Dan Guill is optimistic about the future of senior living and care.
“This is an industry that hit a bump with COVID, but I don’t think that by any means it’s an issue when we talk about what’s going to happen with the demographics and the willingness for evolution here over the next five, 10, 15 years,” the Envlivant CEO told the McKnight’s Business Daily.
“But I do think it’s going to change,” he continued. “I don’t think senior housing is going to be the same, and I think we’re all going to have to spend a lot of time watching and reacting to both what technologies are out there, what is it that the regulatory environment does and what is it the customer needs and what can we do to fulfill on that.”
Guill became CEO of the Chicago-based owner/operator of senior living communities in April after serving as president and chief operating officer for eight years.
“Dan is a different type of leader. He’s energetic and endearing,” Enlivant Director of Communications Jeremy Ross told the McKnight’s Business Daily.
The culture at Enlivant is built around its diversity, inclusion and belonging program, according to the CEO. Employees seem to respond both to the management and the culture, as their input made Enlivant certified as a Great Place to Work for the third consecutive year. The Great Place to Work Institute, a research and consulting firm, evaluated employees’ experience on the job, including pride in the organization’s community impact and the belief that their work makes a difference. Ninety-three percent of the company’s employees responded to a survey as part of the process.
Guill said that, to him, the high response rate indicates that employees trust the company’s leadership to listen to them and then act on the feedback. Most employers, he added, expect survey feedback in the 50% to 60% range, especially from a predominately hourly wage workforce.
Despite working through the industry’s most challenging time, during the pandemic, employees across Enlivant’s 215 communities, ranked their workplace high in the areas of respect, pride and camaraderie. Ninety percent said they believe that their work has special meaning, 90% said they were treated fairly regardless of their gender, and 87% said they believe that their work makes a difference.
Compassion, empathy, integrity and humility are hallmarks of the entire Enlivant team, according to Guill. The company thrives on trust and building meaningful relationships, he said.
“When it gets down to it, you want someone who truly aligns with the values of the company. You need people who actually feel a little bit of accountability,” Guill said.
As most in the senior living industry, Enlivant has felt the workforce shortage. Part of that challenge, Guill said, has to do with the vaccine requirement the company put in place for front-line workers on June 1. Some workers decided they didn’t want to get vaccinated and went to work elsewhere. Now, Enlivant has achieved 99% compliance among workers in its communities and 95% overall compliance including both staff and residents.
“I would never change what we’ve done. The fact that we’ve achieved 99% vaccination makes me sleep well at night,” he said.
Once booster shots are available from all three top manufacturers, Guill said, Enlivant will mandate those as well.