Let Seniors Out of the Box!

Let Seniors Out of the Box!

 

A recent article in Senior Housing News shows how one community takes on the challenge of seniors and technology.  This community looked outside its own walls to form a partnership that brought great value to the community’s program offerings but more importantly, value to their residents.

Don’t Limit Seniors

Senior man staring into cardboard box

So many times we make assumptions which limit both us (as individuals and companies) as well as those we make those assumptions about.  We make assumptions based on our own opinions as well as past knowledge.  We must not only keep an open mind but embrace that times and people change and evolve.  In our minds, we might limit seniors’ interest and ability when it comes to technology.  We think it will be too difficult, we think they are not interested and even THEY may have these same thoughts.

 

Technology is Increasingly User Friendly

Do your residents shy away from technology? Some may not be interested because they think it is too complicated or difficult even if they wanted to learn.  Equipment is becoming increasingly user friendly and apps make that equipment even easier…well, sometimes.  With so many options, it is not hard to find systems even the most timid can learn and use.

Reducing Isolation

We often criticize technology for isolating our younger generations by limiting their interaction to technological means vs. human interaction.  While that is most definitely a valid argument, some populations are isolated due to circumstances such as residents in senior housing with family in distant locations.  Technology can open doors to communication and interaction.  Emails, video-chatting, Facebook, and other applications can give those residents access to family and friends they may not have right now.  If these residents have family far away, what a gift to be able to see them and be able to stay up to date via video and pictures.

Comfort Zones

While technology may be out of the comfort zone of both the senior student to learn it and the staff who is designated to teach it, rewards can be significant. Don’t hesitate to look outside your community for help with instituting such programs. As this article illustrates, finding partners outside your community can benefit your community as well as your residents.  It does not have to be a partner as large as Google, local businesses and organization offer a wealth of knowledge and resources.

It is a common adage that life happens outside our comfort zone and our senior residents are no different.  When we are pushed to learn and grow, we find confidence, opportunities and great satisfaction in overcoming perceived obstacles.  Find ways to help develop this confidence and satisfaction in your residents.  Give your residents challenges every now and then.  Lifetime learning is exactly what is says, a lifetime of learning no matter your age.  We should adopt this concept not only for ourselves but for our residents as well.

An important reminder for us and them; we are never too old to learn something new.

Do You Take Advantage of PR or Public Relations Opportunities?

Do You Take Advantage of PR or Public Relations Opportunities?

 

Public Reations, Roy Barker, Moore Diversified Services, Senior Living Consultant, Senior Living Consulting

 

PR or Public relations should be in everyone’s marketing communications tool kit.

As a Senior Living Consultant working with many Senior Living clients over the years, this is one form of community promotion that tends to be over looked the most. So what exactly is PR? PR or public relations, the noun, as defined by Meriam-Webster.com is as follows:

the activity or job of providing information about a particular person or organization to the public so that people will regard that person or organization in a favorable way

OR

the relationship between an organization and the public

What is PR?
PR is different from advertising in the fact that in advertising you pay for the privilege of controlling the timing, placement, and message associated with it. While with PR, since it is generally free, the control lies in the hands of the writer and media outlet providing you the coverage. I once heard that “Advertising is what you pay for, PR is what you pray for.”

There are many forms of PR. Most of the time the words PR conjure up images of events at opposite ends of the spectrum. Either a publicity stunt where someone is doing something that is outrageous and crazy to call attention to themselves, their company or their mission, or a company spokesperson trying to put a positive spin on a potentially bad situation that has arisen for the company.

Examples
An example of an outrageous PR stunt would be similar to the flash mob dancing troupe a few years ago that held an impromptu performance at Grand Central Station, it ended up netting them 28 million YouTube hits and a lot of media exposure. An example of positive spin on a bad situation would be the aftermath of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. There have been subsequent news conferences and advertising campaigns trying to convince the public, that the gulf coast is now better than ever.

The kind of PR I am talking about is somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. The press release, media tours, special events, sponsorships, public service/public interest stories are all form of PR that your company/community can use to build brand awareness. These types of PR also show that your brand is part of the greater community and can generate loyalty in a larger audience.

Put PR To Work For You
One of the great things about PR is that it is happening all around us and while we get the intended message, we don’t realize the company or brand is promoting itself to us. Instead of thumping our chest telling everyone how great our company and/or products are through advertising, PR is a subtle way of getting a company name out by providing useful information and activities to others.

PR is also a way to have others validate you as an expert. The general thinking of readers or viewers is that they surely wouldn’t be quoting you or doing a piece on you or your company/community unless you were an authority, the best and most knowledgeable in your field.

November Public Relations Webinar
As part of MDS’ “Plug-In and Prosper” Webinar Series, the November 18, 2015 webinar will be “Generating Public Relations for Your Community”. The webinar will focus on the meaning and use of public relations and why it’s important. I will discuss PR as part of a well-rounded marketing communication plan, the benefits of PR, and how it can enhance your relationship between your company and the public.

So mark your calendar and join me on Wednesday, November 18 at 1:00 pm (CDT) for this important webinar.

