A few on the second shift food serving team gathered at a table for their dinner break. They picked up the conversation where they left off earlier about their pre-shift training session that morning.
“With a little more practice, I think everyone on our team will have Module 6 down pat. We have all learned about being friendly and chatting with the residents, recognizing that our community is the place they chose to call home.
Now that the only bully on our team has been replaced, we can honestly say that we show courtesy and respect to each other as well as to our residents.
I’m sorry we couldn’t help her change her attitude to a positive one. It affected her work and created resentment among the residents. Once the residents got used to the care and consideration from the rest of our team, they rejected her outright! But we all tried in our different ways to reach out to her and refused to react to her bullying.”
“You know, our encouragement and guidance worked with Sally. She often says how our working together to show her the intentional, positive way of working has changed her life! She certainly has gone from glum and gloomy to a cheerful woman who now loves coming to work each day! We should all wear a little red heart sticker or pin on our uniform to show how much we do care.”
She laughed in case anyone may think that was a silly idea.
The newest person recently hired piped up. “I learned part of her lesson, the part that being civil was not the same thing as being neutral or reserved. I’ve learned it means lifting someone through kindness, courtesy, and caring. Like hospitality! Right? Don’t you always say hospitality and healthcare go together?”
He was proud of his learning and moving forward with the team.
Kind Dining® training sessions alleviate the problem of bullies without pointing a finger at one person but by bringing improved ways of working, introducing and stressing civility to all on the food serving team.
Create a team working toward the same goal and dissolving the problems of anyone who behaves like a bully.
Open discussions regularly with the entire food serving group and encouraging new ideas from the very people who do the serving instill leadership qualities and trust in their coworkers including administration.
Aging adults are particularly aware of the atmosphere that exists around the people who serve meals to them three or four times a day. It is easy to notice when someone strays from team goals for whatever reason.
Be ♥ Kind Tip: Have your food servers learned what civility truly means?
Assisted Living and Long Term Care communities may have different regulations than Senior Independent Living communities but many similar responsibilities make one community stand out from its neighbor. It’s a time when those regulations and also policies are updated to match the intelligence and needs of today’s residents. The same approach stands for senior independent living communities. An ongoing discussion with suggestions and notations from the employees who are involved with challenges daily is encouraged to bring possible problems to the awareness of all. A problem anticipated can easily be averted.
Providers as well as employees can improve routines of responsibilities with empowerment to correct shortcomings.
Outdated rules and regulations can only drag a community to inadequacy if they are required to wait for outside government surveyors (a short-staffed field) to fix problems the company can do with integrity and experience.
Kind Dining♥ suggests this is an area that can be improved by holding scheduled training and meetings for discussion by anticipating areas that can be improved within the company employees.
While senior independent living communities are a relatively new industry, the underinvested nursing homes now must find a way to upgrade to assisted and long-term living, and memory loss centers. Introducing a new quality care system would be ideal, created from those within the industry who already are direct care staff.
These guidelines would come out of the training and education meetings where the participants are there to ever improve the situation of the individuals they tend to. Many who work in the personal care industry consider their work as a calling rather than just a job to earn a paycheck. These experienced and educated caregivers must be respected and celebrated. They stayed on the job during the recent pandemic when others chose to stay safely at home. They have built resident relationships and connections that have value beginning each day with a happy smile and a hearty “Hello! How are you doing today?”
Dedicated food servers and caregivers aren’t born with the talent and skill they need to be excellent at their work. They have learned through active participation in proper training like Kind Dining♥ provides because we also believe with our hearts that we educate people to do their chosen work with intention, and skill, setting goals, and equitable care for the deserving residents. Training is a continuous journey. There is always a better way to learn, a new understanding, or an old skill reworked for a smoother result.
Be♥ Kind Tip: Training is a continuous journey.
“While I stand in line to buy a cup of coffee at a ridiculous price to drink while I run errands, I wonder why I do these dumb things. I could easily have made a whole pot at home.”
