By Rachel Hill

One of the biggest battles that the senior living industry is facing right now is employee retention, and the war is raging. If you’re in a leadership position and avoiding difficult conversations with your team, you are not just failing them but failing yourself. You can make your organization better, and it’s time to step up!

So, what’s the first step? Check in before your employees checks out!

“If you want to stay competitive, to attract and retain talent, then you need to be talking about mental health and substance use,” says Lisa Desai, one of the authors of the report Building A Caring Culture: Addressing Mental Health in the Workplace” and chief behavioral health officer at MindWise.

Making It Through the Day

It’s simple. At the end of the day we all just want to be heard. We want to be appreciated and feel a sense of purpose and validation for making it through the day, which in our current climate of the pandemic can often feel like a battle!

And sure, when you ask, “How are you?” maybe the majority of your staff will retort with a simple, “I’m fine.” But maybe — just MAYBE — there’ll be that one person who will share a struggle with you, whether it’s dealing with a broken dishwasher or struggling to find someone to pick up their kid from school on the days they can’t make it.

Life Is a Game of Chess

A staggering and scary stat from the CDC says that over 40% of Americans report increases in mental distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This leaves those in leadership with a very different kind of battle to fight: one of high turnover, an influx of absences from their team, and increased health care costs.

Life is a game of chess, and in this instance, you as the leader must make the first move. What can you do?

  1. Be vulnerable.
  2. Be honest.
  3. Be open-minded.

Share your fears along with your wins. Because the cost of NOT doing this is will leave you with a broken team.