Do you know the top four things our employees rave about when it comes to working in senior living?

By Jacquelyn Kung

According to the 100 Best Companies to Work For, do you know what area we (senior living) shine in?

Purpose and meaning.

Not a surprise, right? Let’s break it down further and see the top four things our employees rave about when it comes to working in senior living.

1. More than “just a job”

As an industry, compared to other industries like retail, healthcare, and hotels, senior living is OFF THE CHARTS high in employees saying that their work is “more than just a job.” This is the BIG area where senior living shines ABOVE the benchmark of Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For.

What’s more, the higher the acuity, the higher the purpose and meaning that our employees report. In other words, employees in memory care and skilled nursing score even higher than IL/AL in the area of “more than just a job.”

2. Our residents

A state-by-state word cloud of the 100,000+ positive comments from senior living employees reveal a big trend: our employees love working with and serving our residents! What’s more, companies that value employees spending more time and doing more activities with residents, and build in that time, have happier employees.

3. Feeling pride in the work

Related to “more than just a job,” senior living employees leave the day feeling pride in what they do. This sense of purpose is critical to keeping employees happy and to their staying at the community. (In their comments, some employees even straight out say that they don’t want to stay because of the dysfunctional management but stay because they can’t bear to part with their beloved team and residents.)

4. Being part of a family

It’s not a secret that many of our employees come from difficult personal lives. In fact, Trilogy Health Services tracks this among reasons for employee assistance grants they give. They have seen that domestic violence is on the rise this year versus last year. And so, it shouldn’t be a surprise that “it’s family here” and “I love my work family” are such ubiquitous comments — and often why an employee would want to stay.

Overall, leaders questions should be – how can we as an industry use these findings to attract more talent into our sector and how can we build on these strengths to retain more of our team members?

Do you have any thoughts? Please leave a comment! And, feel free to share this article – we need to figure out our industry workforce problems together!

(Also be sure to check out Part 1 of this article series, where we addressed the 4 Ways We Drive Our Employees Nuts.)