Wendy O’Donovan Phillips headshot
Wendy O’Donovan Phillips

In a recent study, Big Buzz surveyed more than 100 senior living executives to uncover insights into how they achieve higher marketing outcomes through team alignment. Your peers identified in our study these seven best practices for team alignment: 

  1. Establish common values and culture. Doing so ensures that all team members adhere to the same code of conduct and standards, fostering team cohesion and cooperation. At each quarterly session, have team members read aloud for the entire group your organizational mission, vision and values. Encourage folks to share about how another person on the team embodied the organizational values or culture. As Alicia Marie of PeopleBiz Inc. says, “Culture is what you say, do and reward.” Dust off the document and make it come to life with regular discussion. 
  2. Offer incentives and rewards. This can be done through team bonuses, recognition programs and promotion mechanisms. By providing tangible rewards for achieving team goals, organizations such as yours can motivate and engage their employees. And remember, even a simple verbal acknowledgement in front of a high-performing team member and her co-workers can be received as a remarkable reward.
  3. Establish effective communication channels. By developing independent communication software or platforms, organizations can facilitate daily communication among team members, ensuring that everyone stays informed and connected. A favorite of ours is Slack. Carry that same crystal clarity into your meetings with the L10 meeting format.
  4. Encourage ongoing training and development. By providing necessary training programs and continuous learning opportunities, organizations such as yours enable team members to acquire new skills, grow professionally and remain competitive in their respective fields.
  5. Provide feedback and assessments. Gathering feedback and conducting assessments of the team’s current state allows organizations like yours to identify areas for improvement and address any issues or challenges hindering team alignment. Regular feedback and assessment help foster continuous improvement and enhance team effectiveness. Initiating a voice-of-the-employee survey before your quarterly meeting will allow you to share data and trends that emerge from your study.
  6. Clarify goals and expectations. It’s crucial for organizations to ensure that all team members are aware of your organization’s goals and expectations. This clarity helps align individual efforts with the larger organizational objectives, promoting a shared sense of purpose and direction.
  7. Establish consistent rules and procedures. To maintain team alignment, organizations should establish consistent rules, policies and procedures. By ensuring that all employees understand and follow these guidelines, organizations can create a unified and efficient work environment. But don’t spend too much time here — even 15 minutes of reminders about structures in your quarterly meeting can go a long way in promoting adherence to company policies.

These best practices, when implemented effectively, can significantly contribute to team alignment and enhance overall organizational performance. And we wish you all the best in achieving higher marketing outcomes by aligning your team!

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CEO Wendy O’Donovan Phillips is the author of the book “Flourish!: The Method Used by Aging Services Organizations for the Ultimate Marketing Results,” has been published in McKnight’s Senior Living, has been a regular contributor to Forbes, and has been quoted in the Washington Post, ABC News and Chicago Tribune.

Big Buzz is a marketing agency that for more than 15 years has helped senior living marketing and sales teams nurture leads to increase occupancy, grow and scale. 

The Big Buzz leadership team regularly lectures in front of audiences ranging from 25 to 6,000 attendees, including at Argentum and various LeadingAge chapters. Agency awards and accolades include recognition for excellence by the American Marketing Association, Gold Key Award Winner by the Business Marketing Association, HubSpot Academy Inbound Marketing Certification and Top Advertising and Marketing Agency by Clutch.

The opinions expressed in each McKnight’s Senior Living guest column are those of the author and are not necessarily those of McKnight’s Senior Living.

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