In a recent survey of senior housing operators, ninety percent of respondents reported current staffing shortages! Yes, attracting new talent is key to staying staffed. However, senior living communities should consider putting the bulk of their time and energy into retaining their existing employees. How can senior living leaders create a workplace that fosters loyal and tenured employees?
- Update Scheduling Processes
- Invest in Professional Development
- Present Clear Career Paths
- Create Employee-focused Compensation Packages
- Hire Right the First Time
Here are how these steps can turn a senior living community into an employer of choice.
Update your Scheduling Processes
Pen and paper schedules managed by individual department supervisors no longer cut it in Senior Living. Communities need a way to holistically approach scheduling that supports staff and manages costs while providing quality service and care to residents. With the abundance of scheduling software and the newest developments in artificial intelligence, data backed schedules can minimize burnout and overtime. Consider even bringing on a scheduling supervisor to better support department managers and allow them to focus on daily operations and staff needs.
Invest in Professional Development
The aging population in many communities has created a need for higher levels of care. If your staff does not feel they have the knowledge and support to provide the right care, it’s easy to feel defeated and burnt out. Actively encourage re-certifications and professional development, providing time to attend classes and financial support to cover recertification costs. Even if there are limited formal education opportunities for a particular role, like in housekeeping or food and beverage, you can still help them grow. Keep employees engaged and help them continually create and achieve new goals (we have a quick guide to helping teams set goals here).
Create Career Paths
If an employee struggles to picture themselves staying long-term in the senior living industry, much less your own community, why should they stick around for even a few months? Create career maps to help employees visualize what their career in the senior living industry could look like. Implement department rotations to expose them to new paths. A more clinical staffer may realize that the hospitality side of the operations is their true calling, and vice versa. Cross-training can also help teams feel more resilient for any future challenges.
Create Employee-focused Compensation and Benefits Packages
In an often emotionally taxing industry, senior living workers need more than just a paycheck to stick around. Not only do salaries need to be competitive with other industries, but benefits need to support workers’ well-being in their personal life. Encourage staff to fully use any PTO, sick leave, parental leave, and health benefits your company offers.
Hire Senior Living Staff Right the First Time
Though the senior living industry can provide a rewarding career and work-life balance not seen in many hospitality or healthcare industries, it isn’t for everybody. When you are short-staffed, it is tempting to settle for any warm body. However, the best way to reduce turnover is to take the time and effort to hire the right people in the first place, especially at the management level.
Talent and skills assessments are a great way to identify the professionals who can bring long-term success to your community. Contact us to learn how our Senior Living recruiters can help.