This woman’s story came to me. “You may know that I work in an assisted living community for reasons of my own. The coffee I buy today tastes better than mine and my reason for choosing to work with residents who need daily help is that I care. It makes me feel like I am doing much more than working at a job. I look forward to going to work each day and set an intention to do a little extra more than expected. The residents I help aren’t always sweet little old ladies. When they are grouchy, I remind myself how difficult life is for them, when they struggle to get through the day and cannot manage it alone. I like to show a bit of compassion. It helps.”
“The wonderful training I had when I first began in this industry many years ago, instilled the work ethic to aim higher, and set goals that are minor to me, and the small extras I do are major to the residents I serve. We continue to have training brush-up sessions where I continue to learn new ways to freshen up long-time duties. I love my work and the expressions I see on the residents’ faces when I smile and say a hearty ‘Good Morning!’ or whatever my phrase of the day happens to be. They love it!”
It is essential that employees of long-term care and assisted living communities commit to equitable care for their residents as done in independent living communities. Their service delivery is vital to ensure a positive experience for the residents receiving care. Personal word of mouth is still the best promotion of a community to ensure higher occupancy.
Residents love to boast of the great care they are receiving when help is needed to get through the day. It reassures family and friends that they chose the right community. The resident’s response is the result of respect, dignity, and kindness received regardless of race, religion, or gender.
Policies and regulations must be discussed at scheduled meetings with all employees, including administration. The active response must be invited from the employees who have hands-on contact with residents.
Invest in and empower those employees allowing them to be part of the solutions. Stress the strength of being a team player. Kindness and respect are embedded in the Kind Dining♥ curriculum and training sessions.
We believe in the power of your skilled employees and the results that proper training brings to a company and the community.
Service without training involves many avoidable errors and causes poor experiences not forgotten. Proper training provides your service team with skills and the ability to create positive responses from your residents that they will remember when speaking about their time within your long-term care or assisted living community. Kind Dining♥ provides that training.
Be♥ Kind Tip: Scheduled discussions and training sessions create a powerfully skilled team!
David and Matthew were driving to their usual Saturday morning basketball game to stay in healthy condition. Both worked in the management department of different long-term care communities but discussed problems and ideas because their workplace routines were similar regardless of what community it was.
Matthew began as soon as David put the car in gear to pull away from the curb. “The boss called an impromptu meeting this week to discuss management’s weakness in leadership. It seems our filling in at meal times has not brought the high response he expected. Not the best comments were made from the residents he polled nor from the full-time food serving team we were supposed to be helping because of the labor shortage. He was pretty upset, though he stayed calm while he called us failures.”
David chuckled to soften the self-criticism knowing Matthew took his job seriously and wasn’t the sole person responsible for the poor response. “Don’t be too hard on yourself. We, meaning management, are not always able to sit in on the training sessions the food-serving teams get. The boss expects us to know about serving meals. I’m not sure how we are supposed to know if they don’t allow us in on the training. I never waited tables in college. My part-time job was working in the library.”
“He also revealed a bit of his plans for 2023, saying that for the first time, an allowance for a series of training is placed in the budget and for onboarding,” Matthew said with surprise in his voice. “With all the change of employees and lack of a full staff nowadays, he felt it important that we all get the training necessary, to be a completely fulfilled community organization. He claims that will include leadership training, I like learning new ways to look at the work I do. I confess, I never paid much attention to the waitperson when I was out for dinner. So I don’t know the proper ways to serve either. Just never thought of it.”
“I agree with you. Onboarding. Are you familiar with that term? David asked.
“I wasn’t. He said it’s about the newly hired, that they are easily confused and lost in workplace routines, guidelines, etc. He added that the largest number of employees that quit, do it within the first 90 days of being on the job. They wander through the halls, carry trays, and talk to you with a dazed look in their eyes. They have no idea what is required of them, let alone come to love the work they do.” Matthew replied. “The onboarding is training intended to make them comfortable and knowledgeable in their responsibilities to the point of developing commitment to the community and the company. I understand that it works. I’ll keep you informed before our next week’s game and I’ll drive then. Take care and I’ll see you next week.”
