ask employees for their input on employment ads.

Case Management -- Seek Employee Ideas to Improve Care


  • Help employees develop their communication skills.
  • Ask employees open-ended questions to encourage their sharing of ideas.
  • Communicate directly with employees regarding care, activities, and personal needs.
  • Give employees' ideas serious consideration and respect.
  • When an employee asks you a question and the answer is not at hand, be sure to get back to the inquirer with an answer at a later date.
  • Educate employees about specific resident population needs.
  • Assign CNAs to a specific group and to a specific licensed case manager.

Regular Meetings with the Administrator


  • Schedule regular meetings between the administrator and employees at all levels to discuss corporate information or to share feedback.
  • The administrator should schedule informational luncheon meetings with departmental staff.
  • The administrator should schedule an employee newsletter to share corporate news or plans that affect employees.

Problem-Solving Meetings


  • Choose informal leader(s) to participate in problem-solving groups.
  • Request, accept, and respond to employee input.

Provide Opportunity for Orientation Feedback


  • Have orientation be a goal based orientation and individualize it to meet the assessed needs of the orientee.
  • Have employees involved with the staff developer in planning in-services.
  • Host participatory meetings with hand-on involvement -- "be creative."
  • Conclude each orientation session with an evaluation form or interview.
  • Ask experienced employees to serve as mentors and as personal advocates for newly hired employees.
  • Include the mentor in the new employee evaluation process.
  • Develop a support team for mentors. Also develop a support team for new orientees.
  • Allow the orientee to evaluate the preceptor or mentor at the end of the orientation.
  • Create a CQI team out of the preceptors for evaluation and on-going improvement of the orientation process.
  • Encourage employees to share positive and negative feedback about the orientation process.
  • Have the administrator meet informally with the employees after the orientation.
  • Schedule weekly meetings with the orientee during the first three months to provide feedback.

Encourage and Accept Employee Prepared Articles in the Facility's Monthly Newsletter


  • Encourage employees to author or co-author articles.
  • Encourage employees to write articles regarding positive employee/long term care experiences.
  • When you come across an article pertaining to employees, share it with your employees.



  • Provide and nurture a vehicle for sharing information and feedback.
  • Include sharing of employee personal accomplishments in your share-a-gram.
  • Share employee compliments as well as resident and family compliments.



Chapter One: Good Wages and Working Conditions

Chapter Two: Scheduling Options

Chapter Three: Recognition

Chapter Four: Feeling In on Things

Chapter Five: Fringe Benefits and Other Incentives

Chapter Six: Growth Opportunities

Additional Resources