Demographic Changes Call for RE-Thinking Staffing for Senior Housing

Demographic trends show the average and mean of the age of the US population getting older.  This is something to look forward to for those who own and operate Assisted Living Facilities.

japan-demographic-pyramidBut it also presents changes in who ALF owners and operators will be hiring and employing in the years to come.  Just as their is an increase in staffing needs there will be a reduction in the pool of workers age 18 to 62.

The PLUS side

The good news is that surveys and trends show that many people are planning on working long into their retirement years.  Whether it be because they can’t afford full retirement, they want to supplement their retirement income, or they just want to stay active and want to continue to use their talents in the work force.

Older workers may have impressive work histories, talents and experience that seem to make them over qualified for the work.  Both of you and the worker will need to adjust.

The ADJUSTMENT

Face it, both you and the older worker are coming in with old expectations that need to be adjusted.  The worker may be coming from a city with high-pay and a career with high responsibility.  They might be interested in reducing their stress, changing careers, but greatly cutting their pay is a harder pill to swallow.  The only way to get by this is to be open, honest, and frank without talking about age.

Ages is a protected class.  So don’t advertise that you are looking for “older employees” or that this position would be perfect “for retirees”.

Think about ways to attract older employees and keep employees working after their retirement age.

How?

Here are some tips:

SHIFTS

Split shifts in two or create more part-time shifts.  Many older workers can afford and desire part-time work.  The eight hour day my be too exhausting, but the 4 or 6 hour day is just right.  Current employees reaching retirement age may want to reduce their hours in phases.  Talk to them!

TIME OFF

Older employees may want more time off.  The good news is that their vacation time will be unpaid if they are working part-time.

PHYSICAL WORK

Making beds all day might be too difficult for some people.  Think about how you might divide up the work so that some positions have less physical work than others.  Make sure that if an employee become less able they are able to move over into positions with less physical work.

REWARDING WORK

An older worker might continue to work because of the feeling they get from their contribution.  They might enjoy the interaction with residents and other staff.  Provide opportunities for the staff to bond through meals, charity work, and recognition.  This is good for all the workers and for the culture of the facility.

support-for-seniorRESPECT

Know the work history of your employees.  They may have talents that are well above their position at your community, but would be willing to utilize that skill for a short-term project or to mentor another staff person.

West Central Solutions, Inc. helps owners of privately held Assisted Living Facilities with project management and on-going operations.  

If you would like to learn more about the topic of the post-retirement worker, here is an article about the mature job seeker in Florida.

 

What One Thing Brings Holiday Cheer to Employees?

Yes!  There is one thing that ALF owners and senior living managers can do to make employees cheer at holiday time.

It is coming to the end of the year and big holiday celebrations. This is the perfect time to spend some relaxed time with your employees, getting to know them. This enhances relationships and builds relationship equity.

Holiday-snow-man

So how do you do this when the budget is tight with holiday pay and employees cashing in their vacation time?

 

 

 

 

Have a POTLUCK.

Don’t use the time to give speeches…

Well, not unless the speech is short and it is full of thanks.   Maybe, if you had a good year or overcame obstacles it is time to remember how great your team is and what you have accomplished.

But keep it short.

Holiday_Potluck

POTLUCKS are affordable ways to increase bonds, build employee engagement and strengthen relationships. All of which reduces employee turnover.

Remember to make holiday time all inclusive. We all think our belief is the right belief yet it is important to remember and respect that others can hold different beliefs. Help all employees feel welcome by including their holidays and traditions throughout the year. More opportunities for POTLUCKS!

And speaking of inclusive…. remember the night staff! Stagger the times of Potlucks or have more than one in a week at holiday time. One for each shift where the owner and/or administrator shows up to chat, give thanks and appreciation.

 

And what better way to bond that by breaking bread together.

Take pictures and share them on the employee bulletin board.

ALF Consultant Potluck Collage4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHO PAYS ??–

Don’t feel that you have to sponsor the main course every time.   If you have enough employees there will be plenty of food without a main course.   If you have enough employees, three or more can go together on providing the main course.

Employees will spend this time together off the clock if they normally take an “off the clock break”.   What we have done in the past is make the speech or any presentation “on the clock” (paid) and the eating and chatting part “off the clock” (unpaid).

West Central Solutions wishes for you that your 2016 is Full of Fun Potlucks with great conversations, laughter, and good food.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

balls-christmas

West Central Solutions provides project management and on-going oversight to owners of privately held assisted living facilities.  Sign up to receive more of Theressa’s Tips on Senior Housing… learn more.