An organization is only as strong as its culture, no matter the industry. For senior living communities, culture is especially critical in creating a supportive environment for staff and residents alike. In fact, there's a distinct relationship between content, fulfilled workers and the quality of life for seniors in a community.
I’m going to examine that relationship between culture, staff, and residents, and the important role it plays in increasing occupancy for your senior living community. As you'll see, while it might not be the most obvious revenue driver, culture can be a difference-maker for those that are constantly working to develop and improve it.
Happy Employees, Happy Residents
Would you be surprised if I told you that 58% of people have left companies because of a toxic work environment? Or that nearly 40% of current employees want to quit their jobs for the same reason? Those are some alarming statistics, but even more so when you consider that the senior living space already has amongst the highest turnover rates in the service industries.
Besides the toll it takes on profitability, turnover directly impacts your residents’ quality of life. Most people thrive on consistency, especially in their day-to-day interactions. And when everyone from your Executive Director down to the dining staff seems to be caught in a perpetual revolving door, it undermines that sense of comfort and familiarity that are so vital to a senior’s well-being.
Therefore, if you're trying to improve occupancy, minimize turnover. And I mean that for both employees and residents. Create a culture that satisfies and challenges your staff, one that makes them feel like they’re making an important difference in a resident’s life. Use employee recognition and engagement programs to foster that culture and teamwork. Once you do that, you’ll establish a more stable environment that, in turn, will keep residents happier and less likely to leave your community.
Promote a Sense of Wellness
Wellness programs are another key contributor to improved culture for both employees and residents. Naturally, it's important to provide fitness, recreational, and educational programs for seniors because they help keep them stimulated, connected, and healthy. But have you thought about how similar programs for your staff could directly benefit your residents as well?
Think of it this way – your employees would experience the same personal gains from such programs as your residents do. And better engaged staff members that feel fulfilled with their roles are less likely to leave the organization.
Even further, when your employees take a more involved, hands-on approach to fitness programs, movie nights, dance classes, and the other activities you offer residents, it creates deeper connections between staff and residents. I can almost guarantee those emotional bonds will increase occupancy as long as you stay consistent and always look for similar ways to improve your culture.
Home Is Where the Heart Is
Of course, move-ins are equally as important to increasing occupancy as minimizing your resident turnover is. This is another area where your culture is absolutely crucial, helping to drive a feeling of community and home that are so significant in senior living.
Remember, many of your prospects have been living in their own homes for decades. It's where they feel safe, secure, and comfortable, even if it's not necessarily the best place for them. In fact, that sense of “home” that you establish with your culture is competing with memories of raising a family under that familiar roof as well as the countless memories they experienced there – from birthday parties and holidays to all of those lazy and wonderful Sunday mornings.
By establishing a consistent and engaging culture, you're helping prospects and their families understand that, although a different environment, your community can provide them with a safe and nourishing home. Under your roof, residents make new friends and experience new things. It's an exciting next chapter in their lives, but one that is only possible if your community has the culture to support it.
Video Marketing Showcases Your Culture
So what's the best way to showcase your culture and increase your occupancy? Video marketing is an indispensable tool for communities that want to convey a genuine window into a resident's daily life. A OneDay video, for example, allows you to show off your community and the people who choose to live there through staff and resident testimonials. Maybe highlight the story of your Executive Director, who started as an intern and worked their way up after falling in love with their work. Those are the types of simple but powerful videos that can really resonate.
Imagine being able to show a prospective resident and their adult children a personalized video from your wellness team or nursing staff. They look into the camera and explain how much each resident means to them and why they love their job so much. A OneDay video is an excellent way to tell those positive stories that make a prospect want to join your senior living community.
But OneDay videos aren’t just for prospects and residents, of course. They’re also a great way to bolster your culture by engaging your staff as well. Sending a personalized video to recognize work anniversaries, accomplishments, or even just give a quick shoutout makes employees feel appreciated and important to the community. As the old saying goes, what gets celebrated gets repeated, and OneDay helps you build on your robust culture, transforming it into a competitive edge that's tough to beat.