Do you have happy passionate, “I can’t wait to get to work” staff or something else?

Do you have happy passionate, “I can’t wait to get to work” staff or something else?

In researching this article, I found a number of current studies that suggest North American employee satisfaction is high and others that demonstrate it’s terrible.

The only thing that really counts is how your employees feel about coming to work each day at your community.

Three philosophies of hiring and managing employees:

1.  Employees are the enemy –  It baffles me, but I occasionally visit senior communities where this is the operating modality.  These communities are always bottom feeders and really function as terrible warehouses for seniors rather than senior housing communities.  Those people don’t read Senior Housing Forum and won’t read this article.

2. Employees are part of a complex machine  –  This is where most senior communities are at; and if I can be blunt, many of you who are in this category would say you are in category 3 below but really aren’t. – If this is your philosophy, this article is for you especially if you want to be in category 3.

3. Employees are a precious treasure.  –  These organizations understand that enthusiastic, positive team members give birth to happy residents, which in turn results in happy families. All of these things then translate into a fantastic reputation in the community marketplace, higher occupancy, better financial margins and the process of hiring and retaining staff is a breeze.  –  These rare communities will value this article, because they are always looking for ways to further improve.

Four Proven Strategies for Developing and Retaining High Performance (Happy) Team Members

1.  Develop hiring practices that identify candidates who have values that align with your organizational values. This means going way beyond, just finding someone who has the needed “skills”.  If you hire primarily for skills or even worse, for availability, you will as often as not, find yourself stuck with someone you regret hiring. It takes time and tools to identify the candidates with the right values.

2.  Promote team members through a process of strengths-based coaching. There is no such thing as a fully formed, perfect employee.  A realistic view of new hires is that you hire based on a combination of current skills and strengths, plus growth potential. It then becomes important to have systems and tools to take advantage of those strengths to maximize their growth potential.

3. Measure employee satisfaction and celebrate achievements. Every month every senior community takes a hard look at income and expenses, because it tells management how that community is doing.  Senior communities need to be as deliberate with how their employees are doing. A second vital part of this process is to celebrate employee achievements.  These celebrations don’t need to be elaborate or expensive, but they do need to be public to fellow team members, residents and families.

4.  Develop a culture of connections. This includes connections between management and line staff; between staff at all levels and residents and finally, between staff and resident families.   Your staff needs to understand their value to residents and resident families.  They need to know they are making a real positive difference in the lives of the seniors they care for.

Going Deeper

This article is only a starting point.  If you are already one of those organizations that treasure your team members or are working to be that kind of organization you will find a number of additional tips and tools for making this happen in a recent whitepaper by HealthcareSource.

You can download it here: Improving Employee Satisfaction in Continuing Care:  Four Proven Strategies. You might also want to check out HealthcareSource white paper: Improving the Candidate Experience: Five Best Practices What are you doing to make sure you get and keep the very best team members? Steve Moran