10 Holiday Incentives to Encourage and Retain Your Caregivers

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Caregiver retention is essential to home care agencies and clients. But the caregiver industry is volatile. Especially now.

Jobs everywhere are unfilled and in high demand. And year-end is a common time for dissatisfied workers to seek alternative employment.

Even the best caregivers—who are selfless and dedicated to their work—will quickly submit their resignations when they feel undervalued.

The good news? The holidays are an opportune time to express gratitude, give gifts, and dole out positive reassurance and respect.

When we show caregivers that we care, they’re more likely to stick around. And, when uplifted and appreciated, caregivers not only remain loyal—they spread more cheer.

Clients with routine and familiar caregivers feel better cared for. They value the same friendly faces at their doors. Subsequently, home care agencies that embrace retention challenges keep clients happy and business operations fluid.

So, ‘tis the season to pay it forward. (It will be well worth it!)

Here are ten incentives to show your caregivers, either as a client or an agency, how much you care…

1. Give the Gift of Meal Prep/Meal Kits

Caregivers are busy. They often work long, difficult shifts. And, when they get home, they still have themselves and their families to feed.

A month of meal prep, through a company like Hello Fresh or Sunbasket, saves your caregiver’s meal-planning time, grocery-shopping effort, and tons of money!

These meal services offer plenty of delicious and healthy meal options and recipes—both of which ordinarily take extra time and shopping to pull off.

With bellies both full and happy, caregivers will be well-fed, energized, and ever so grateful.

2. Buy Caregivers a Spa (Spaaaaaaah) Day

The work of a caregiver is not always easy. It’s a mentally, emotionally, and physically draining job—with the incredible reward of caring for those in need.

Even so, caregivers can also be cared for. Because, without a routine chance to relax and recharge, they may quickly burn out.

Spa Finder offers gift cards to many participating spas around the country. With this card, your caregivers can go online and schedule an appointment at a spa nearby. It’s quick and easy!

If you don’t invest in a day at the spa for them, it’s possible they never will (and they deserve to indulge!).

3. Gift an Extra Vacation Day…or Two

One way to show appreciation and understanding is to gift an extra day off. It allows your caregivers to feel seen for their incredibly hard work.

It may not seem like much, but a little in the way of vacation goes a long way for employee morale.

And it doesn’t have to be a vacation day specifically. It can be a mental health day or a Get Out Of Work Free card. Just ensure there are no holds barred for 24 hours.

4. Prioritize Employee Recognition

Many companies have an employee-of-the-month program or a wall of fame. It’s prolific because public acknowledgment really works. It promotes pride in employees’ work and encourages further effort.

Caregivers may not have a common office where they gather and view bulletin boards of caregiver superstars. But home care agencies can use email or social media to highlight those that take turns rising above the rest.

Alternatively, agencies can virtually introduce your employees to one another—regardless of work ethic or job performance. By showcasing their backgrounds, interests, and unique qualities, caregivers will feel like an integral part of the team.

Office Holiday Party5. Invest in a Holiday Party/Gift Exchange

Year-end parties are a great way for caregivers to get to know one another, and they’re something to look forward to.

When employees build connections and friendships, they gain a community of support. Here they can share concerns, frustrations, and even solutions. A fun, lighthearted holiday party is a great place to encourage this camaraderie.

If you’re worried about spreading COVID via a closed-in soireé—especially with the health of high-risk clients at stake—consider organizing a mail-in gift exchange. It’s a safe, yet enjoyable, alternative.

With participation optional, employees are assigned a random co-worker’s wish list and tasked to purchase a suitable gift.

You can facilitate the exchange by receiving and forwarding the gifts. This way, participant addresses remain private. Consider also expenditure limits and reimbursing gift costs.

After the exchange, let your caregivers choose whether they want their Santa identities revealed. If they choose to, they’ll have the chance to get better acquainted, and if not, the secrecy adds to the fun.

The beauty of a gift exchange is that thoughtful, personalized gifts can leave a more meaningful impression.

