I am not at all sure I can actually take credit for this happening, but . . .

By Steve Moran

A little more than a year ago, I published an article titled A Senior Living Challenge: Will You Dare to Be On The Top 50 List? where I challenged the senior living industry to shoot to be on the Glassdoor list of 50 greatest companies to work for. I am not at all sure I can actually take credit for this happening, but Aegis Senior Living had the numbers to qualify.

Take a look at their Glass door rating page:

There are three key metrics:

  • A 4.5 star rating

  • A 91% “recommend to a friend”

  • A 99% CEO approval rating

Frame of Reference

Looking at the 2015 list of best places to work, number one is Airbnb with a 4.6 rating, followed by Bain & Company, also having a 4.6. Then comes just one company with a 4.5 rating. At 4.4, you find companies like Hubspot, Facebook and LinkedIn, followed by Google at 4.3

If you go looking for Aegis Senior Living, you won’t actually find them on the list for some technical reasons, but I am betting you will see them on the 2016 list. If things stand as they are, they would end up in the #3 or #4 spot.

My friend Michael Owens who leads the Senior Living Innovation conference first turned me on to this story. As soon as I saw their ranking I knew it was a story I had to write.

Several days ago I got a chance to talk to Dwayne Clark, the CEO of Aegis Senior Living, about how they managed this feat. Here is what he had to say:

  • The Aegis Senior Living Rating puts them in the upper 1/10th of 1% of all 550,000 companies being rated by Glassdoor.

  • Dwayne’s 99% CEO approval rating puts Dwayne at a higher rating than Mark Zukerberg.

  • Today there is no more hiding from your workforce. Here is the reality: You can talk all day about being a great place to work . . . a great company, but you actually have to prove it. Before sites like Glassdoor, it was possible for companies to talk about how great they were, what great places they were to work for, and it was tough for prospective employees to know if that was true.

  • Aegis is using their Glassdoor rating as a recruiting tool. It is a lot easier to recruit great team members when you can say, “Go checkout what other employees and former employees are saying about us.”

  • It can also serve as a great additional social proof tool for prospective residents.

  • Finally, Dwayne met with a bank and that particular bank was using Glassdoor as one of their tools for determining credit worthiness.

Getting Reviewed

In order for your reviews to have meaning two things have to happen:

  1. You need enough reviews to be credible. Dwayne suggest 50 or so. Below that people will assume it is mostly friends and family and not put much stock in them.

  2. You need be talking to your team about your reviews on Glassdoor and asking them to write reviews if they are happy working at your company. This needs to be an on-going process rather than a one-time thing.

Managing the Review Process

The biggest single first any senior living company faces in soliciting reviews is that if your team is unhappy working for your organization it can bite you. Or maybe a better way to look at it is to see negative reviews as a tool for improvement.  

In doing research for this article I went through several pages of reviews and there were a handful of pretty negative ones. In each case Dewayne responded personally and, in most of them, he invited the unhappy employee or ex-employee to call him as a way to either resolve a specific complaint or to improve the company culture.

Smart Business

The bottom line is that Glassdoor ratings are not an end unto themselves. They are a reflection of company culture. When the culture is healthy, people loving to come to work each day, there is less turnover and better interactions between residents and team members. As a result costs are lower and occupancies are higher.

Our industry should dominate this list. A Part Two article will take a look at what Aegis does to create the right culture.