When considering independent living communities, you’ll certainly want to evaluate and compare each location’s amenities and services, such as the apartments, restaurants, and social opportunities.
But you may also want to consider another factor that could have an even bigger impact on your overall happiness in your chosen community: employee satisfaction.
4 ways to evaluate employees on retirement community visits
Employees affect every aspect of a senior living community, from the appearance of the grounds to the quality of daily interactions with residents. Motivated, engaged, and happy employees help to separate exceptional retirement communities from adequate ones. How can you tell if employees are motivated, engaged, and happy? Be sure to assess the following when touring independent living communities:
- Employee-Resident Interactions. How do employees engage with the residents? Do they seem friendly, helpful, and truly interested in supporting residents?
- Employee-Employee Interactions. How does the staff interact with each other? Do employees appear to like each other and have good camaraderie? The quality of these interactions can often reflect the quality of the community.
- Employee-Manager Interactions. Does management lead in a supportive and empowering way, or do managers simply boss around employees? Does the staff respond positively after speaking with managers?
- Staffing Levels. Do you see enough employees to handle the workload? Harried employees or facilities that don’t appear well maintained may be indicators of a short-staffed community – which will definitely affect your level of care.
During your visit, you’ll also want to speak with as many people as you can, including the waitstaff, housekeeping, and, of course, residents. These conversations will help you to determine the quality of the employees, their level of engagement, and how passionate they are about their jobs.
Why do employees choose to work at a retirement community?
Employees could perform their same jobs at businesses besides a senior living community. For example, a culinary staff member could work at a restaurant, a housekeeper could work at a hotel, and a maintenance person could work at an apartment complex. Knowing employees have options, why do they choose a retirement community? At Holiday, we actually asked our employees what makes it a great workplace. Their No. 1 response: the residents. Employees at Holiday value the people they serve, enjoy getting to know them, and relish the opportunity to discover the amazing life stories of the wisest people on Earth.
Engaged employees create welcoming independent living communities
According to Karen Sheean, Chief Human Resources Officer for the Holiday by Atria brand, “An engaged group of employees who are excited to come to work every day creates an environment that attracts exceptional talent and builds a welcome, dynamic community for the older adults who call Holiday by Atria home.”
As you tour senior living communities and observe the employees, you’ll see which locations have employees who genuinely love where they work – and how this passion for the job makes a difference in the residents’ lives. At Holiday, 74% of our employees consider this a great workplace. In fact, for the fourth year in a row, Holiday has been named one of FORTUNE’s Best Workplaces in Aging Services™.
Come meet our employees
Quality employees go hand in hand with quality independent living communities. To see our employees in action, use our helpful retirement community search tool to find a Holiday by Atria community near you and to schedule a private tour.