The majority of my best, most positive stories are about how senior living management is improving the lives of team members come from the world of skilled nursing — and, of those, most are stories about programming . . . not residents and staff . . . not about the individuals. That leaves a huge void!
By Steve Moran
I make my living telling stories.
A few weeks ago I did a presentation at Tony Mullins Sales Conference in Florida titled “6 Strategies for a Culture of ‘Full’.” The big idea behind the talk is that when you create a great culture, it translates into full communities. During the course of the talk I told a number of stories, a few of which were personal experiences from touring, visiting and managing communities. The rest, the majority, were stories you the readers told me.
In the middle of the talk, something smacked me in the face full force. I spend more time thinking about assisted living and memory care communities and talking to owners and managers of these communities. However, the majority of my best, most positive stories about how management is improving the lives of team members come from the world of skilled nursing — and of those, most are stories about programming . . . not individuals.
I am not sure this is a very good thing. Since I was mid speech, I had to tuck the thought back away in my mind. However, since then, I have spent a lot of time thinking about the stories I have heard and told and there is a huge void.
I have heard amazing stories about folks with 100% buildings, about management creating great work environments that affirm and empower team members. I have heard amazing stories about reinventing what it means to live in a senior living community. And yet . . .
What seems to be missing are stories of redemption
Here is what I am looking for but not seeing:
Betty moved into the community having given up on life, just waiting to die. Her family had given up on her. But her caregiver Jayne saw something in her and was determined to bring her back to life. She talked with her executive director and they came up with a plan . . .
Every day she would spend time getting to know her . . .
Over time she became this amazing vibrant part of the community . . .
And when she passed 4 years later everyone was her friend and she had changed the whole community.
Bob was in and out of juvenile hall as a kid . . .
He applied for a job as a dishwasher at age 19 with just a GED . . .
It was a hire that never should have happened, it made no sense . . .
And yet . . . there was something that made us give him a chance . . .
He was, at first, scared and timid. There were even some times where we thought he would not make it.
We kept trying and he kept trying.
Today he is the head cook and heading to culinary school.
That is why we are doing what we do!
I Am Optimistic
I am optimistic. I actually believe these stories exist in assisted living, in independent living communities, in memory care communities and in skilled nursing facilities. I think we too often think they are too corny or not good enough. Yet, they are the most important stories of all to tell!
I am hoping and praying you have those stories and are willing to share them with me.