6. Bonuses

After a tough year, widespread holiday bonuses and pay raises may not be feasible for home care agencies; especially when managing many caregivers.

If so, consider reserving bonuses—or an increase in wages—for a few exceptional employees, or longevity bonuses for those who’ve been with the company a few years or more.

Bonuses are a great way to help caregivers feel extra valued during the holiday season. Start budgeting early to ensure you are prepared!

7. Gift an Oil Change or Car Wash

Caregivers spend a lot of time commuting, so it benefits them to have a reliable, functional car.

When coming from lower-income families, caregivers may not have the resources or time to maintain their vehicles regularly.

Offering to pay for an oil change or tire rotation is a great way to invest in that transportation—and ultimately, a caregiver’s dependability.

And if that’s too pricey, car washes are a more affordable option. A clean car not only keeps paint from corroding but makes a more professional statement when parked at a client’s home.

8. Give Away Useful Swag

Offering employees agency swag is another sign of appreciation. The trick is to seek input and make it especially useful.

Instead of guessing what your caregivers would like, survey what they would find most enjoyable or practical. If they spend a lot of time commuting, they might make use of travel mugs. Others, with lots of equipment to carry, could love a large tote bag. You can even ask what product colors they’d most enjoy.

If their favorites don’t make the cut, your employees will still love that you value their opinions.

Plus, the more a caregiver needs and likes swag, the more the investment won’t go to waste (and it doesn’t hurt to have your logo flashed around even more).

9. Gift Cards and Getaways

Giveaways are also a great way to incentivize caregivers over the holidays. Home care agencies can mail out gift cards, set up competitions for larger, exciting getaways, host virtual raffles, or include door prizes at holiday parties.

While gift cards are easy and include countless, well-loved options, friendly competitions for a bigger grand prize are also popular. These competitions can be based on high client ratings or other accomplishments that promote hard work and more dedicated client care.

For example, a weekend getaway—all expenses paid—would be a coveted win.

If you want to offer a wider selection of prizes, a virtual raffle works, too. It could be hosted live through Zoom or at any time through social media or email.

Caregivers would be assigned random raffle numbers and watch you pull them out of a shuffled pile. Numbers could also be randomly selected on the honor system and emailed to the winners.

10. Ask What They Would Like

Instead of randomly selecting incentives that may or not be favored (just like with the swag), you can base them on direct feedback from an employee survey (or, if you’re a client, by asking your caregiver directly).

This makes incentives more effective and caregivers feel heard.

You may not be able to promise anything as a result of a survey or direct inquiry, but hearing what your caregivers say proves beneficial.

Sample questions could include:

What is most valuable to you as an employee of this company?

What is one small thing that would make a big difference to you?

What do you feel this job lacks that others offer?

With the results, you can tailor an incentive that fits each caregiver specifically, or engineer one based on the common majority.

Sure, you may receive negative feedback, but constructive criticism has a rightful place. You’ll not only be in tune with suitable incentives—you’ll have a chance to improve everyone’s morale.

It pays to be generous. So this holiday season, don’t hold back. Incentivize your caregivers. Acknowledge, appreciate, and applaud their hard work.

It will be a gift that keeps on giving.

Wyoming

Supported: YES

Wyoming has chosen to use an open vendor model in which the state sets the standards for EVV, and providers may either use their existing EVV system or choose one that best meets their needs.

AxisCare has developed a direct integration with CareBridge, Wyoming’s EVV aggregator, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution.


Illinois

Supported: YES

Illinois has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers and MCOs to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Illinois’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

Minnesota

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state ‘s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with HHAeXchange, Minnesota’s chosen aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information directly to HHAeXchange. 

Michigan

Supported: YES

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has decided to go with an Open Model that allows providers to choose their own EVV system, as long as it meets federal EVV regulations. They are in the process of choosing an aggregator system that will accept data from all EVV systems.

AxisCare meets all state and federal EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management system.

