One Company, Many Departments; One Strategy or Many

One Company, Many Departments; One Strategy or Many

by Kim Jimenez

When talking about your organizational goals, is every department within your company on the same page? Have you shared or even included all departments in goal setting and strategy development? Does your Human Resources department act as part of the strategy team for your community and your company or do they perform as an auxiliary function?

Woman drawing Flow Chart

People can make or break your organization. The front-line employees who interact with the public. The CNAs and nurses who care for your residents. The receptionist who greets everyone who walks into your office or facility. The marketing team who puts out the marketing material and branding that can draw in new business (or not). Your top management and executives who define and plan the company brand and strategy. So, don’t you think the department responsible for recruiting all these people need to be an integral part of the company strategic plan? Absolutely!

Continue reading “One Company, Many Departments; One Strategy or Many”

Employee Recognition Can Help Motivation and Retention

Employee Recognition Can Help Motivation and Retention

by Kim Jimenez

I keep seeing this quote on social media: “Employees who feel valued will do more than expected.”

Employee Engagement is a current concept garnering lots of attention.  Employee Engagement refers to and measures how connected and committed an employee is to an organization, its product and its customers.  High employee engagement can result in greater productivity, increased morale and higher retention. Therefore, companies are looking for ways to increase employee engagement. One such way is employee incentives and recognition.

Engaged Employee
Employee Engagement – Appreciation Major Factor in Multi-faceted Approach

According to a 2014 paper by Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) “employees not only want good pay and benefits, they also want…to be valued and appreciated for their efforts” (Society for Human Resource Management, 2014).  While some organizations may shy away from formal recognition programs because they think they may be too expensive to implement, it is not necessarily monetary recognition employees are looking for. Recognition can be internal recognition, public recognition or staff appreciation events.  Even small items like t-shirts, gift cards, thank you notes, and coffee mugs can be effective if genuinely presented for noted achievements.

Also, there are any number of areas for which a company can structure a recognition program depending on the organization and its employees.  Some such areas according to SHRM can be as simple as attendance and years of service or more involved like systems improvements, talent acquisition, innovation, and/or “champions of change.”  Recognition can be structured however the organization can effective track and designate employee contribution.  Then recognition should be consistent and immediate.  An inconsistent program will not motivate employees.  But overall, good recognition programs can be very effective.

Taking recognition to the national level can not only motivate employees but provide credibility to both the employee and the organization.  National recognition can be an organizational designation or recognition coordinated with industry associations or regulatory agencies.  There are a number of national designations, awards and achievements available for employees and organizations to draw from within every industry.  National recognition can bring a level of respect from subordinates, coworkers and customer’s alike.  It may even motivate other employees to strive to obtain the same designation and recognition.

Give as much thought into how to win over your employees as you do your customers; your employees are your customers.  Treat them right and they will treat your customers right.



Society for Human Resource Management. (2013, March 21). Developing and Sustaining Employee Engagement. Retrieved from Society for Human Resource Management:

Society for Human Resource Management. (2014, September 12). Managing Employee Recognition Programs. Retrieved from Society for Human Resource Management:


Kim Jimenez has been a regular contributor to the MDS website and MDS blog for the past 15 years.  Kim holds a supervisory position in a Fortune 100 company and has extensive experience with a multitude of employee, training and leadership issues.  She is currently obtaining her degree in Human Resource Management at Southern New Hampshire University

Explanations Go a Long Way on Resumes

Explanations Go a Long Way on Resumes


Leaving off pertinent information is why so many Resume, pertinent information, Senoir Living Consultant, Senior Living Consultingresumes go in the trash.

It’s difficult to balance out the amount of information presented in a resume. With the shorter attention spans today, it’s important to get to the point. You don’t want to bog the reader down with reams of useless information — but you also need to make sure you include vital information that demonstrates why you are worthy of further consideration. You can’t just cut your resume down for the sake of word count.

Make Sure Your Resume Includes Pertinent Information

While there are many areas this tip could apply to, let’s focus on past employment. As a hiring manager, this is the first area of a candidate’s resume that I look at. I want to see if the candidate has any related work experience, and I want to see how stable their employment history is.

