Why do owners, operators, managers and caretakers decide to make a career in senior living?
What makes them want to care for those who can no longer fully care for themselves? Behind every assisted living employee is the keen desire to make a difference.
People who choose assisted living as a place to build a career do so out of an inner need to improve the quality of life of someone else.
Earning wages are only half the motivation – assisted living workers aim to do good and do well at the same time.
To know an assisted living employee is to know a servant. For these people, satisfaction and meaning are derived from serving others. As with any employees, however, leadership is key to productivity and success.
Employee motivation is cultivated. It does not come from the satisfaction of doing work, but from the work and the leadership associated with the organization.
In other words, motivation is the result of sound relevant leadership coupled with meaningful work. If either element is missing, employees will be unmotivated. Motivation should not be regarded as a constant.
Employees experience a variety of things in their personal and professional lives that will affect motivation.
However, if your residential assisted living home is managed effectively, employees will be motivated, and residents will flourish with quality care.
Therefore, what can a residential assisted living homeowner do to build a motivated team?
WHAT MOTIVATES ASSISTED LIVING EMPLOYEES
What drives motivation in your residential assisted living home? Employee motivation is most closely associated with attainment.
When employees experience accomplishment, working on tasks with teams that meet and exceed goals motivation follows without fail. This is especially the case when caring for senior residents, caregivers thrive in environments where attainment is high.
RECOGNIZING EMPLOYEES IS A NECESSITY FOR MOTIVATION
Recognition of staff accomplishments is the logical follow-up to attainment, and a necessity to ensure motivation.
Recognition, even with employees who are not too keen about it, makes a considerable difference. It calls to attention the activities and the results that deliver success to your residential assisted living home.
Recognition actually frames the language of success in assisted living. Soon, the residential assisted living homeowners will hear the words associated with recognition bouncing around the work environment.
Recognition permeates a successful environment like butter to hot toast – it is absolutely necessary.
SUCCESSFUL ASSISTED LIVING HOMES CARE ABOUT QUALITY OF LIFE
Residential assisted living homeowners who acknowledge and place emphasis on the quality of the employee’s life creates a motivated work environment.
How do you show your employees you care about their wellbeing? Employees are inevitably concerned about their families, friends and overall personal well-being. They are concerned about balancing work with home.
In addition, like every other human being, they face personal challenges that could easily affect their ability to perform at a high level.
When possible, offer employees benefits that support living a quality life:
- Flexible work schedule
- Telecommute when possible
- Discounted support services
- Personal and career development opportunities
- Financial planning
By including quality of life supports, the residential assisted living homeowner will alleviate many concerns that will affect employees and hamper their productivity.
PROVIDE PERSONALIZED COACHING
What makes an elite athlete successful? Coaching. Employees thrive when their management takes on more of a coaching role than a supervisory one.
If high performing employees and teams are your goal, adapt supervisory functions to more of a coaching function.
Residential assisted living homeowners may even rename certain roles in the home to that of a coach.
Why? Employees will react to the people in that role as a superior trainer and perform at a high level. One thing to be certain of, make sure the coach is a coach and not a supervisor cloaked with a new title.
It is important that coaches coach, developing employees rather than simply supervising.
If high productivity and superior service is the goal of your residential assisted living home, coaching should be a routine part of the culture.
MONETARY INCENTIVES ARE MOTIVATING
While recognition, attainment and coaching are vital to operating a successful assisted living business, employees report dutifully to work for one reason: money.
Money is no doubt a motivator. It is essential for residential assisted living homeowners to recognize the employee’s need to secure a viable wage. While decent wages are necessary, monetary incentives that are associated with productivity will certainly foster and undergird a high performing organization.
In addition to incentive pay, increases in base pay and wages also foster motivation. The motivation is not just the desire to increase pay for one’s current job, but it creates an environment where people desire to move into other positions.
Is your residential assisted living home a place where employees can learn, grow and enhance the organization more?
ALLOW EMPLOYEES OPPORTUNITIES TO MAKE INDEPENDENT DECISIONS
Autonomy in decision making has a strong potential to boost motivation in residential assisted living homes.
Autonomy appropriately rendered creates trust in a residential assisted living home and productivity increases significantly.
Employees assume ownership in the workplace when autonomy is appropriately allocated. They feel as if what they do, say and think matters to the overall operation. Autonomy becomes indicative of a RAL home that has coaches in key positions as opposed to supervisors.
Autonomy creates collaboration in a workplace operation.
Additionally, autonomy enhances empowerment in the residential assisted living home.
Empowered employees are creative, caring, and courageous – and certainly they are motivated.
PERSONALIZED REWARDS PRODUCE GREAT RESULTS
The residential assisted living homeowner should never forego personalized rewards. When employees exceed expectations or a team performs sacrificially, reward them.
These rewards are made extra special with personalization. If an employee loves to golf, buy them a round at a local course. If one loves Broadway performances, maybe a pair of matinee tickets will do. If someone loves gardening, how about a gift certificate to a local nursery.
In other words, get to know your staff and reward them according to their tastes. The result will be exponential improvement and careful attention in your residential assisted living home.
REWARD YOUR BUSINESS WITH THE SUPPORT YOU NEED TO SUCCEED
Rewards are not a daily occurrence. There is not time for such celebrations and if done daily, celebrations would cease to be special. Therefore, rewards are done infrequently to reward what is done frequently.
The Residential Assisted Living National Association professional tips from experts and well-documented research to ensure that your assisted living business succeeds.
In addition to professional tips, webinars, and ongoing blogs, RALNA provides guidance for legal expertise, national marketing of your residential assisted living home, and group purchasing power.
The membership-based organization offers the ongoing support needed to provide quality care for seniors in assisted living.
Get connected to RALNA by clicking here.