Activity Professionals Week is January 24-30th, 2021, and according to the National Association of Activity Professionals (NAAP), the theme will be “People, Purpose, Passion.” Whether you adhere to a theme or not, this national week is the time to acknowledge and celebrate the activity professionals who make so much happen in their communities.
Activity professionals are some of the unsung heroes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Amid the stress, uncertainty, and emotional year of 2020, they have had to draw on their creativity and adapt to changes time and time again.
Use the Activity Professionals Week to make your team feel special and appreciated.
How Executive Directors Can Thank Their Activity Professional Teams
Executive Directors and other administration should do their best to acknowledge the huge support their activity professionals provide them and their communities. There are tons of ways to celebrate, from a homemade card to employment changes. No matter what route you choose, be sure you are personalizing your thank-you and giving your activity team something they can use!
If you’re only able to go the free or low-cost route, there are still many ways to make your team feel special. From a card to a colorful banner at the employee entrance, these things will all be appreciated by your team.
Some additional ways to celebrate at a low-cost include:
- Feature a different team member on a hallway board each day
- Throw an “award ceremony”
- Ask residents to make thank-you cards
- Plant a tree in honor of activity team
- Feature activity team on social media and/or newsletter to residents and families
Executive directors and administration should do what they can to make it clear they are aware of all the time and passion the activity team puts into all they do. If your community is able to go the extra mile, there are some additional ways to honor your team that will stick with them and benefit them year-round.
Some ways to implement changes or make a difference in their employment and daily lives include:
- Increasing flexibility: Leave early, change hours, wellness breaks
- Adding benefits like monthly lunches
- Sending team for activity-related education or CEU classes
- Starting a year-round recognition series with nominations: Allow employees and/or residents to nominate for good work
- Celebrating milestones throughout the year: Recognize employment anniversaries
- Celebrating annual traditions: Secret Santa Christmas, Birthday celebrations
Above all, the key here is to listen to what your team wants and needs. Yes, these things can cost money and preparation, but they also help to show real appreciation and make your teams’ employment experience better and increase satisfaction, which is a win-win.
How Activity Directors Can Thank Their Team
Those on the activity team are fully aware of the passion and effort their team puts into their work each day. Activity Directors are part of the magic of the team, but also should do their part in honoring their assistants and volunteers.
Some ways Activity Directors can show their appreciation for their assistants include:
- Give Personalized Cards
- Give Gift Bags with their favorite things
- Host a group lunch
- Host a surprise party
- Let them have more say in activities
- Get residents in on it
- Wear matching shirts or other “swag”
- Feature a different person each day on newsletter or announcements
- Hold an award ceremony
- Let teams leave early one day of the week
As mentioned, the entire team would benefit and appreciate changes made to flexibility etc. The AD can advocate for these things from the administration as well.
Celebrate Your Activity Team The Best Way You Can
There are tons of ways to show appreciation, some free and some that cost money. The reason your activity team is great is because they’re not in it for the recognition or the gifts, but that’s precisely why they deserve it! No matter what you’re planning this year, make sure it’s personal and includes a true and authentic thank you.
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