Kind Dining♥ training sessions introduce and train new employees so they can become part of the company/community family. They guide all employees to work together as a team helping each other while they are tending hospitality and healthcare to residents.
Kind Dining♥ knows the difference between teaching the basics and educating employees to become committed, long-time members of the community family; employees that stay with the company because they love the work they do, the community residents, and the rest of the work team.
It’s a tragedy when older adults are turned away from becoming part of your community, not because you have full occupancy but because there are not enough staff to tend to them. Occupancy in long-term care communities has dropped drastically recently. Often the lack of good training is the reason for some employees to leave a community, especially if they have not been a member of the staff long enough to build a commitment to the residents, other employees, and the company. Kind Dining♥ training courses show the way for new employees to find their purpose in their community through education and practice. Developing good work habits and learning to give and receive help from fellow employees builds relationships in the workplace. These actions add to a person’s enjoyment of coming to work each day. They build self-confidence and nurture the desire to do better. This leads the employees to love the work they do. It will also lead to learning and extending kindness to their coworkers and the residents they are in contact with each day.
For employees who have been members of your community for a long time, participating in the Kind Dining♥ training refreshes their work ethic, introduces new ways to work smarter, and with intention, and creates bonding with other team workers. Training is vital in keeping your staff from leaving to search for a better company that invests in them by way of education.
When an excellent training program is available in the company, it will attract candidates who want to be part of your community. The pandemic has shown a lack of good candidates to hire, but a new generation is now seeking to enter senior care. It benefits your company to show why this young generation would want to be in your workforce. Kind Dining♥ training modules are now available online. We will help you to keep your food servers, your newly hired employees, and all your employees to be an educated, invested team. A well-trained team helps your community to stand out from all others with employees who have learned to be dedicated to their work.
Be♥ Kind Tip: Invest in your employees by way of a good training curriculum.
Does a company that hires minimum wage earners to need to invest in the expense of training?
Investing in your assisted living and senior living community servers enhances the interaction between your serving teams and your residents. It is more than improving how a meal is served to an individual. When a server knows their work is conducted correctly, it increases pride in their performance and relationships with coworkers, residents, and management. A better work environment is created. Servers create an improved self-image that extends to a sense of belonging and caring. They are part of a winning team, and their coworkers can also show pride in their connections and working for the common good of others. Research reveals pride in one’s work is more valued than the wage earned.
Learning new and re-polishing skills is part of a good training methodology. The knack for communication with residents and coworkers is key, especially with those with limited English abilities, including the different levels of language used between part-time working teenagers, middle-aged servers, other ethnic heritage, and our older adult residents. Good training practices inspire learners to embrace new knowledge, and application of empathy towards others, It is also important for all servers to use respect and incorporate that knowledge into their casual conversations with residents as they serve meals. Skill development and control over one’s work process stimulate creative thought and improvement in one’s work habits. Satisfaction in one’s performance builds employee commitment. It keeps your servers in your community and not looking for an alternate community for employment.
Workforce challenges call on the servers to rise above the day’s problems and overcome insecurities. Recognizing and discussing the diversity in servers can conquer differences to build a stronger serving team. Empathy works here in a variety of servers and in using empathy with elderly residents. Kind Dining♥ roots are based on teaching authentic hospitality with healthcare, accepting others with dignity and respect, and forming healthy relationships between servers with other employees and between servers and the residents.
Kind Dining is not a program, but a way of life. It’s designed to appeal to the diversity of people serving meals. Concepts in our handbook are easy to understand with an abundance of interactive exercises, relatable pictures, pertinent questions, limited text, and the principles of removing barriers between cultures. It fulfills the culture change, communication and teambuilding called for in your community today.
B♥ Kind Tip: Recognizing diversity in servers on your team can build a stronger one.