I look forward to having you join me for this complimentary monthly webinar! You can also check out our past webinars on the Moore Diversified Services YouTube channel!

Registration Link

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.

Is “Cost Creep” affecting your income statement?

Is “Cost Creep” affecting your income statement?

 

Cost Creep, senior living consulting, senior living consultant

What is “Cost Creep”? How is it measured?  How does it affect your community, division, or company? What can you do to stay out in front of it?  These are some questions I hope to answer for you.

Cost creep, in its basic form, is providing more care to residents than you are being compensated for. This can come about for many reasons, such as:

  • an incorrect loaded hourly rate on which to base monthly service fees (MSF) and care tiers upon;
  • not having residents assigned to correct care tiers;
  • not catching resident’s decline soon enough; and
  • caregivers not understanding the dynamic of what they provide the resident and the company through their service.
Has Your Senior Living Community Adapted to the New Information Paradigm?

Has Your Senior Living Community Adapted to the New Information Paradigm?

 

New Information Paridigm, senior living consulting, senior living consultatnts, Moore Diversifed Serivces

Welcome To The New Information Paradigm!

There has been a new day dawning concerning the flow of information in the Senior Living industry the last few years. Some in marketing/sales have gotten this and some haven’t quite embraced the movement yet. The larger movement has been from transaction-based selling to relationship building. Transaction-based selling is where the sales person shows the prospect the living unit and dining area and then does a 30-minute information dump about their community.

Relationship building involves a lot more listening than talking, asking the right questions, really being interested in the prospect’s current situation, their history, wants and needs, and opinions, and really CARING about them, not just lip service.  In this piece I’m not going into the entire relationship building concept, but more how the information is exchanged today. The New Information Paradigm!

Continue reading “Has Your Senior Living Community Adapted to the New Information Paradigm?”

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?”

edgarchorn@yahoo.com

What is Your Digital Media Strategy for 2015?

 

digital media strategy, senior housing consulting, senior housing consultant, Moore Diversified Services Are you about to move right past this post because you don’t believe you need one? THINK AGAIN!

Digital Media is now an integral part of any comprehensive marketing strategy/plan. While some products and services may use digital media more than others, every business needs to utilize digital media in some form to build and enhance client and customer relationships.

Product Marketing vs. Relationship Marketing

There was a time when you strictly marketed your product or service to your target audience. While that is still a part of an effective marketing plan, relationship marketing is extremely effective in our industry. As a provider in the senior living and housing industry you actually have two target audiences. The first target audience is the senior themselves. The second is the family members of the senior who may be the primary decision maker or at minimum highly influential in the decision making process. You must be building relationships with current and potential customers as well as their family members.

In the case of a senior living and housing community, if an individual is not a resident or has a family member as a resident, you still want to be the first community they think of if the need arises or if someone asks for a recommendation. This means getting your community name out there and engaging with the public, resident or not. This process does not have to be complicated. Start with a simple plan and build from there.

 

Continue reading “What is Your Digital Media Strategy for 2015?”

edgarchorn@yahoo.com

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”

edgarchorn@yahoo.com

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.

edgarchorn@yahoo.com

Strategic Planning Webinar

Moore Diversified Services presents Plug-In and Prosper Webinars:

A STRATEGIC PLANNING SERIES
Part 1 – Where Do I Start?
Thursday, Nov. 6
1:00-1:30 p.m. (CST)

 

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. As we close out fiscal 2014 and approach 2015, MDS would like to offer a special, COMPLIMENTARY webinar series on Strategic Planning.     Plug in with copyright

Join Roy Barker, Director – Special Projects at MDS, for “Part 1 – Strategic Planning: Where Do I Start?” as he answers this question and provides insights into strategy planning.   Topics will include:

  • Selecting a team
  • Employee Buy-In
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Data Driven Indicators
    • Operations
    • Marketing
    • Employee Turn-Over

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

REGISTER TODAY!

edgarchorn@yahoo.com

Gold Is So Yesterday … Go Platinum!

 

A guest on an NPR show I was listening to the other day mentioned the “Platinum Rule” in the context of how we treat others. I had no idea what they were talking about. Now, after a little research, I can see that I’m very late to the party. This is a concept that has been around for some time. For those of you who may be living under a rock, like myself, the Platinum Rule now trumps the Golden Rule.      platinum-rule1

The Golden Rule is, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The Platinum Rule, however, is, “Do unto others as they would like done unto them!” What a novel concept. While the Golden Rule sounds good on the surface, it is really kind of self-centered. This would mean that we think we know what is best for everyone else because that’s what we like or we want. While this could be very true, it could also be the furthest thing from the truth.

With people we have just met or known for a short time, we may not know exactly what they want. This is the beauty of the Platinum Rule. It causes us to shift focus from us to them. It forces us to try and determine what the other person really want or likes. It forces us to be an active listener and maybe even ask some questions. This also meshes well with one of my favorite Covey teachings, “We must first seek to understand.”

Continue reading “Gold Is So Yesterday … Go Platinum!”