By Steve Moran

In your life and in your communities how many things are you doing each day or each week that are unnecessary?

I am not simply talking about behaviors that are actually counterproductive, like wading into politics on Facebook, watching too much TV, drinking too much, or eating to excess. I am talking about those things that you are doing personally or in your organization that might be good things, or at least not bad things. They might even be things that are nice.

But are they necessary?

We are . . .

Right now . . .

Today . . .

In the most perilous period we have ever been in. More perilous than a year or 15 months ago when the pandemic was in full bloom. Back then we had hope that a vaccine was coming, there were massive floods of cash from the federal government, and capital providers extended grace by the bucketload. Labor was tough but not impossible.

But Now

We have the vaccine and it is keeping people safer and reducing deaths. But the virus is still with us, mutating and perplexing, with no real end in sight. We still have increased PPE costs, occupancy is still a challenge.

Most challenging of all is labor. Everyone is increasing pay for frontline workers because they have to. It is market-driven and inflation-driven. If you are fast food or Starbucks, you can compensate by raising the price of everything by a quarter and while customers won’t be thrilled, it won’t break the bank.

In senior living, raising rates has real consequences. It will take $100, $200, maybe even $400 a month more to make a meaningful difference in pay for frontline workers. And yet, doing that means fewer residents can afford what we are selling, fewer prospects will consider what we have to offer.

Focus & Eliminate

Right now, like never before, senior living operators need to focus on what their core mission is. For most it is creating a great resident experience and a great workplace, and eliminate everything else. Here are some places to start:

  • What reports are you requiring your teams to submit, that no one really reads or cares about?
  • What meetings are you having that you don’t need to have?
  • Could you ramp up your activities program by turning more of it over to the residents?
  • Has your food program become so special and complex that it is nearly impossible to have special meals because they are all in the highest category?

In your personal and professional life, are there things you need to simplify:

  • Maybe go to one less conference a year.
  • Get your coffee in your office or community rather than Starbucks.
  • Stop checking your email so often (one of my personal sins).
  • Maybe you simply need to be getting more sleep or exercise.

What do you need to be laser-focused on, what do you need to eliminate? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Go change the world, one act at a time.