Most hiring managers are looking for long-term employees, and stability is important. Despite that, I receive more resumes today than ever before with tenures of five months here, four months there, and seven months here, with no explanation. Short job tenures are not bad in and of themselves, but without an explanation of some kind, the worst is assumed. I will usually not waste my time doing a simple phone screen — and definitely not an in-person interview — with a candidate that has a history of unexplained short-tenured positions.

Case in Point: A good friend of mine found herself unemployed at the end of 2013 due to staff cuts resulting from her company being bought out. Her unemployment dragged on for about six months, with very little activity.

After looking at her resume, I figured out why. She had a stable work history with three companies up until 2009, averaging eight years of tenure at each business. Then, after 2009, she had six jobs in a couple different industries. It was no wonder she was not getting any calls: It looked as if something had happened to make her very unstable in this period.

My friend had been employed in the building material industry for her entire career. Beginning in mid-2006, the housing slow down led to tough times in that industry. My friend had been laid off or downsized in company buyouts or mergers four times during this period. She was also a single mother and had to take a few part-time jobs to pay her mortgage and put food on the table.

Resume, pertinent information, Senior Living consulting, senior living consultantJust looking at her resume, you could not tell any of this. It looked as if something had gone haywire and hiring managers were reluctant to even call her. Don’t expect that a hiring manager is going to take the time to try and connect the dots on your resume. That’s not their job. It’s up to the candidate to try and fill in any holes in their own resume.

The Proof Is in the Details

My friend went back and filled in all the gaps on her resume by including the reasons why she separated from each company. Within in the first few days of using this updated resume, she began getting interviews and job offers worthy of her experience and talent. Within a month, she was hired by a leading specialty building material supplier.

My friend didn’t change anything about her fragmented work history. All she did was add a little explanation. This had the tremendous benefit of helping hiring managers — especially those that lived through the difficult economic times — understand why her resume looked the way it did.

Are You Explanations Satisfactory?

There are many satisfactory explanations for short job tenures — they just need to be noted for busy hiring managers to quickly and easily see them. The shaky economy of the last few years has increased the number of downsizings, closings, and mergers, all of which have resulted in many layoffs.

Similarly, some positions are, by nature, contract- and project-oriented. These roles will result in job changes every six months or so, but not because you are an unsteady or troubled employee.

Furthermore, there are also those younger adults who have been working internships to try and gain experience in various careers. In today’s new economy, there are also those part-time and stopgap positions that employees need to bridge the gap between permanent, full-time positions.

Resumes, Senior Living consulting, senior living consultantJust remember that having multiple short-tenured positions is not the kiss of death — if you take the time to provide a short explanation for your limited tenure, that is. It need be no more than a few words under the job title, such as “contract position,” “internship,” “temporary work,” “layoff,” or whatever the situation was.

Do You Market For Human Talent?      Part 2 of 2

Do You Market For Human Talent? Part 2 of 2



How Often Are You Recruiting For New Top Human Talent?

It is easy to form a perception that talent should only be recruited when there is a position vacant in your company, but unfortunately, that kind of thinking is not very helpful to your company. You should always be recruiting and finding top talent so that they are ready when positions open up for any reason.

Don’t Rely on the Internet Alone

The advent of the internet and job boards was thought to be the end- all- be- all for recruiting. But, it has proven to be a double edge sword when it is the only method used. The great thing about internet job postins is that you can cast a wide net by broadcasting your current job openings to many individuals that may be looking for employment in your town, or even across the country. The downside is that you can be flooded by many applicants that are not anywhere close to being qualified for an opening in a specific position.

Now, relate this to your community’s marketing department for new residents. Can your community just post an advertisement saying “We have rooms available”, and the right person shows up and there you go, you have a new resident? Not quite, or there would be no need to have a sales and marketing team. It should be considered the same with community staffing. It takes a lot of work and effort to find the right fit for the community, both for residents and staff.

