As marketing consultants, clients often ask us to conduct a market assessment of their senior living communities. Last month, we took a look at the physical plant and its significant role in creating a hospitality environment in a community. This month we’re going to talk about one of the greatest and yet often unrecognized assets of a community — our staff.
Our people are vital to creating a hospitality environment in a community. Our sales specialist, Patti Briggs, expands on this idea in her article, Sales Personnel, a Community Asset.
There’s a tendency to invest more into transforming physical surroundings from old and tired to vibrant and engaging than into enriching and engaging staff — so they are happy and provide a more welcoming experience for residents.
Organizations invest significant dollars in staff, including their salaries, benefits, and withholdings. With so much invested in our people, shouldn’t our commitment to employee enrichment be the same — if not greater — than that of facility maintenance, capital investments, and renovations?
Today we will begin to explore employee enrichment: how to achieve it, and the value it brings to our people and community.
Enriching Employees — How Can We Serve Them Better?
Consider these possibilities:
- Offer ongoing educational opportunities on and off campus.
- Establish career ladders within your organization so employees don’t have to leave in order to better themselves.
- Create pathways for positive encouragement of staff from those in higher positions.
- Establish recognition programs and incentives toward longevity.
- Give front-line staff “a seat at the table” in some decision-making, ad hoc teams.
- Offer benefits that motivate staff to stay rather than go elsewhere just to gain benefits.
- Create an attitude and culture that recognizes the value, dreams, and aspirations of each employee.
Todd Schmiedeler of Trilogy Health Services once said, “It's tough to serve people if the people that are serving the people aren't happy.” As providers of a service-based industry, let’s strive to make our staff feel fulfilled and appreciated. They, in turn, will deliver a better service product to our residents.
Stay tuned to our blog as we explore these ideas in detail.
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About the Author
Patty Scotten is a consultant with Retirement DYNAMICS® and serves as their marketing manager. Patty has over twenty five years’ experience in the senior living industry and has led several communities in preselling expansions or increasing occupancy levels. She graduated from Elon University and holds a Masters Degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Patty is licensed as both an assisted living and nursing home administrator.