Do your employees practice kindness as a way of life?

Do your employees practice kindness as a way of life?

Do all things with kindness quote

“Well, now that you have been on the job, let’s see…6 months, what do you think?” Laura asked Susan, the newcomer to the senior living community food service team.

“Do you have an hour? I have lots to say for an answer.” Susan replied in a joking manner.

“I’m listening and curious.” Laura knew Susan came to the community soon after she graduated high school and had never been in the workforce.

“First of all, I thought having a job was all about getting a paycheck and how I could spend it. Wow! That is way down the list below of the things I didn’t know.

Our training sessions taught me important everyday ways of work that I never learned in my business course in school. The first up is working smarter with intention using the new skills I’m learning. I had no idea how much there was to serve a meal. It is so much more than I expected. I practice each new skill as shown to me so it will come naturally in time. Wow. Who knew?”

Laura grinned, encouraging her. “I still learn from our training meetings. It keeps my skills fresh, so I’m happy you appreciate them.”

“Oh, I do! My first day on the job serving meals made me aware of the difference between the older generation and the physical issues they have to contend with. At the same, I noted incidents I faced in high school, like bullying. Some elders are darlings that I loved immediately. I practice being extra kind, knowing they may struggle with something I don’t yet understand. But I’m committed and determined to help overcome loneliness and the complications of aging. I’m learning. It doesn’t always come naturally. My coworkers help and are kind to me too. They advise me when they notice I need it and include me so I feel like I belong even though I am the youngest and the new kid on the block.

“COVID hit my high school friends hard, though we are all technologically savvy,” Susan continued. “Knowing about isolation and knowing it is much harder for seniors is constantly on my mind when serving. I chat and ask questions to build a connection, as was taught in the training curriculum. I rely on that curriculum. It reminds me why I want kindness to be a way of life for me. Already, kindness comes naturally.”

Kind Dining ® curriculum is for all employees, not only the newly hired. Kindness is core to their training of skills necessary to be a community seniors choose as their home. It is a new way of life and a challenge for them, leaving behind a home that was familiar and dear to them.

Be ♥ Kind Tip: Kindness is core to learning basic skills.

Do you remember the first compliment you received?

Do you remember the first compliment you received?

Remember when you were a little kid going to school and the teacher responded to your raised hand when you knew the answer? A friend was telling me about her memory.

“I was learning to read in first grade. I raised my hand to read a sentence and my teacher, Mrs. Smith called on me by name. She took time to boost my self-esteem by easing me out of my shyness. She made me feel special by paying attention to me. Sometimes she would remark about my work or my hair, something personal. I’ll always remember her for it and it has been many decades ago. It gave me courage to speak out unafraid. There was always a nice comment written on my report card, too. Mom and Dad were delighted to read that. Of course, as I look back, I realize now what I didn’t realize then, that she made each one of us feel special.”

Remembering how you felt and responded to a kindness, even from as long ago as your young childhood can be turned into a guideline in present day food serving techniques. What made you feel special long ago will bring the same results with the seniors in your community dining room.

Memories are wonderful moments to call on when wanting to nurture the seniors your food servers attend at mealtimes. Be sincere. Encourage your staff to find just one little item about a senior that they can honestly compliment on. Advise them to watch the power of their words work. If the senior pays the compliment forward it could turn viral and you’ll have a full dining room of joyful, smiling seniors. The end result lifts the compliment giver’s spirit, too. They will feel happier, raising their own self esteem. Kind Dining® coaching helps your dining room staff to come by these techniques and incorporate them into their daily routines so they become as natural to them as breathing.

Paying personal attention to a senior at mealtime is a small matter that carries a long way. If the person is shy, it will give confidence and build trust between you. A small act of kindness will change a bad mood. Just being recognized will change your diner’s thoughts to positive ones. You may have just pulled a resident out of a depression, or at least brightened her way. It’s known that receiving a compliment ignites creativity and sometimes unblocks a thinking process. A compliment can bring on a smile which may turn into laughter and we all know that laughter burns calories?

Our B Kind ® Tip: Happiness is contagious.