Does your overall success make you blind to the realities of employee/customer needs?

By Steve Moran

A reader recently sent me a sort of “State of the State” report on employee satisfaction at their senior living organization. It was clearly designed to demonstrate that the organization was doing a great job. The reader didn’t see it that way and I agree with the reader. Here are some of the metrics:

  • To this statement, on a scale of 1-10 (10 being “I would recommend ‘Happy Hippie Retirement Homes’ as a great place to work”) they had the following numbers:

    • 48% gave it a 10

    • Another 20% gave it a 9

    • 14% gave it a 7

The net result was a “net promoter score” of just under 60.

  • To the statement “I would recommend my immediate supervisor as a great supervisor” they had somewhat worse numbers:

    • Just under 40% gave their supervisor a 10

    • Another 18% gave their supervisor a 9

    • 16% gave them an 8.

    • Notably to this statement around 20% gave a score of 6 or lower

The “net promoter score” came in at around 40%.

Good or Bad

Are these good numbers or bad. It is actually pretty difficult to tell. If you were in Europe they would be amazing numbers. In this case you would ideally need two benchmark numbers:

  1. What are good numbers across all industries, particularly looking at health care and service industries.

  2. What are comparable numbers for senior living organizations

While there is lots for benchmark data for consumer relationships scores employee relationships benchmarks are really tough to come by.

Another Way to Look at It

In my view I find these numbers quite discouraging. Here is why:

  • Less that half of the people working in the organization would be willing to unequivocally recommend working for this organization. The rest are saying at some level . . . “Yeah I like it but . . . “ The 9s have only little buts, the rest have bigger buts. At some level more than half of the team says, “I am not sure this is the best place to work” . . . “I would consider a change if the right position came along.”

  • The numbers for how team members feel about their direct supervisor is even worse. Even if you add the 9 & 10 together more than 40% were not thrilled with the people they work for. That means 40% who are grumbling and not doing their very best.

Figuring it Out

Perhaps the biggest lesson is that when you do this kind of work to see how you are doing with your team . . . or your customers, it is the one time you should be a super pessimist. You should only be looking for the bad stuff because they represent areas for improvement.

It is likely that you will never have 100% 10s or even 9s and 10s but that should be the goal. While 9 is not terrible, at the end of the day the 10s are the only ones that really count. They are the ones that will go to the ends of the earth for you. They will be pushing, urging and coddling their friends into coming to work for your organization.

They are the ones your residents and their families will love. They are the ones that will keep you at 98 or 99 percent occupancy.