Success in senior living is not easy to accomplish with so much competition, especially during a deadly pandemic. During such a difficult period, Executive Director Deborah Kirchner had a different outcome. Spring Hills Middletown was thriving! When we spoke to Deb about her success, this is what she said, “I love my community, my residents, my families and my associates!” She continued to say “My joy being in the community has helped me to be successful.” Success in her mind could not have been possible without having a stable team.
Deb is in her second year at Spring Hills Middletown, which makes her one of the newest management level associates. Her Community relations counselor has been at the assisted living community in Middletown, OH the longest with fourteen years under her belt. She has a Director of Environmental Services that has been with Spring Hills for five years and she recently promoted her activity assistant of four years to the position of Director of Resident Engagement, understanding that helping others grow from within helps to create more loyalty and stability.
A successful community also means doing well on Ohio State Department of Health Surveys. More important than doing well on a survey is having the right people in place, happily taking care of seniors. Deb and her team spend a lot of time appreciating a job well done. To help motivate her team, Deb implemented a 5 Favorites questionnaire. On day 90 of employment, as a token of appreciation, Deb encourages her department heads to present their 90 day associates with small gifts that match up to those 5 favorite things from the questionnaire.
Associate Appreciation doesn’t stop there, it is ongoing at Spring Hills Middletown. Each year, Deb creates a Fun Calendar to place in the Associate Break Room to add something unique to each day. She is dedicated to posting associate birthdays and she even took the time, investing in updating the associates break room so it really felt like a place that the associates would want to be in. Deb says “You are only as successful as the people that you work with.” Deb feels blessed to have “inherited staff with longevity”. She says “every single department head cares as much as I do and I am not use to that.” According to Deb, they equally share knowledge about each of the residents which is incredibly important.
Deb said she felt like Spring Hills put the trust in her to operate the community. Balancing the policy and procedures of a company and community with the autonomy to do what’s right requires support. When you have the personal drive of failure not being an option, Deb said “It is important to me to feel trusted. She was thrilled when our VP of Operations, Pierre Verge put trust in her to oversee another location. She is proud to looked at as a leader and valuable resource to Spring Hills. She remembers speaking to the Founder and President/CEO, Alex Markowits during the interview process. Deb was impressed that she was even able to see him in person during because he stopped in training session when she was being on-boarded. Deb loves that if feels small enough to know everyone but big enough to still growing.