Staff members sitting in chairs and laughing
Sloan Bentley
Sloan Bentley

Facing the same staffing challenges seen by long-term care providers and others around the country, Arlington Heights, IL-based Lutheran Life Communities has launched a “Great Retention Initiative” aimed at reversing the effects of employees retiring sooner than expected due to the pandemic.

Approximately 30% of the employees who left Lutheran Life Communities during the pandemic were 55 years old or older, according to the company.

“The future of work depends on designing programs that reflect the intent of the organization and creating proactive, not reactive, pathways when team members are feeling out of balance,” Lutheran Life President and CEO Sloan Bentley previously told the McKnight’s Business Daily. 

Low pay, a lack of opportunities for advancement and feeling disrespected at work were the top reasons Americans quit their jobs last year during what has been dubbed the “Great Resignation”, according to the results of a Pew Research Center survey reported last month.

“As a response, Lutheran Life Communities is prioritizing and promoting a blended work environment that is fair and equitable for team members of all ages,” the company said in a press release issued Wednesday. “The organization is committed to the principle of Equal Employment Opportunity, advertising open job roles on over 132 diverse job boards.”

Lutheran Life said it is rolling out various programs to foster a positive company culture, including an employee assistance program, rewards for perfect attendance, spiritual care through chaplaincy, fitness programs and, most recently, an employee referral incentive program. 

Under the latter program, employees were encouraged to refer friends, neighbors or relatives to work at Lutheran Life. For each referral hired, the name of the referring team member was entered into a drawing for the chance to win a grand prize totaling $5,000.

“Bentley’s vision of intentionally developing programs for wellbeing, team member recognition, and pathways to learning and development is modern, responsive and relevant. The Great Retention Initiative is well underway and growing at Lutheran Life Communities,” according to a company news release.