By Steve Moran

I read this article a few months ago, bookmarked it with the intent of writing about it, and it ended buried until this week. This boss invests in his employees’ dreams.

The Story

Craig Handly is the founder and CEO of a company called ListenTrust, a call center out of Hermosillo, Mexico, with a staff of about 1,000. His goal is to get every single person who comes to work for him TO QUIT . . . in the best possible way.

His thinking is that he wants their time at ListenTrust to be a stepping stone to an even better job. He says it is his dream to run a world-class call center but not the dream of his employees. “None of my employees ever woke up at 10 years old, put on a headset, sat down, and pretended they were answering customer service or sales calls.”

Serious Action

The way he manages his team is modeled after Mathew Kelly’s book “The Dream Manager”. Here is how he lives it out in the life of the company:

  • He encourages each one of his team members to go after their own dreams.
  • He budgets $3,000 a month to help team members make their dreams happen ($3,000 in US dollars, in Mexico).
  • He offers training programs on all kinds of things including website building and paying down debt. 
  • He has a full-time coach who is focused on helping team members achieve their dreams.
  • They have granted 50 dreams, from purchasing a house to battling addiction.

Could We, Would We?

Is it possible to do something like this in senior living?

After writing that question I realized I was embarrassed to even be asking that question. We are in the people business, we could be doing this, and most organizations I know have stories where they do a little bit of this, but it is mostly random and infrequent.

As I think about it, I find myself believing this should be the norm in senior living.

Is It Nuts?

That’s actually a good question but here is why it is a sound business idea:

  • If I had a choice to work for a company that helped me dream and make my dreams happen, including moving on to my next job or a company where it is just a job, which would I choose?
  • If I work for a company that cares that much about me, why would I even want to leave, unless I had a much bigger dream?
  • If I have a team member that has dreams beyond my company and my company behavior is effectively holding them back, how good a team member are they really going to be in the long run?
  • If my team members have their dreams answered, they are going to tell their friends.
  • If my team members are being helped with their dreams, they are going to love coming to work every day.

Need Another Way To Think About It?

Actually two ways:

  1. If you spend $2,000 a month on making dreams come true, you will increase your occupancy . . . I promise.
  2. If you are using any agency help at all, think about what that is costing you. What if you took that cost and poured it into your dream fund.

Just putting money in is not enough, it takes someone willing to spend time with team members helping them think about their dreams and plan out their dreams, and sometimes . . . maybe often, help them move on to their next big job opportunity.

If you are already doing this, I would love to write about it.