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How you can push for positive change among your employees

Posted by Dude Solutions Canada, Inc. | Friday, September 18, 2015

How you can push for positive change among your employees Change is unavoidable, regardless of which area of life you're dealing with. In particular, certain industries across the U.S. have experienced tremendous flux over the past few years thanks to new legislation, shifts in demographics and various other factors. 

Being able to roll with and adapt to change is a key factor that determines success in any endeavor, and managing an assisted living community is no different. But with so many staff members and residents that are affected by implementing large-scale changes, the transition can often be anything but smooth. 

Consider these tips for securing the support of your staff when planning for change.

Identify where the need is

Obviously determining when it's time for a change - and what needs to be upgraded, overhauled or replaced - is a complicated process, and one that you don't want to approach lightly. Introducing new systems, processes and personnel to your community can be an expensive, involved process, and you want to make sure that you're going to be receiving the maximum return on your investment.

For example, one huge area of growth in the senior living industry is technology adoption and integration. As the health care field continues to push for greater patient autonomy and self-direction in wellness, new technological tools have emerged to make that process easier. Many tech-based solutions are fairly hassle-free from an administrative standpoint - for example, a cloud-based facility management solution requires little more than an Internet-connected device to install and use. However, more involved changes may require further investment in hardware, whether it's new computers, mobile devices or servers.

Be transparent

As a manager and administrator, you may feel it's best to shield your staff from the nitty-gritty of planning and executing a major change. While this may seem like the simple route, you're doing little to inspire confidence in your vision with your employees. Your frontline staff are affected the most by new tools and strategies, and if you don't secure their confidence, your success rate may be much lower than you'd hope. 

You may understand that adopting a new cloud-based maintenance management system will improve efficiency and save operating dollars in the long term, but that may not be so obvious to support staff, especially those who are older and inherently more change-averse and tech-resistant. Instituting any sort of major change from the top down is likely to create problems. Instead of the "because I said so" approach, lay out your vision and goals for the new strategy early, clearly and plainly so everyone can be on the same page and share the same motivation.

Work with your staff, not around them

Your employees are a key part of your community's operation, so why wouldn't you want to leverage their unique skills and abilities when making a major change? If you want to preserve your staff members' level of engagement and, by extension, the quality of service they provide to your residents, demonstrate that they're an integral part of the process.

You can accomplish this in several ways, but one of the simplest is to include your staff members in the implementation process. If you have an employee who is particularly tech-savvy, you can have him or her head up an employee-led team. This has the dual benefit of removing direct work from your plate while also demonstrating to your workers that their input and unique offerings are recognized and appreciated.

Similarly, communication is essential, and that goes both ways. Not only should you be open and transparent about what your employees can expect from the change, but also make sure you remain open and approachable to employee feedback.