Caregiver in gloves high-fiving a resident sitting at a table.

[Image courtesy of UMRC & Porter Hills]

A faith-based, nonprofit senior living provider is investing $5.2 million in its workforce by offering commitment bonuses to frontline workers to thank them for sticking with the organization through the pandemic.

United Methodist Retirement Communities & Porter Hills, based in Grand Rapids, MI, launched the commitment bonus program to support employee retention efforts, particularly among hourly caregivers.

“Our hourly, on-site team members have dedicated themselves to our residents, participants and one another throughout the pandemic,” Chief Human Resource Officer Michelle Baldwin Henderson told McKnight’s Senior Living. “We oftentimes spend time and effort recruiting new team members, and we did not want to lose sight of our existing team members who train those new hires and have stood by us even when things were at the peak of the pandemic.”

Approximately 900 hourly employees across the state who work onsite in the company’s UMRC and Porter Hills locations, as well as its Thome PACE and Huron Valley PACE locations, are eligible for the bonus payments. Employees must be in good standing to qualify.

New hires through Nov. 30, 2022, also will be eligible to participate in the program at a prorated amount.

Commitment bonus totals will range from $400 to $14,000, with the longest-serving employees receiving the highest payouts. Bonuses will be distributed every six months over the next 21 months, beginning in March 2022, for a total of up to four bonus payments.

“We’ve always known how terrific our team members are at UMRC & Porter Hills. The global pandemic has shown us just how extraordinary they truly are,” CEO Steve Fetyko said. “Given the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, we hope this new bonus program helps our team members see the high value we place on their service and dedication.”

Henderson said that additional task forces are examining recruitment and onboarding, department training, wages and career paths. The company serves more than 7,400 older adults each year from 24 locations and service lines across Michigan’s lower peninsula.