Always Be Recruiting

It’s important to augment the posting of job openings through portals such as Indeed, Career Builder, or others in this category. Talent Mangers must actively recruit to find the best employees available for the many different job functions within the community/company. This includes giving talks throughout the community at different functions and gatherings of people like civic clubs, high schools, junior colleges, colleges, and other professional organizations throughout your operating region. It is very important to educate as many people as possible about the existence of your community/company, that it is a great place to work with many opportunities besides those of just direct caregivers. Target programs and organizations can include, but are not limited to, those affiliated with business, nursing, culinary, and hospitality.

LinkedIn is also a great place to gather potential contacts for professional level jobs. LinkedIn should be used to identify individuals with skills that will be beneficial to your team now and in the future. Don’t limit yourself to just those that may currently hold positions in the Senior Living industry, but look in other industries for transferable skills as well. Establish casual relationships in the beginning and watch how they interact with others in their peer groups. Do they post timely and relevant material? Do they have original thoughts? How many connections do they have (a peek at how good they might be at networking and recruiting prospective residents)? Do they seek out and participate in continued education opportunities? LinkedIn will also let you glance into the individual’s employment past. With this feature, it is easy for an individual to write anything they want with little to no cross-checking by others, so proceed with caution. Trust, but verify. Once individuals are identified as potential employees who could be an asset to your team, then it is prudent to reach out and make a connection with them.

Start an HR newsletter to keep current employees and those interested in working for your company informed of current happenings within your company/community. Not necessarily resident-focused, but more about job openings, training, and highlighting employee accomplishments. The added communication will go a long way in both employee retention and recruiting efforts. While this form of communication usually will not lead to instant gratification in the recruiting of other professional individuals, it will build a pattern of contact that over time will lead to candidates keeping up with your company. If they like what you have to say, it will leave them with the sense of wanting more information about company activities and available openings.

So get out from behind the desk and computer screen, and endeavor into the community, market yourself, your industry, and your company for great talent. A great side effect is that while you are getting the word out of your community/company, simultaneously you just might accidentally uncover a prospective resident or family member looking for a loved one.

Make your company an employer of choice, not an employer of last resort!


Roy Barker is Director of Special Projects at Moore Diversified Services, a Fort-Worth, Texas-based organization specializing in Senior Living operations analysis, marketing development, and investment advisory services. Roy is an authority in the field of employee turnover analysis and retention strategies.


Do You Market for Human Talent?  Part 1 of 2

Do You Market for Human Talent? Part 1 of 2


Recruiting talent should be more than a post on an internet job board.

Marketig for human talent, senior living consulting, senior living consultant, Moore Diversified ServicesAre you proactively or reactively recruiting and hiring employees? Is your company one where prospective employees are calling you, or are you just picking through whatever the internet sends you? Employee recruiting must be more than a post on Craigslist, or some internet job board. It should be about developing relationships- selling your industry and your company to future employee prospects. Your efforts to market for human talent shouldn’t be any less proactive than the way your community markets for prospective residents.

Credentials are Not Enough

Credentials, training, skills, and education can only go so far. There has to be the right attitude and the right fit. The right attitude towards caring for residents, a “servant’s heart”, and fitting in or blending in well with your existing staff. You can teach someone the important components of the job, but it is hard to teach or recreate an attitude that has gone bad. Not that it cannot be done, but is it worth the damage it can do to both residents and existing staff? I once heard that attitudes are catchy…so you have to ask yourself when you’re sitting across from someone, would I want my staff catching this attitude?

We must remember in this business how important the “servant’s heart” feature is in being a successful employee. We aren’t manufacturing widgets on a factory floor or dealing with inanimate objects that are indifferent to how they are talked to or treated. In senior living, it’s the total opposite. We provide love and care to other humans, like ourselves, and it should always be done with dignity.

Continue reading “Do You Market for Human Talent? Part 1 of 2”

More Wage Pressure Could Be On The Horizon!

More Wage Pressure Could Be On The Horizon!


 Wage Pressure Senior Living Industry


In a proposed plan by the White House, more exempt employees will be eligible for overtime compensation.

