Seniors Housing Business

AUG-SEP 2018

Seniors Housing Business is the magazine that helps you navigate the evolution of the seniors housing industry.

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66 www.seniorshousingbusiness.com Seniors Housing Business n August-September 2018 making healthcare lending great again C l o s i n g w i t h c e r t a i n t y L e n d i n g w i t h c o n f i d e n c e Stempel. "We wish there was a cure. Supporting efforts that raise money for research is a good thing." Solving the labor riddle A beautiful building and intel- ligent programming are only as good as the frontline staff in a seniors housing community. The industry continues to face labor headwinds: wage pressures, low retention rates, undersupply of qualified workers, and a massive demographic wave of incoming seniors that will compound these issues. However, upon mention of labor, the HHHunt executives beam with pride. "Labor is a challenge, and it's a challenge every single day. That's why one of our brand promises is to be employee-centered. The suc- cess of the company depends on the stability of our workforce," says Stempel. "We want to be seen as an employer of choice. We work very hard to earn that distinction and live up to it every day." HHHunt recognizes that labor stability not only results in less time and money spent on recruiting and hiring, but also creates a better envi- ronment for residents. Consistency and relationships between workers and residents are important factors, especially in memory care. The company starts by offering competitive pay and benefits to its 1,400 senior living employees, but tries to hire and retain the best workers by fostering a strong com- pany culture. "We want to help workers see that we're defining a distinct cul- ture that has value for the resi- dents," says Fox. "But what's also important for us is life balance for our employees. We want to know our team members and empower them to be productive, but respect that balance. That shows value to them." The company often seeks input from its employees under a found- ing principal that Williams refers to as "best idea wins." "We keep open lines of com- munication on a daily basis," says Williams. "We want our employ- ees to speak their mind and share ideas. We're all about empowering our teammates." Through a program called Cme (pronounced "see me"), managers conduct more regular one-on-one conversations with all employees rather than wait for annual per- formance reviews. This approach enables employees to be constantly improving while giving them a platform to voice their ideas and concerns about the company. Employees are also recognized on a regular basis. There are daily recognitions, monthly goal cel- ebrations, anniversaries and an annual awards ceremony for top employees. "We really try to keep a spotlight on team members all the time," says Stempel. "When a job is well done, we don't want to miss the opportunity to say so. People who feel valued in their work are much more likely to be satisfied in what they're doing, so we try to be very sincere and intentional about that." One of the main goals for HHHunt is creating a clear career path in an industry where workers can often feel stuck in a dead-end job. Internally, the company offers HHHunt University, which offers leadership development training. Courses are rotated among the various cities where the company operates communities. Employees can elect to attend on their own, or may be recommended by a manager. Additionally, HHHunt offers an administrator-in-training pro- gram for those with their eye on an executive director position. Suc- cessful employees, such as nurses, can become designated mentors and help in the company's training program. Externally, the company pro- vides tuition reimbursement for employees looking for certifica- tions, such as becoming a certi- fied nursing assistant or registered nurse. "We like to support team- mates that are interested in career growth," says Williams. "If they want to take a shot, we'll support them." The reason for HHHunt's strong focus on labor is that the com- pany realizes that employees hold the key to the company's success much more than the real estate. "It's not about the bricks and mortar. We do have beautiful build- ings and invest heavily in upkeep. But in the end it's not about that," says Stempel. "It's about the team members we have on board and the programming, affording seniors to live when they come to us. We want them to still have the oppor- tunity to live as vibrantly and inter- estingly as they did at every other stage in their lives." n Spring Arbor of Winchester, Virginia, opened in 2010. The community offers assisted living and memory care services with a capacity of 84 residents.

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