Building communities or cultures is damn hard work. It has to be a relentless pursuit. Part of the equation is having a list of common core values.

By Steve Moran

Building communities or cultures is damn hard work. It has to be a relentless pursuit. In small organizations where the head of the organization is in touch with all or most of the team on most days getting there can be pretty loose and informal. The reason for this is that the leader is the playbook.

As organizations grow, it is impossible for the head of the organization to have regular touches with every team member. Part of the equation is having a list of common core values.  

I used to be a volunteer ski patrol at a little place in the Sierras called Borel Ridge. I was curious to see how much snow they have and ended up on their employment page. What I found was really cool.

Together we are . . .

Passionate – We love what we do and have fun being active participants in our lifestyles. We take ownership to share this spirit and energy with our guests and team as we work and play.

Enduring – We act with integrity and accountability, and are adaptable to change. Our strategies and tactics consider impacts on our four pillars of employee and guest communities, business, safety and our environment.

Inclusive – We embrace the diversity of our communities to provide accessible and valuable options to our guests across a wide variety of seasons, activities and skill levels. We are encouraging of our people, leading to a culture of broad collaborative ownership.

Innovative – We are open minded, forward thinking and solutions focused. We boldly strategize to adopt and execute creative, industry leading opportunities.

Inspire – We engage with and teach our guests in unique and progressive ways that seek to inspire passion for our lifestyles. We seek and offer pathways to advance our guests, our team members and our businesses.

I really like this. Now I will confess that when I was there — which has been a few years — I am not so sure this was modeled. I also don’t ever remember seeing this set of core values when I was there. It has been long enough that maybe things have changed.

I then went searching for a similar set of core values in a senior living company. I looked at about half a dozen senior living companies that might likely have something similar and came up zero.

What You Stand For

I often wonder if mission and purpose statements really do much good, but to have a list of core values that an organization stands for — that are powerful and dynamic — is a great place to start in building the culture you want.  

Senior Housing Forum has a poll currently running HERE where we are asking senior living leaders what their three biggest concerns are. Overwhelmingly those responses show human capital issues are number one. We will be using that data here at Senior Housing Forum and at Senior Living Leadership Hub to help make our sector better.

If you have not done so already, we would love to have you contribute your responses to the survey.

If you have a list of core values that represent your team, we would love to hear about them and write about them if you are willing.