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The Best-Kept Secret to Increasing Senior Living Occupancy

Corey Seldon

A successful senior living community embraces an all-hands-on-deck mentality. Providing compassionate care and a fulfilling quality of life for each resident requires a team approach, from the Executive Director down to the new hire in the kitchen. Put another way, it takes a village to build and maintain a thriving community.

But as you know, the senior living space is also prone to some of the highest turnover rates in all of the service industries. And therein lies the problem – how do you create a stable and satisfying work environment that helps you retain employees and, thus, keeps your residents happy and adult children assured? To answer that question, I’m going to let you in on the best-kept secret to increasing senior living occupancy – an engaged, motivated staff.

 

It Starts From the Top

A company is only as strong as its leadership. That notion rings true for all industries, but especially ones like the senior living space, where top-to-bottom teamwork is essential. When your Executive Director, for instance, walks the talk regarding compassionate care and an excellent quality of life for your residents, your staff can’t help but take notice.

And that brings me to the secret sauce that drives nearly every significant metric – either directly or indirectly – in your operations. Employee engagement is a gauge that measures how well your community’s vision and goals align with those of your workforce. Put another way, when leadership develops policies and procedures that demonstrate a genuine sense of empathy for residents and staff alike, good things happen.

According to recent research, there is a strong link between employee satisfaction and resident satisfaction scores. When your staff is engaged and personally motivated to succeed, your residents reap the rewards through a better quality of life. And that, of course, helps drive your occupancy. This is a huge opportunity for leadership to set the right example and take effective action.

 

Culture Attracts the Right People

Creating a culture that drives employee engagement starts at the point of hire. Your hiring process plays a pivotal role in your community’s success. Likewise, when you establish a culture that recognizes success, rewards improvement, and creates an excitement around your organization, the word gets out.

A good reputation becomes self-perpetuating, helping you attract the right people that are willing to commit to your vision. Engaged employees will inevitably impact an improved quality of life for your residents and, thus, help you counteract resident turnover. Obviously, with annual resident turnover rates above 50% in senior living now, simply maintaining your resident population goes a long way in keeping your occupancy high.

 

Create a Step-Up Environment

Engaged employees want to see your community succeed and will step-up to brag about it when given the opportunity, no matter their position. For example, let’s say you’re filming a OneDay video for a prospect. You speak with a variety of different team members, from leadership to a part-time waiter. Each of them has an authentic smile on their face and speaks with passion about what they do and why their role is important to the community and its seniors. Those are the types of things you just can’t fake, and are only possible when your employees truly love what they do and believe in the greater mission.

To quote famed consultant and business strategist Rob Markey in his landmark piece from the Harvard Business Review, Transform Your Employees Into Passionate Advocates:

“Loyal, passionate employees bring a company as much benefit as loyal, passionate customers. They stay longer, work harder, work more creatively, and find ways to go the extra mile. They bring you more great employees. And that spreads even more happiness – happiness for employees, for customers, and for shareholders.”

Read Next: Why Your Senior Living Community Needs Video Marketing

That’s why video marketing is so important for senior living communities. It lets you leverage that top-to-bottom sales advocacy and showcase your employee engagement. From personalized videos for prospects to employee recognition, video is quickly becoming an indispensable tool for senior living communities, and OneDay is proud to provide a best-in-class solution.

 

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Case Study

Allegro Senior Living

Learn how this Missouri-based senior living community increased move-ins by 14% and annual revenue by $1.35 million!

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