By Susan Saldibar

Forget about your list of New Year’s resolutions. Trash it.

Because I’ve got the list that you need to get better people and keep them, right here. 

First, a shout-out to our own Rachel Hill, creative director extraordinaire, who got an idea to build a New Year’s resolutions list from all the informative KARE-ing Conversations sessions she has conducted this year with the KARE team (a Foresight partner).

She and Jada Clint, our amazing Foresight Productions producer, put it together. And I love it. And I’ve added my two cents, as well as a few hyperlinks to connect you with the corresponding KARE-ing Conversations recordings.

So here goes.

When someone asks, “What are your New Year’s resolutions?” here’s what smart, savvy, and caring leaders should be saying.

  1. “To stop bragging about our ‘culture’ and learn about true respect. Culture is a catch-all term operators love to use. But it doesn’t mean a hill of beans to your frontline workers. Respect does. Not just “employee of the month” stuff but being respected as a key member of the team.
  2. “To provide ‘person-centered care’ to our frontline team. (Another nugget of gold from Jordan and Lora.) You rightfully put a lot of time and effort into developing a deep understanding of each resident; their backgrounds; their family situation; their talents, skills, past lives, and cultural backgrounds. Try shining that light onto your employees. They are more than an asset. They are people who deserve as much love and respect as your residents. What might person-centered care look like for them?
  3. “To seek to trust.Your frontline staff craves your trust. They need to know that you believe that they are capable and that you trust them to do the right thing in any situation. And it has to be authentic. If you don’t trust them yet, it’s on you to train them properly so that you can trust them. Invest that time in 2023.
  4. “To give educational opportunities, not gift cards.” And, according to a KARE survey, they may even want higher education in non-health-related fields. Explore this with them. Provide tuition. But let them decide how they want to use it.
  5. “To provide real mental health benefits. That includes counseling and the ability to provide meaningful support when it is needed, not just when it’s convenient for operators.
  6. “To be flexible.That’s how you bend over backwards to give your employees the schedules that allow them to handle their own business. You may think you’re being flexible, but it may be in areas that don’t matter. Find out what does.
  7. “To offer unconventional benefits. Believe it or not, your employees know what they need. They can distinguish a true benefit from a convenient “one-size-fits-corporate-boardroom-decided” perk. Take the time to find out what they really need. This is the year to provide it to them.

Take some time and tune into all the KARE-ing Conversations videos. I promise you will not be disappointed. Better yet, check out the KARE website and learn more about what they are doing for caregivers and communities to make both better.

And, happy New Year!