Everyone has heard the expression “it takes a village,” right? While this is commonly used in parenting (as I’ve realized recently), I also find it true in Senior Living communities. Here’s why.
In my ‘village’ at Atlas Senior Living, I believe the hardest position in a Senior Living environment is being a Care Associate. And by that I don’t mean their work environment. I mean that it is just a hard job, period.
What makes a Care Associate successful in our business is one that truly doesn’t view it as a “job”, but instead as their duty and responsibility to care for our greatest generation. I believe it is arguably the most important position in communities but often is the least recognized by peers, managers, families, and even the residents themselves.
Let me explain this revelation with my own experience close to home.
Connecting Parenting with Appreciation in Senior Living
I learned early on when it comes to my daughter that I can entice her to do things she doesn’t want to do by explaining the importance of a task, setting expectations, encouraging her and then recognizing her efforts afterwards.
We had so much fun celebrating a clean room, or a simple chore like brushing her teeth. However, as my schedule became more demanding and other obligations around the house took more of my time, I found myself telling and directing rather than explaining and encouraging.
I’m sure we can all probably guess what happened next… Resistance and poor efforts on her part.
I see this same parallel in the workplace. For instance, we are excited with new hires like our Care Associates. We spend time educating them on what they are doing, giving them the tools needed to be successful, and working side-by-side with them.
We all feel excited at the end of the day about the endless possibilities they can have for their future in that respective position. It’s also a relief that we have finally found someone who gives us one less thing to worry about. We follow up days after giving what we hope is positive feedback and more encouragement, but then the complacency sets in.
Why should I expect different results with my ‘village’ at Atlas than my own personal experience with my daughter?
Leading by Example in Senior Living
As leaders, we must continuously encourage and recognize those that do their job well. What does this all have to do with appreciation you may ask?
And I’m not just talking monetary appreciation. While for some that would be icing on the cake, for others it’s also verbal appreciation that speaks volumes.
There is nothing better than hearing a simple ‘Thank You’ from someone for what you do or what you did. That simple, five-second communication will last for hours and maybe even days to someone that works hard.
Value is what everyone cherishes. Telling or showing someone that you recognize their efforts and appreciate them not only improves morale and enhances why they do what they do, but also makes for a better employee overall. Essentially that job, duty, responsibility, or whatever you want to call it, is not nothing, but really everything.
Thank you to all of those that take care of our Senior Citizens.
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Chief Marketing Officer
Atlas Senior Living