23 Jan
How Culture Impacts Your Workforce Challenges
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It’s no secret that recruiting and retention are a main pain point for many providers. Coupled with a high inflationary environment, everyone is feeling the pressure to raise wages that not only track with the rising cost of living, but that are also competitive with other industries.

So what does culture have to do with recruiting and retaining qualified employees? Turns out, more than you think. Here are three key ways to build a culture that positively contributes to retaining and attracting talent.

Survey Your Employees

If you don’t know what your problem is, how do you even begin to fix it? Surveys are a great, easy way to get feedback on what your employees like and don’t like about everything from leadership all the way to the daily aspects of their roles.

The key is asking for feedback frequently - have your new hires complete a survey after their first month or two, then at a year, and so on. Unsurprisingly, you will likely find your most honest feedback comes in the form of exit surveys and interviews, so don’t avoid those although they may be hard to hear.

For example, Align, a strategic growth management software, is a great tool to use in gathering team member feedback through digital surveys that can be taken online or even via text.

Creating a Robust Brand and Communicating About It

Many not-for-profit providers have a mission, a vision, and values statement, but how often are they touting it? Updating it? Communicating the not-for-profit difference to candidates and team members is so important in getting that “buy-in”. Here’s how two providers are infusing their missions into their culture.

Forefront Living | Dallas, TX

Forefront Living’s mission is to “make each moment matter for those they serve”, and they aspire to “be the innovative partner that empowers individuals to thrive”. They take that mission and vision seriously with not only their residents but also their team members. Here are some ways they keep their team members engaged:

• Team building events like a company-wide canned food drive

• 15-minute huddles at the beginning of each shift

• An on-campus Montessori school on their Presbyterian Village North (PVN) campus that will offer a certain number of openings to the children of PVN staff members

Even small events like bringing in puppies for Valentine’s Day “puppy love”, crazy sock days, holiday sweater competitions, and free lunches go a long way toward making employees feel valued and create community-focused culture.

Methodist Retirement Communities | The Woodlands, TX

Methodist Retirement Communities (MRC) works to “honor and serve older adults as an expression of Christ’s love”. The team credits their website for the success in communicating their mission, vision, and brand, especially the fact that they use images of residents and team members instead of the usual stock photos. Here are some other programs and tools they have implemented to deliver their mission to employees:

• A program called One Day helps them easily create and edit videos that they use to celebrate resident milestones and special occasions as well as to remind prospective team members about upcoming interviews

• The WeCare survey tool is helping management retain team members through non-anonymous, real-time surveys

• Paid day off for volunteering or philanthropic work

• Resident-donated scholarship programs for employees

• The MRC team has embraced the Eden Alternative and is actively working toward Eden Certification at all of their communities, helping to increase connectivity between residents and team members

Implementing a Leadership Development & Training Program

What does a successful senior living leader look like? Aside from the proper degrees and licenses, successful senior leaders are passionate about helping seniors thrive. They can connect with residents and team members - from board members to housekeeping - on a deeper level. They inspire their teams, listen intently, and are the true embodiment of their organization’s mission.

Unfortunately, leadership development training in senior living could use improvement. So how do you create a program that allows your leaders to not only grow themselves, but also those they manage?

Both LeadingAge and Argentum offer a variety of leadership and training programs targeted toward new CEOS, nursing leads, assisted living executive directors, and more. Align also has the capability to disburse targeted micro-learnings to leaders based on the feedback from those employee pulse surveys.

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