Do you read the latest research on the Business of Aging Services?

Do you read the latest research on the Business of Aging Services?

Picture of an open book with a glasses on top of it


Do your community supervisors continue to read research on how to secure and keep healthy employees?

Do they know why it is necessary to have healthy employees and how it benefits your residents and your community?

Do they know the benefits of teamwork?

Research results reveal that employees who work together as a team show better communication skills with residents as well as with their teammates. When they share the same goals with staff members on their team, they are impacted with a sense of respect and are apt to perform their duties with a lighter step. This especially refers to employees in a minority, whether gender, race, or age.

A team member will feel accepted and know they will be treated as fairly as their teammates.  They also are reassured that they will not suffer any kind of harassment. This affects health and creates decisions to stay on the job.

A healthy employee seeks to improve their performance, will have the patience to be kinder, and gentler, and will create positive relationships with both their coworkers and the residents.

Kind Dining® encourages practicing teamwork relationships, ideas, and sharing opinions, to strengthen new, team-building habits.

Occupational friendships with teammates convey a sense of belonging that works on behalf of an employee’s health. It’s a small kindness, to extend a hand or smile, that creates a huge response.

Kind Dining®  training sessions teach that learning and practicing together promotes team culture.

The presentation and serving of meals are a complex choreography. Teammates learn to have each other’s back when someone falters. This builds trust and a winning team.

My research has proven that building meaningful relationships helps aging services communities attract residents, retain staff, and create a community where your employees and your residents feel like they belong in this very place. By mastering the fundamentals of attention, respect, and kindness, you too can improve the experience of everyone in your community.

Kind Dining® is approved for 11 Continuing Education Units for RDNs, & NDTRs.  CEUs are from the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), the credentialing agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This includes 1 Ethics unit for the entire series.

For CDMs, CEUs are from the Certifying Board of Dietary Managers (CBDM). 9 General, 1 Sanitation, 1 Ethics.

Why does the brain like learning?

It’s freeing the cognitive capacity so it can seek out new information and learn. To keep our brain in tip-top shape, it needs exercise. And learning something new is the best workout we can provide. Habits and routines follow neural pathways that are well-developed and etched deep into our brains.   – Jan 21, 2022

Click here to learn more at the National Library of Medicine.

Be ♥ Kind: Build meaningful, occupational relationships to attract residents, retain staff, and create a winning community.

Does your food serving team know about “soft skills”?

Does your food serving team know about “soft skills”?

young waitress smiling

The two women were walking down the hallway heading towards the kitchen to begin their work shift at an independent living community. They just finished a segment of the training session and were discussing their opinions.

“First of all,” the older one said, “I never heard the term ‘soft skills’ and I certainly didn’t realize I had them. Timewise I’ve probably worked longer on our food serving team than most anyone else.

I learned early to adapt to the many changes made over the years. With my natural curiosity, I communicate easily with the residents, and as you know, with my coworkers.

I think my mom taught me about empathy and she always encouraged learning new skills.

I’m glad they taught those things in today’s training session. Many of our coworkers need to learn those skills. Some are downright stubborn and need to add these skills to their toolbox.

I love my job, always have, right from the beginning, so learning new ways to work has always excited me.”

“Well, I thank you for taking me under your wing and guiding me when I needed it,” replied the younger woman, obviously newly hired.

“I’m also really delighted with this Kind Dining® training module number 3 because, like you, I love learning new ways to work.

I plan to stay in this community, so I want to be a top-notch team player. You make yourself available to talk with me about our work. I enjoy that and discussing what we just learned helps me even more. I appreciate that.”

One person can make a difference.

It’s called the Power of One and it often begins with helping a change of attitude, to encourage learning new ways that change a person’s life and changes the life around them, all for the better.

Discussion after learning sessions brings what they were taught to a personal level and embeds the information like a file cabinet where the content can be brought out and used again and again. What was learned becomes second nature; building confidence.

Kind Dining® curriculum was created to change lives for the better.

Our training is an opportunity to introduce new skills, but more importantly, it’s a way to reshape thinking that will transform the lives of your employees.

Your food serving team will take note of the residents’ increased satisfaction as they receive small acts of consideration, Such as starting a meal with a smile from your server. Add pleasant chitchat and watch the residents at the table light up. It’s good to be recognized.  The goal is to make your community a great place to live and a great place to work! Life is good.

Be ♥ Kind Tip: Encourage learning new ways to work, it changes the life around them.

Does your food serving team have a high EQ?

Does your food serving team have a high EQ?

EQ (emotional quotient or intelligence) chart

Do you know what the most successful companies look for in an applicant when hiring?

They seek a person with the combination of skills that enable a person to learn, relearn, and relearn again.

We know how rapidly changes are happening in our long-term care communities. Our industry has been experiencing major changes and upgrading of services.

People with EQ (emotional quotient or intelligence) can easily learn the changes necessary to keep their community reputation far above their competition. Those people understand, empathize, and conquer unexpected and distressing situations that arise in the kitchen, dining room, or anywhere in the community.

Building strong workplace relationships comes naturally to those with emotional intelligence as they turn intention into performance with the ability to command perceptive decisions.

The EQ skills that Kind Dining® training sessions have been teaching include self-management, which is controlling your emotions in healthy ways by adapting to changes in work responsibilities and taking initiative.

We’ve been training in the skills of empathy, active listening, social interaction, and group dynamics. Relationships, including how to build bonding relationships to inspire and create a team that works together are stressed in our training.

In our training of skills, we teach how your emotions affect your thoughts, and behavior and how to build self-confidence. If you cannot control your stress it can lead to serious physical health problems high blood pressure, a reduced immune system, and an increase in earlier aging.

