Helping to provide a happy and comfortable life for people who need in-home care is an obvious joy of owning a home health care agency.
But, for Allyn and Michelle Nock, who own a BrightStar Care franchise in Sierra Vista, Arizona, seeing their caregivers and employees succeed is another high point. It was an especially rewarding 2018 for the two registered nurses because one of their certified nursing assistants, Queen-Ann Canty, was recognized by BrightStar Care as Caregiver of the Year for 2018.
Caregiver of the Year Award was Rewarding for Franchisees
“That was tremendous,” Michelle said about the Caregiver of the Year award for Queen-Ann. The couple had been recognized by BrightStar Care for exemplary work as franchisees in the past, but this was the first time one of their caregivers was recognized as the best of the best. “To have one of our caregivers recognized as the West Region Caregiver of the Year, and then overall Caregiver of the Year brought tears to our eyes. It was so rewarding.”
BrightStar Care presents the award every year to a caregiver who exemplifies hard work, dedication, person-centered care, and the brand’s core values by providing unparalleled empathy and patience for clients. Nominations for Caregiver of the Year are made by clients and their families, who submit a testimonial letter.
In the nomination letter, a BrightStar Care client explained that Queen-Ann began providing personal care for his wife in 2011. As Pat’s condition worsened and Cecil began experiencing his own health issues, Queen-Ann was needed more. She made herself available whenever they needed her, even though she had children at home and her husband was serving in the military overseas. Queen-Ann even helped her client through the grieving process when his wife died.
“Last Thanksgiving and Christmas 2017 was my first holiday season without Pat, and Queen-Ann adjusted her own schedule to be with me,” Cecil wrote.
How to Hire Award-Winning Caregivers
While Queen-Ann deserves the credit for her work with clients, Allyn and Michelle have made it a core duty to hire and retain high caliber caregivers like Queen-Ann to care for their roster of clients, which numbers more than 220. Being registered nurses – and Michelle having performed in-home care, too – they hold their caregivers to high standards.
To ensure they’re hiring caregivers with the best work history and morals, Allyn and Michelle conduct more background checks than are legally required in Arizona, including one through the state’s division of motor vehicles. They also have caregiver candidates undergo a drug test.
“If you can’t follow laws, how are you going to follow company policies?” Michelle asked.
During orientation, the franchisee couple stresses BrightStar Care’s core values and insists all employees embrace them:
- Serving with passion, kindness, and empathy
- Being honest, accountable and reliable
- Exceeding expectations
“We always tell them to take care of each client like they are your own family,” Michelle said.
The screening and training process for caregivers is rigorous, but Michelle also lets new caregivers know she and Allyn value them during orientation. She and Allyn will listen to them when there’s an issue with a client, and let them know they are equally important. Allyn and Michelle also award bonuses to the Employee of the Month and Employee of the Year. The Employee of the Year will also be treated to dinner with their significant other.
“We want to make sure they’re happy with the job they’re doing as well as guaranteeing the client is happy with the caregiver,” Michelle said.
Awards are a Shared Joy
When their employees are recognized for excelling at their jobs, Allyn and Michelle feel like the awards are extended to them, as well.
“It’s rewarding to know all that training and stressing our values and policies has sunk in with our caregivers,” Michelle said. “Queen-Ann is a great person; whose own morals are very strong. I think that’s why she’s been with us for five years. Every client says she does a great job, because she knows what our expectations are and understands what we want to see.”