Massachusetts

Supported: YES

Massachusetts has chosen an open model, but has not selected the aggregator.  AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution.  

Maryland

Supported: NOT AT THIS TIME

Maryland has chosen a closed model where AxisCare is currently not able to provide EVV data to the state.   Providers can choose to use AxisCare due to the many advantages but you must use ISAS to collect EVV required data.

 

Maine

Supported: YES

Maine has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Maine’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

Louisiana

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state ‘s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with LaSRS, Louisiana’s chosen aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information directly to LaSRS. 

 

Kentucky

Supported: CONTACT US

Kentucky has chosen an open model with Tellus serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with Tellus for Kentucky yet (AxisCare supports Tellus integration in other states), but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us. 

 

Kansas

Supported: NOT AT THIS TIME

Kansas has chosen a closed model where AxisCare is currently not able to provide EVV data to the state.   Providers can choose to use AxisCare due to the many advantages but you must use Sandata to collect EVV required data.

Iowa

Supported: YES

Iowa has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, CareBridge) while allowing providers and MCOs to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with CareBridge, Iowa’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

Indiana

Supported: YES

Indiana has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers and MCOs to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Indiana’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.


Idaho

Supported: YES

Idaho has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers and MCOs to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Idaho’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

Missouri

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state’s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Missouri’s chosen aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.


Hawaii

Supported: YES

Hawaii has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers and MCOs to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Hawaii’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

 


Georgia

Supported: YES

Georgia has chosen to use an open vendor model in which the state sets the standards for EVV, and providers may either use their existing EVV system or choose one that best meets their needs.

AxisCare has developed a direct integration with Tellus, Georgia’s EVV aggregator, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution.

 

Alaska

Supported: CONTACT US

Alaska has chosen an open model with Therap serving as the aggregator.  Therap has not provided the detailed specifications yet, but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us.

Florida

Supported: YES

AxisCare currently provides direct integration with HHAeXchange and Tellus, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution.

 

Delaware

Supported: Coming Soon

Payers in Delaware have selected Sandata and AxisCare is completing the necessary development. We are planning on being fully compliant soon.

 

Connecticut

Supported: NOT AT THIS TIME

Connecticut has chosen a closed model where AxisCare is currently not able to provide EVV data to the state.  Providers can choose to use AxisCare due to the many advantages but you must use Sandata to collect EVV required data.

 


Colorado

Supported: YES

Colorado has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers and MCOs to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Colorado’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.


California

Supported: YES

California has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers and MCOs to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, California’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.


Arkansas

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed integrations with HHAeXchange, AuthentiCare, and CareBridge, Arkansas’ contracted aggregators, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

Arizona

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state ‘s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Arizona’s chosen aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information directly to Sandata.

Mississippi

Supported: YES

The Mississippi Department of Medicaid has decided to go with an Open Model that allows providers to choose their own EVV system, as long as it meets federal EVV regulations. They are in the process of choosing an aggregator system that will accept data from all EVV systems.

AxisCare meets all state and federal EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management system.

Montana

Supported: YES

Montana has decided to go with an Open Model that allows providers to choose their own EVV system, as long as it meets federal EVV regulations. They are in the process of choosing an aggregator system that will accept data from all EVV systems.

AxisCare meets all state and federal EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management system.

Wisconsin

Supported: YES

Wisconsin has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Wisconsin’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

Rhode Island

Supported: YES

Rhode Island has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Rhode Island’s contracted aggregator, which allows agencies to easily send required visit information.

West Virginia

Supported: CONTACT US

West Virginia has chosen an open model with HHAeXchange serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with HHAeXchange for West Virginia yet (AxisCare supports HHAeXchange integrations in other states), but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us. 

Washington DC

Supported: CONTACT US

Washington DC has chosen an open model with Sandata serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with Sandata for DC yet (AxisCare supports Sandata integration in other states), but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us. 

