April 9, 2019

Top caregivers to get $5K pay boost at Meriden business

PHOTO | Contributed
PHOTO | Contributed
Assisted Living Services of Meriden presented its first monthly $5,000 Platinum Caregiver Award recently. L-r: Karen Damaskos, daughter; client Ann Mulready; Sharon D'Aquila, co-owner and president; Nana Watson, Platinum Caregiver Award recipient; Tom Daly, general manager and director of live-in services; and Mario D'Aquila, chief operating officer.

While many companies recognize high-performing employees with a plaque or a gift card, a Meriden health-care business is investing $5,000 a month.

The business, Assisted Living Services Inc., recently launched a new employee-recognition program, the Platinum Caregiver Award. Each month, a top-rated caregiver will get the extra cash.

Chief Operating Officer Mario D'Aquila acknowledged how $5,000 may seem "extraordinary" for a caregiver of the month award.

However, D'Aquila said it represents how strongly the company is committed to its clients — and its staff.

"Our dedicated employees are our agency's most valuable asset," D'Aquila said. "We want to acknowledge their contributions in a meaningful way."

Employees will be selected based on performance as a caregiver who "exceeds expectations for quality care." Company leadership cited a desire to incentivize and retain employees as reasons for the new program.

The first honoree, Nana Watson of Manchester, who has been with the company for seven years, received the first award recently as a surprise, while she was caring for one of her clients.

"Nana is an exemplary member of our team," said Sharon D'Aquila, company co-founder and president. "She treats each of her clients like family, with loving consideration and compassion."

The monthly winner is selected based on information collected by a third-party survey company, Homecare Pulse, which measures customer satisfaction.

Even before creating this program, the company awarded cash bonuses to employees for performance, perfect attendance, and for meeting certain benchmarks. According to company leadership, its recognition efforts seem to be working, as some employees have been there for nearly two decades.

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