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In today’s healthcare industry, it is paramount to make sure that all of our staff is offered a variety of training and development opportunities to ensure the optimal care is provided across our continuum of care. Employees in the senior living field especially need to be trained to handle a wide array of needs whether they work in home care, assisted living, memory care or post-acute care. At our company, we are proud to offer a variety of programs for our staff to help foster professional development. Here are some of the ways that we do that.
Mentor Program for New Hires
In any field, starting a new job can be daunting especially in healthcare or skilled nursing. The idea of caring for another person’s life can be especially intimidating. According to Inc, “Starting a mentoring program might be the closest you’ll ever get to making a business decision that has exclusively positive impact.” That is why we have implemented a mentor program at our communities where all new hires get to shadow a veteran employee during their first few weeks to offer a support system to the associate for any questions or concerns they may have getting started.
Allow Opportunities to Grow from Within
One of the most efficient ways to create professional development opportunities is in our company culture’s practice of promoting from within. It is important that associates see a clear and visual career ladder with examples of growth in their department and building. Our Vice President of Assisted Living Operations, Heather Tussing, described our passion for cultivating growth from within by stating, “We love to promote from within. We love to see our associates that are invested in the company. They believe in what we do, they understand what we do and they’re able to assist us in doing it better.” Some of the opportunities we offer include our Executive Director in Training Program and Assistant Director of Resident Care Training Program, where team members can show true initiative and place themselves in a position to fill one of those spots when an opening becomes available. These examples are just some of the ways that we are able to ensure training and development opportunities are available for our staff.
Offer a Variety of Training Programs
In addition to creating paths for growth, we also offer training programs to ensure that our associates can take the initiative themselves to position themselves for advancement. Business experts have found that, “A training program allows you to strengthen skills that each employee needs to improve. A development program brings all employees to a higher level so they all have similar skills and knowledge.” In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we acted decisively to implement additional training based on circumstances that were relevant in real time, in addition to preexisting training such as the courses offered in Relias. To help our associates brush up on certain skills and safety tips, teams from various communities submit suggestions to be practiced and discussed during our daily Stand Up meetings. We are proud to provide these tools to our stellar associates who want to continue to strengthen their ability to care for others.
Annual Certification for All Staff
At the end of the day, senior living employees are tasked with the care of a vulnerable population. It is vital to ensure that all staff are constantly brushing up their skills and staying at the top of their game. One of the CARE Standards at the core of our company culture says, “All associates will successfully complete annual orientation certifications for their position.” From the top down, we pride ourselves on ensuring our assisted living, memory care, home care and post-acute care teams are regularly trained for their position.