Not long ago I wrote a piece on the impact of increasing wages through both higher minimum wages and entry level wages in Is Your Business Prepared for the $15-An-Hour Entry Level Worker? Now, you should not only consider the impact of rising wages for hourly workers, but also potential wage impacts related to exempt employees. The proposed plan by the White House would raise the threshold of wages in which exempt works are eligible for overtime compensation.

The Proposal

A recent White House Proposal will increase the number of exempt employees eligible for and entitled to compensation for overtime work beginning in 2016. The new regulation increases the minimum pay for overtime-eligible exempt employees from $455 a week to $970 a week, or $23,660 to $50,440 on a yearly basis.

Currently, hourly and salaried employees making under $455 a week or $23,660 a year are generally eligible for overtime compensation for hours worked in excess of 40 per week. If this proposal goes into effect, it will increase the eligibility for salaried employees making up to $50,440 a year to be eligible for overtime compensation. This will more than likely have an effect on most department managers and some administrative personnel currently employed at senior living communities who have previously been ineligible for overtime due to their exempt status.

Changes To Be Considered

If the proposal is approved, this will create a need to start doing a few things differently for the exempt employees making under $50,440 per year. The first thing would be to start tracking these newly eligible employees’ time closely, even if they work off-site or from home. If the employee consistently works overtime, the changes that can be considered will include: whether to institute a no more overtime policy, increase the employees pay to $50,500, or convert them to an hourly rate and adjust for overtime normally worked.

Policies for communicating with these employees during off hours by phone, text, or email will also need to be evaluated. It would also be prudent to consider the impact of employees who might cover for others due to no-calls, no-shows, or other absences. If the coverage situation happens at the end of the scheduled work week, then this employee would more than likely have already worked enough hours to be eligible to an overtime situation.

Definitive Action is Needed

It may be tempting for management and employees alike to take a laid-back view on this emerging situation. If you don’t get anything else from this article, the one piece of information you should remember is this: I can assure you that you will be better off planning ahead for the proposed rule change. Don’t be tempted to procrastinate, and don’t simply make a handshake agreement with an employee and think that nothing needs to be changed because everything will work out in the long run. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out, and the cost can add up.  The cost of the overtime work, penalties, time other employees will spend on this, and possible litigation will cost you more than it would have to initially just do be prepared from the start. Not to mention the hassle of having the Labor Department in your business for goodness knows how long.

Be Proactive

Let MDS help you evaluate the possible impact of wage increases in your community. I can work with you and your team to calculate your financial expose based on potential changes in over-time regulations for exempt employees. A proactive approach will allow us to develop alternative pay plans and work schedules to minimize the financial and service impact on your organization.

While we don’t know where minimum and entry level wages will eventually land, I will also help your team run “what-if” scenarios based on several factors to estimate the impact of multiple levels of increase. Putting this all together will help guide management’s approach to evaluating and setting monthly service fees, and service packages designed with minimal impact to the organization, its residents, and staff members.

Don’t procrastinate on these important wage-related issues. There is still plenty of time to design a well-rounded solution that has minimal impact to your organization.


As an update to the entry level worker pay story, the New York Wage Commission has endorsed the planned hike in fast food workers to $15 per hour.


Roy Barker is Director of Special Projects at Moore Diversified Services, a Fort-Worth, Texas-based organization specializing in operations analysis, marketing development, and investment advisory services. Roy is an authority in the field of employee turnover analysis and retention strategies.

Is Your Business Prepared for the $15-An-Hour Entry Level Worker?

Is Your Business Prepared for the $15-An-Hour Entry Level Worker?


increase in entry level wages, senior living consulting, senior living constultant, Moore Diversified Services

Is your company or community ready for the financial impact of rising entry level worker pay? While $15 an hour is the new “rally cry” for the minimum wage, whether it will happen nationwide can be debated. But it still begs the question, “Can your current financial structure handle entry level wages increasing to $14, $12, even $10 per hour?” Reality is there are a lot of communities that struggle even with current entry level wages somewhere between $8 to $10 an hour. A recent Wall Street Journal article indicated U.S. wages were on pace to increase at rates not seen since 2008. So while we don’t know where entry level wages will land ultimately, it is certain that wages will continue to increase, and more than likely increase at a faster pace than over the last few years.

