It’s no secret that good employees are difficult to find in this sector. Keeping them can be even more difficult.
That’s largely because the challenges here are many. First off, the work can be physically, mentally and emotionally draining. The hours can be ridiculous, and may include nights, weekends and holidays. And the pay, especially for frontline workers, often fails to meet what the Amazons and Costcos of the world have to offer.
It hardly helps that unemployment rates are at their lowest levels in half a century. Is it any wonder that turnover is a perennial issue?
Yet senior living organizations have a secret weapon that often is overlooked. Namely, they are purpose-driven organizations.
Your enterprise exists for a noble reason: to help make life better for others. But many operators either struggle to get that message across or simply take it for granted that everyone is locked in. Big mistake.
If it’s any consolation, you are hardly alone. As authors Sally Blount and Paul Linewald note in the November-December issue of Harvard Business Review, many mission statements fail to address what a firm really does or who its customers are. Others are so squishy that they essentially are useless.
As they point out, a powerful statement of purpose should do two things. First, it needs to articulate your organization’s strategic goals. Second, it must motivate your workers. Take a look at yours. Does it do both?
This is no trifling matter. For when employees understand and embrace your organization’s purpose, some amazing things can begin to happen. First and foremost, they just might begin to act and feel as if they are part of something that is larger than themselves.
Look, I’m not trying to sugarcoat the work that needs to be done in senior living. It is not easy. But it is important.
I’m willing to bet that if given the choice, most people would rather do work that fills them with a sense of purpose. And that is exactly what your senior living organization provides. Are you getting the word out?