Washington

Supported: YES

Washington has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, ProviderOne) while allowing providers to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with ProviderOne, Washington’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

Virginia

Supported: YES

Virginia has chosen to use an open vendor model in which the state sets the standards for EVV, and providers may either use their existing EVV system or choose one that best meets their needs.

AxisCare has developed a direct integration with Tellus, Virginia’s EVV aggregator, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution.

Vermont

Supported: CONTACT US

Vermont has chosen an open model with Sandata serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with Sandata for Vermont yet (AxisCare supports Sandata integrations in other states), but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us.

Utah

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state’s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an export with UEVV, Utah’s aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information. 

Texas

Supported: CONTACT US

Texas has chosen an open model with TMHP serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with TMHP for Texas yet, but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us.

Tennessee

Supported: NOT AT THIS TIME

Tennessee has chosen a closed model where AxisCare is currently not able to provide EVV data to the state.   Providers can choose to use AxisCare due to the many advantages but you must use Sandata, Healthstar, and Time4Care to collect EVV required data.

South Dakota

Supported: CONTACT US

South Dakota has chosen an open model with Therap serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with Therap for South Dakota yet, but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us. 

South Carolina

Supported: NOT AT THIS TIME

South Carolina has chosen a closed model where AxisCare is currently not able to provide EVV data to the state.   Providers can choose to use AxisCare due to the many advantages but you must use AuthentiCare to collect EVV required data.

Pennsylvania

Supported: YES

Pennsylvania has implemented an open model in which the state sets the standards for EVV, and providers may either use their existing EVV system or choose one that best meets their needs.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also integrated with Sandata and HHAeXchange, Pennsylvania’s two EVV aggregators, which allows agencies to easily send required visit information.

Nebraska

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state’s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Tellus, Nebraska’s chosen aggregator, which will allow agencies to send required visit information.

Oregon

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state’s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an export with eXPRS, Oregon’s aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information. 

Oklahoma

Supported: CONTACT US

Oklahoma has chosen an open model with AuthentiCare serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with AuthentiCare for Oklahoma yet (AxisCare supports AuthentiCare integrations in other states), but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us. 

Ohio

Supported: YES

Ohio has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Ohio’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

North Dakota

Supported: CONTACT US

North Dakota has chosen an open model with Sandata serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with Sandata for North Dakota yet (AxisCare supports Sandata integrations in other states), but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us. 

North Carolina

Supported: YES

North Carolina has implemented an open model in which the state sets the standards for EVV, and providers and MCOs may either use their existing EVV system or choose one that best meets their needs.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also integrated with Sandata, HHAeXchange, and CareBridge, North Carolina’s EVV aggregators, which allows agencies to easily send required visit information.

New York

Supported: YES

New York has implemented an open vendor model in which the state selects a single vendor while allowing providers to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

New York has chosen to work with three EVV aggregators: eMedNY, HHAeXchange and CareBridge.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have developed integrations eMedNY, HHAeXchange, and CareBridge which allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

New Mexico

Supported: NOT AT THIS TIME

New Mexico has chosen a closed model where AxisCare is currently not able to provide EVV data to the state.   Providers can choose to use AxisCare due to the many advantages but you must use AuthentiCare to collect EVV required data.

New Jersey

Supported: YES

New Jersey has implemented an open model in which the state sets the standards for EVV, and providers may either use their existing EVV system or choose one that best meets their needs.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also integrated with HHAeXchange and CareBridge, New Jersey’s two EVV aggregators, which will allow agencies to send required visit information.

New Hampshire

Supported: YES

New Hampshire has decided to go with an Open Model that allows providers to choose their own EVV system, as long as it meets federal EVV regulations. They are in the process of choosing an aggregator system that will accept data from all EVV systems.

AxisCare meets all state and federal EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management system.

Nevada

Supported: CONTACT US

Nevada has chosen an open model with AuthentiCare serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with AuthentiCare for Nevada yet (AxisCare supports AuthentiCare integration in other states), but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us. 

Alabama

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state ‘s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with HHAeXchange, Alabama’s chosen aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information directly to HHAeXchange.