Continue reading “Is Your Business Prepared for the $15-An-Hour Entry Level Worker?”

Upcoming Webinar – Part 2 of 2: 10 Critical Steps to Increase Employee Retention – Steps 6-10

Upcoming Webinar – Part 2 of 2: 10 Critical Steps to Increase Employee Retention – Steps 6-10


Plug in with copyright



Moore Diversified Services presents Plug-In and Prosper Webinars:

Part 2 of 2: 10 Critical Steps to Increase Employee Retention
Thursday, April 30
1:00-1:30 p.m. (CDT)





At Moore Diversified Services your success is our goal. We are committed to equipping our clients with tools and strategies to make their businesses successful. MDS would like to offer a special, COMPLIMENTARY webinar on Employee Retention.

Join Roy Barker, Director – Special Projects at MDS, for Part 2 of 2 – “10 Critical Steps to Increase Employee Retention”, steps 6-10, as he provides various ways to increase employee retention.   Topics will include:

  • Create opportunities for advancement
  • Challenge employees
  • Praise employees
  • Develop an awesome company culture
  • Really get to know your employees

Space is limited. Don’t miss out on this special opportunity to learn from a company with over 40 years of experience.

Register Today!

If you missed Part 1, for your convenience it is located below. To view all past webinars please visit MDSseniorliving

10 Critical Steps to Increase Employee Retention


steps to improve employee retention, senior living consulting, senior living consultant, Moore Diversified SerivcesEmployee retention is an area most businesses can improve on. In the heat of the moment with deadlines, phones ringing, and customers that need servicing, this is one area where short cuts are often taken. With the average entry level worker costing approximately $7,500 to turnover and executives reaching 200% of their yearly salary and some technical workers up to 400% of their yearly salary, this shortcut can be a costly proposition.

Thought we’d start the year off with a list of critical steps to increase employee retention in 2015. This is not meant as the be-all-end-all list by any means, but it’s a great start.


1. Initial Screening – Take the time to review applications and resumes thoroughly. Develop a combination of basic and individualized questions to fill in the gaps. Be alert to attitude and personality in addition to the candidate’s skill set. There are great programs available that can help automate this process. I read a great line in a book about prospective employee attitudes, “Attitudes are catching, ask yourself if you would want someone to catch theirs.”

 2. Orientation – This is a tempting one to skip. You are shorthanded and really need the new hire on the floor….but don’t! Take the time to thoroughly orientate new hires even if they have worked in the same industry. It will be worth the time it takes.

Continue reading “10 Critical Steps to Increase Employee Retention”

Can your office survive without you? If it can’t you are doing it all wrong!


Empower Definition Magnifier Showing Authority Or Power Given To Do SomethingThe sign of a true leader is one who is constantly creating new leaders.  These type of leaders inspire, motivate, educate, support and mentor others into positions of leadership.  They cultivate the skills of others and strengthen their weaknesses.

In Boy Scouts, one of the main premises of the Eagle Scout project, and something you will be grilled on in you Eagle Board of Review, is the question: could your project have happened without you? In order to have a truly successful project, it must be so well planned out AND you must have designated, informed, trained other participants that a) you as the project leader do not actually work on project day and b) if you cannot show up for any reason, the project proceeds as planned.

This so goes against our nature of needing to be needed.  We tend to feel if our business or department can survive without us, we have no value.  We MUST adjust this way of thinking! If business as usual can proceed without you, then to your credit you have hired some very capable employees and you have trained them so well they know how to do their job. This then frees you up to focus on the big picture, more time for strategic planning and business growth.

Do you think you must be involved in every little aspect of your department? Do you require frequent updates and details on every project? Now we get into micromanaging, stay tuned…


Kim Jimenez has been a regular contributor to the MDS website and MDS blog for the past 15 years.  Kim holds a supervisory position in a Fortune 100 company and has extensive experience with a multitude of employee, training and leadership issues.  She is currently obtaining her degree in Human Resource Management at Southern New Hampshire University.