As a long-term care provider, you want your community to be the leader in your industry, surpassing any competition. Your employees can do that with the training of these skills that benefit your residents, your community, and your employees themselves.

We have returned to ask healthcare providers their thoughts on what advantages they gained from our training.

Working better as a team and improved communication with both coworkers and residents stood out among others in their answers. After completing the training curriculum, the learners thought and acted differently!

Nearly all agreed with this statement: Kind Dining has helped me to understand my role and the importance of teamwork to enhance dining and nutrition for residents in my care center.

Yes, hospitality and healthcare go hand in hand.

Kind Dining® training sessions were designed for all employees who serve meals or beverages, including nursing and wellness teams,  housekeeping departments, recreation staff, and managers.

Food servers that learn the skills of emotional quotient are a powerful asset to the company. When they perform with self-confidence from the skills Kind Dining® teaches, they provide quality service. Sessions are now available online.

Are your food servers passionate about food?

Are your food servers passionate about food?

waitress holding tray of food

Your food serving team is the most powerful segment of the senior care community! Their work responsibility begins long before the salad is washed or onion is tossed into a pot. Your registered dietitian might be busy researching and choosing foods for individuals who need particular attention to what they can and cannot eat. They are designing meals for residents recovering from illness or physical disability for added nutrition selected for healing. Dietitians and other Nutrition Professionals are very passionate about food. They work closely with your Chef and Food and Dining Service Directors.

Menu planning to satisfy the many different palates and tastes and preferences of your residents; finding sources for fresh vegetables and fruits, the best meat suppliers, and other foods get the chef’s attention before even thinking about firing up the stove or filling a pot with water. Chefs are very passionate about food. They also work closely with the other chefs and cooks in the kitchen.

Food preps do the chopping, slicing, dicing, and preparing foods to ready them for the chefs. They need to be dexterous, energetic, and stress-free. They are very passionate about food and often are there to gain experience too, hopefully, become a chef one day.

Assistants and helpers fill in other necessary jobs in the kitchen. The best are reliable, efficient, and skilled at maintenance. They are also passionate about food. It is why they choose to work in the kitchen. By now you know this is a unique team of workers that ready the food for the servers to deliver to residents either in the café, dining room, or their private quarters at least three times a day. Since culture change requirements suggest keeping the kitchen open, the kitchen must be manned at all times.

All of these people are highly skilled. When the results of their efforts are favorable, word spreads and the community will attain a high occupancy. The quality of food and its presentation often is the only promising difference when a potential resident is searching for the right place to call home.

With a top team preparing meals and snacks for your residents, you want to have highly skilled food servers from all departments delivering these wonderful meals. Your food servers are the bridge not just from the kitchen, but from the community to the residents. It’s vital they use their developed skills to gain trust, open communication and build relationships.

Kind Dining♥ training sessions are now available online and on-demand using training modules that are divided into 3 sections. The Foundation of Service, (1-3), the Nuts & Bolts of Service, (4-6), and Polishing Service (7-9). The series takes approximately 8 hours to complete.  The curriculum has recently been approved for 11 hours of credit (CEU), including 1 for Ethics, from the Commission on Dietetic Registration. Allow yourself or your wait staff to become passionate about serving food that was prepared in a kitchen full of people passionate about food.

Be♥ Kind Tip: Allow your wait staff to become passionate about their work.

Do your employees practice kindness on each other?

Do your employees practice kindness on each other?

Many hands together: group of diverse people joining hands

“It’s Spring! Walking in the park to find a bench and have lunch was a great idea, Kelly! I’m bursting to tell you what happened to me since we had lunch together last month. Even at my age, I’m still learning new lessons to apply to my everyday living.” Colleen said.

Kelly scoffed. “Have you become ancient overnight? The last time I looked you were a foxy 35-year-old woman.”

“Well I was only comparing it to your young 20 years,” Colleen laughed “which reminds me of what I was going to tell you. I was shopping at the grocery store a couple of weeks ago. Funny, I was up on my toes, trying to reach a box of pasta from the top shelf. Things I need always seem to be where I cannot get them. When a long arm reached over and brought it down for me. I turned and it was Brad Bevins, our basketball star from high school days! ‘How kind! Thank you!’ Those were the first words out of my mouth before I even realized it was him.”

“He said, ‘you’re welcome, it’s just a small thing to do.’ I told him, ‘It’s a small thing for you, major to me, being a shorty.’ We chatted, catching up a bit. It’s been high school days since I’ve seen him. I did hear he was in a car accident earlier in the year and I mentioned it. He said he’s recovered with the kindness of a lot of people. With time to think while he was healing, he vowed to do kind things for people every day, strangers or not. It’s sort of a pay forward.”

Kelly commented, “That sounds like our last discussion at the employee’s training session, about spreading kindness not only to our residents but to each other, too.”

I’m sure it’s one of the reasons I don’t dread coming to work on Monday mornings. It makes all the difference in the daily work we do. Being generous is infectious and it works wonders in our community.

Kind Dining♥ promotes that kindness practiced will come naturally. It is another ability the food serving team needs to add to their improvement list.

Kindnesses used expand outward to include coworkers where offering a helping hand forms on-the-job friendships. Trust is formed when coworkers treat each other with kindness.

Encouraging the Golden Rule – treat others as you would like to be treated- is a perfect guideline for attitudes toward residents and coworkers.

Employees who are trusted and treated with kindness, remain with the company.

Be♥ Kind Tip: Kindness means listening, truly listening.