The lessons learned in life are often as important as the first ones we learn in school when training for a career. This happened when the state surveyor pulled me into her confidence by telling me how much better I could be in my career by embracing the changes and broadening my expanse of expertise. My value to my community expanded as my purpose grew and the residents benefited most of all.
This is the knowledge I share with nursing, care-giving, and ancillary staff in my Kind Dining® training workshops. Changes in our industry are here. The new regulations stress for widening the service offered within the community. The nursing staff in turn becomes more valuable and in the true sense of a caregiver, will gain in the satisfaction knowing they endeared a resident who has left her former home behind to live in their care in this community.
That presence of the nursing staff in the dining room is an extension of hospitality, not turning into a wait person. It’s part of making home feel like home. Communities are in the throes of cultural shift, in organizational changes, and in service quality. The dining room is the most important room in the community. It’s personal to the residents, where the public is also invited to be part of the bonding process of residents and serving staff. They carry away impressions that will want others to live in your community!
Enlighten the nursing staff of the new skills, competencies, attitudes, and commitments needed with the new federal requirements for improving person-centered quality of life and care in the dining room. Allow them to grasp the benefit for themselves. They are receiving potential life changing skills that compliments and broadens their relational expertise. Can it be any better for them? My job is to train your serving staff in proper serving but with the best attitude and behavior adjustments that will make them and your community proud.
Our B♥ Kind® Tip: Remember, you are unique, valuable and worthy of respect, but proceed humbly.
Some time ago I was explaining the importance of learning new skills for nurses during a training session of Kind Dining. One individual balked at the idea of needing to do anything different than she had always done. She was so adamant that her arms folded across her chest looked like they would block any new information from entering her made-up mind. She didn’t want to learn anything new. She was used to the old ways. She was not about to change regardless of new regulations. And she refused to take orders from her residents. It just wasn’t done!
I explained to her that if she didn’t take orders, did she ask her residents what their choice was from the day’s menu? “Of course” she grumbled, determined to cement the wall she built between us. Using communication and instruction to erode that wall, I went on to explain how her residents’ lives would improve in a personal, caring response to her nurse’s service. Serving meals gives an extended homey, family feeling to mealtime when resident’s nurse also serves her food. It’s called nourishing. I continued to explain how learning to serve meals properly, in the best possible way was an opportunity to add to her list of nursing skills. It would make any nurse a well-rounded, more desirable leader.
Embracing the new regulations in a pleasing manner and implementing them through proper training, creates happier residents, employees proud of their skills, and smooth running communities that sparkle with perfection. Kind Dining is thoroughly knowledgeable and can train your staff about government regulations that were conceived to bring quality of life to each community resident. This presents opportunities for all.
Our B♥ Kind® Tip: Remember, the service you give has the power to build community.
In a successful community dining room, every staff member needs to perform their individual part to please residents, just like each musician in an orchestra plays from his sheet music to deliver a unified audience-pleasing performance.
Executive Directors tell me, “Resident caregivers grumble about serving food or pouring coffee.“We didn’t school to be wait staff and resent this part of our job.”
I understand this long-standing schism between departments. This is really about complete care of each resident, not waiting tables vs. nursing. Serving is respectful work when viewed correctly. The dining experience is the most important area to enhance residents’ well-being.
Communities in cultural shift of service quality and organizational change are beautifying dining rooms, overlooking the most important aspect: staff enlightenment. Change requires staff to embrace a new set of skills, attitude, and commitment. Those roles and responsibilities are changing rapidly with new standards. A good leader takes the focus off pettiness and orchestrates staff unity around mealtimes, where residents spend 60% of their day.
Remember that furniture, chandeliers, and new paint, no matter how beautiful, don’t bring warmth to the table. What does? Joy, generosity, patience, love, and a kind staff working in the residents’ home dining room, touch their hearts.
Our B♥ Kind® Tip: Remember, a good leader unites all employees to the same goal.
I recall a teenage kitchen worker in one Kind Dining® class. He was just looking for a job and happened to find one in this community. His focus about just earning money changed after he noticed how the residents became personal to him. “It didn’t take long for me to realize that showing up for work, being there, and being nice made a big difference to them and it did to me, too. Many don’t have family and considered us their family. My interaction with them was a way I could give back.”
This young man developed a new sense of purpose and connection that motivated him to improve service. He would stay with the company regardless of his minimal wages. Other employees also expressed an emotional gift exchanged between residents and staff. This concept needs to be nurtured. It makes a huge difference in results when employees find their work meaningful.
Companies that are committed to a strong workplace culture improve the balance sheet for its company by 20-30 %. Research shows that for employees a sense of identity and purpose within the organization is vital to them.
Some communities may not be able to offer employees perks of top-ranked companies (health insurance, family leave, childcare, etc.) and cannot pay more than minimum wage to some. Workplace culture, which top companies rank as the most influential aspect (80%) of daily operations, can be created and sustained for little money.
Responsibility is for leaders to create a workplace culture that helps employees find meaning in what they do. This has nothing to do with paychecks. Training in communication, customer service and hospitality skills helps personalize the dining experience which is an ideal place to start. This is career development that motivates employees. Giving life-long tools helps relations with residents and each other. This investment in community creates meaning and value for all stakeholders.
Kind Dining® is an affordable training series and direct route to transform staff behavior during mealtimes. They will become your most valuable company asset and will outshine your competition.
Our B♥ Kind® Tip: A committed employee is the community’s best asset.